June 5

Written by Bill Grandi on June 5th, 2023

I’m no expert that’s for sure. I constantly tell the folks at the church I pastor that I am not a professional counselor. What I am is a pastor who has a heart for His (and my) people. Since the first of May (excluding Mother’s Day), I have been preaching a series called Faith Over Fear. It has been a real test for me in preparing it and I have done a ton of reading to do that. With the exception of Father’s Day, I have two Sundays left in the series.

During my prep I have been using a 31-day devotional called Anxiety…Knowing God’s Peace by Paul Tautges. I highly recommend it. My thoughts today come from that book-Day 28. The devotion today are my thoughts with credit given when I use his. 

First, please read Psalm 27. Read it slowly. Digest it. Now, go back and reread verses 1, 4-6, and 13-14.

Anxiety comes from all angles. Some of it is external. David talks about evildoers, adversaries, enemies, people who say lies about him, and armies at war. (vv.2,3,6,12)

But notice where he goes for help! Not his inner Self. Not his guru. Not his self-help books. Not his weapons of war. No, take a moment to read verses 1,4,6,11, and 13-14.

What can we learn from David in Psalm 27 (and here is where I copy from Mr. Tautges’ book):

  • Faith cripples the power of fear by reminding us of the right-now presence of the Lord. (v.1)
  • Faith cripples the power of our fear when our focus and affection become singular in the Lord. (v.4)

Mr. Tautges is correct in those statements. I’m not so naive to think that it as is as easy as “acknowledge and stop worrying.” But it is a place to start! The chorus from an old song comes to mind: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”

Setting our sights on Jesus recalibrates us; refocuses our heart where it belongs and in turn, alleviates our fears.

What or WHO will you focus on today?


10 Comments so far ↓

  1. Pam says:

    Focus is the key! Sometimes I feel like my thoughts are stuck in a revolving door with no exit that revolves around ME! You are right— when I can focus on Jesus instead, the exit appears!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Focus-and staying focused-is so hard to do these days Pam. We are assaulted on every side it seems and life does seem like a revolving door. But we need to continue focusing on Him.

  2. Ryan S. says:

    Fear is a powerful motivator. I think that is why the enemy uses it so readily.
    If the enemy can get our attention off God and on to the various “what-ifs” of life, he has served his purpose in distracting and demotivating us to do the work God has planned for us. We know who wins, but there are still daily battles to fight. Those battles can’t easily be fought if we are hunkered down in fear.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      You are so right Ryan. While he trips us up, the enemy’s tactics are not a surprise. Those “what-ifs” are a powerful regret inducer. But courage that comes from the strength of the Lord is the way to win.

  3. Our eyes and our hearts should always be focused on Jesus, Bill. It doesn’t mean there won’t be times that we are afraid, but we can rest assured He is ready to walk through the valleys of the shadow of death with us.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      You are correct Martha. What a difference it would make if we stayed focused on Jesus.

  4. gail says:

    To quote Tony Evans”You may not be in a ideal situation, but you have an ideal God” Even though we know the enemy’s tactics of fear, it sometimes still gets the best of us. We may have to read, reread, and read again Psalm 27, until our reminder of who God is, what His attributes are, remember God’s promises to us, until God’s voice drowns out the enemy’s fear tactics. Once we recall God is our stronghold, our safe haven, and in His arms the enemy cannot defeat us.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      As per usual, Gail, I like Tony’s quote. (The dude is a sharp one). Anyway, your thoughts on reading, reading, and rereading again Psalm 27 rings true. May we all begin to KNOW Him and listen to His voice.

  5. Cheryl says:

    Thank you for this precious encouragement, Pastor Bill. I struggle very much with anxiety and constantly need to intentionally “turn my eyes upon Jesus” and focus on Him. I am so thankful He never changes, no matter what is going on in the world around me.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I’m sorry to hear that you struggle with anxiety Cheryl but you are not alone, for sure. Over and over, seemingly every day, I have another person tell me they struggle with that. I’m glad I was able to give some encouragement to you. Time and space does not allow me to say more except you are not alone.