The Monkey Bars of Faith

May 9, 2023    Don Willeman


Hello, this is Pastor Don of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to The Kingdom Perspective.

Fear is a monster that must be confronted.

In the Psalms King David is constantly confronting his fear by bringing it into the presence of God. Listen to his prayer in Psalm 27:

Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident.

I think it is safe to say that David is not suggesting that he never experienced fear. Rather, the context would seem to suggest that whenever he is afraid, he takes that fear to God. He confronts it head on. He walks into it and not away from it.

Interestingly, studies suggest that children who learn to face their fear (even real danger) and walk through it, grow in their confidence to process future difficulties and dangers.

For example, who is more controlled by fear? The child who broke his arm falling off the monkey bars or the one who one who’s never taken the risk to climb the monkey bars for fear of getting hurt? One might assume that it is the one with the broken arm; after all he’s experienced the pain. However, research shows the opposite. The one that was hurt on the monkey bars has worked through the fear. Indeed, he has emotionally processed it, and come out on the other side. Where the one that has never taken the risk becomes more locked down in fear.

Fear only grows more ferocious when we do not face it. It controls us to the degree that we do not confront it.

Remember, David developed the courage to face Goliath because, as a young shepherd, he had so often fended off lions and bears (1 Samuel 17). You see, there is a paradox with fear. It is one of the few things in life that actually grows smaller the closer we get to it.

Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.

When the words which David spoke were heard, they told them to Saul, and he sent for him. David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail on account of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” Then Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth while he has been a warrior from his youth.” But David said to Saul, “Your servant was tending his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I went out after him and attacked him, and rescued it from his mouth; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God.” And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and may the Lord be with you.”
~ 1 Samuel 17:31-37 (NASB)