The conflict between fear and faith can become extremely intense. Mark 9 records a father with a son having a mute spirit. Its ongoing torment of his son from childhood had driven this loving father to his wit’s end. Often his son had been thrown into the fire and into the water in the evil spirit’s attempts to destroy his beloved son. They came to Jesus’ apostles for help while He with Peter, James, and John were on the Mount of Transfiguration, but, alas, no help was received.
As this beleaguered father and son approached Jesus, the spirit convulsed the son and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. Jesus told the father, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:14-24).
When David wrote the 31st Psalm, he felt himself to be in a similar state. Fear was besieging him on every side (v. 13). The conflict between fear and faith was raging white-hot. Like the father in Mark 9, David had a huge decision to make: Either stubbornly and courageously cling to his faith or surrender defeatedly to his fears. It is a spiritual fork in the road that all of us come to in life.
Because of his passion for God, David’s decisive choice was: “But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in Your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me. Make Your face shine upon Your servant; save me for Your mercies’ sake. Do not let me be ashamed, O Lord, for I have called upon You; let the wicked be ashamed; let them be silent in the grave. Let the lying lips be put to silence which speak insolent things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous” (Psalm 31:14-18).
These things “were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4).