What does it look like to run to God with our fears? We see many examples in the Bible of people running to God when they’re afraid. For example, many of King David’s songs (called psalms) were written on the run. Let’s look at Psalm 18 and learn from David how to run to the Lord.
In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. (Psalm 18:6 ESV)
When fear and danger overwhelm David, he calls out to God. Sometimes we don’t know what to pray or how to put words to our fears. That’s okay. In this prayer, David doesn’t use eloquent words. He just cries for help, and God hears him.
Sometimes a simple prayer for help is the most profound prayer of faith because we aren’t telling God what we think we need. We are expressing our complete dependence upon him and acknowledging that only he knows what is best.
They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me. (Psalm 18:18-19 ESV)
Once the danger and fear have passed, David pauses to remember what God has done for him. This is an excellent way to prepare our hearts and minds for fearful times. Take advantage of moments of “safety” to remember God’s faithfulness to you in the past.
You could make a list on your phone or in a journal or on a sticky note in your car of ways God has been faithful to you. You could scrapbook memories of his kindness, or send a letter to a friend, telling them how God has been good to you in the past. Consider even making a “wall of remembrance” in your home.
Read about God’s mercy and steadfast love in the Bible. Meet with other Christians to talk about God’s goodness, and tell them what God has done in your life. Remembering builds our confidence in God’s faithfulness and shores up our hope so that we are quick to run to God again when fears attack.
I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my god, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. (Psalm 18:1-3 ESV)
When we run from fear to our Father and find him faithful, we can’t help but sing praise. Praise stands behind the throne of God and pokes its tongue out at fear knowing that it no longer has any power over us. It is the “happy dance” of relief and joy in discovering that he gives us the victory over fear.
Like remembering, singing praise also renews our hope for future battles. When words of praise become part of our everyday vocabulary, we will be oriented toward God and quick to run to him in crisis.
This is the runner’s guide to faith: Pray for help, remember God’s past faithfulness, and sing praise to him for every victory. May the fears to come only make you swifter on your feet.