God's kindness banishes my fear...


According to the Cambridge Dictionary, to be kind means to be “generous, helpful, and caring about other people.” We’ve all experienced kindness from others, and we recognize it most clearly when we’ve suffered, been persecuted, or are generally feeling low. So it makes sense that’s when we would most easily recognize God’s kindness. As the psalmist mentions below, he realizes how kind the Lord is to him when he thinks about his sin:

Please, Lord, remember,

you have always

been patient and kind.

Forget each wrong I did

when I was young.

Show how truly kind you are

and remember me.

You are honest and merciful,

and you teach sinners

how to follow your path.

You lead humble people

to do what is right

and to stay on your path.

In everything you do,

you are kind and faithful

to everyone who keeps

our agreement with you.

Be true to your name, Lord,

by forgiving each one

of my terrible sins.

You will show the right path

to all who worship you.

They will have plenty,

and then their children

will receive the land. —Psalm 25:6–13 (CEV)

I fail to see God’s kindness to me when I dwell on the fact that I didn’t get something I wanted. But if I, instead, dwell on all the ways he has cared for me anyway when I have been unfaithful and disobedient, I am bowled over by his kindness to me.

Keeping God’s kindness in mind is tremendously helpful as I deal with my fear. A lot of my fear stems from the fact that I believe God can keep me and those I love safe, but I’m not sure he will do so. When I am plagued with those kinds of doubts and fears, I need to remember God’s intention toward me is to always be kind. No matter what I am going through, his kindness is central to my future. He will always act out of that kindness and never fail to do so in any way.

When I keep that in mind, that particular attribute of God is able to penetrate my overwhelming and all-consuming fears. He wants to be kind to me. He wants to show me how kind he is. He will never be anything but kind to me. Keeping those truths in mind allows me to trust him and to look hopefully upon my day.

Let the words from the psalm, “you have always been patient and kind” be your mantra today. Ask God to make you aware of when you are feeling anxious and fearful. In that moment, recite that phrase and let it soak deep into your bones and marrow.

Prayer

Lord, help me to understand that you are longing to show me kindness, but that I am often too bound up in my fears and anxiety to recognize it. Open my eyes to your kindness today. Help me to notice it in the big things and the small things. Even when things don’t go my way, help me to experience your kindness in the middle of the chaos. Help me to recognize that you have always been patient and kind and that nothing ever changes that.

Excerpted from my book No More Fear: 40 Days to Conquer Worry.

Click to gain 40 days of similar devotions.

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