What time I am afraid, I will trust in you.…
— "What time I am afraid." Alas! those times are many. Let me speak of three causes of fear and unrest, and the trust which should remove them.
I. FEAR FOR THE MORROW. There is the fear which arises from a contemplation of possible exigencies and contingencies in the future of our life's temporal economy. Where one can sing —
"... I do not ask to see
The distant scene: one step enough for me,"a hundred are bowed down with anxiety, worry, care, and the restlessness of doubt. I am perfectly sure that underneath the placid face and the serene smile that sits on many a brow there is much fear and alarm as to the future. What is the remedy for this? What is there that will give a man peace? My answer is — Trust! Trust in God, His wisdom, His love, His Fatherly care, His plans and His purposes! If there is one phase of the teachings of the Bible that has been more attested by human experience than another, it is the assurance that trust in God is the secret of strength, serenity, and peace. He is behind all events, and before all contingencies. He is above the cloud and below the waters. Say, then, O ye timid ones, ye sorrowing ones, ye foreboding ones, ye anxious ones, "What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee."
II. Another great cause of fear is THE FACT OF DEATH. God has so constituted us that the very elements of life stand in battle array against the elements that produce death. It is natural, and in perfect harmony with God's purpose in us, that we should cling to life; and by so much as we cling to life, by that much do we fear death. And perhaps the two feelings in regard to death that most contribute to this fear are the loneliness and uncertainty that inevitably belongs to it. "I shall die alone," said the great Pascal. Nothing is so distressing to the human spirit as solitude, and when sell, rude is overhung ,with darkness it is then full of awfulness. And it is the awfulness that comes from the solitude and darkness of death that makes us shrink from it. What is the panacea for this fear? Trust in God — God's presence, God's sustaining hand. If there be a Providence watching over us in life, is it not reasonable to suppose that some provision for our need in the hour and conflict of death is made for us? that His providence will open the gate of death for us and guide us through? that His care for us will be as manifest then as now? Does a mother watch over her child all day — fondle it, nestle it in her bosom, teach it, protect it, uphold it — and then leave it alone when the darkness conies?
III. FEAR IN REGARD OF THE DESTINIES OF THE FUTURE LIFE. They ask, Where will my destiny be? Shall I be numbered with the blest, or rejected with the lost? Momentous questions! Tremendous thoughts! I cannot wonder that they make men anxious. The wonder is that, living as we do on the threshold of eternity, we are not more concerned. Whither, at such times of foreboding, shall we flee for succour? To God, the Father of our spirits. Every soul that turns to Him with the cry, "Father, I have sinned"; every heart that yearns for His forgiveness, shall have refuge and peace on earth, shall have a welcome home in heaven
(W. J. Hocking, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.