Summary: How can we use David's example and attack panic!

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Attacking Panic

August 28, 2016

Psalm 31

A photographer was assigned to get photos of a forest fire. Because there was too much smoke, he hired a plane so he could fly over the forest. When he arrived at the airport, a plane was warming up near the runway. He jumped in and said, "Let's go! Let's go!" The pilot received clearance and took off.

The photographer looked out the window and said, "Fly over the north side of the fire and make three or four low level passes." The pilot asked, "Why do you want to do that?" The photographer said, "Because I'm a photographer and I’m going to take pictures." The pilot paused and asked, "You're not the flight instructor?"

These guys know what it means to have a panic attack. Most of us have been there. We've been in situations that caused us to panic. When you find out you won't be able to meet an important deadline at work. When you oversleep for a job interview. Or when you discover you don't have the money to pay a bill. When you feel a lump under your skin. When your child storms out of the house and doesn't come home for hours.

When some people panic, they become unglued. Others face panic more stoically in an attempt to mask the fear. Regardless of how we handle panic externally, the internal result is the same: we become immobilized and powerless.

Today we're looking at a Psalm David wrote after he endured a panic attack. It almost got the best of him, but he overcame it through his faith, hope and trust in the power of God. As he reflected on the experience, he wrote this Psalm.

So, what was David going through? It seems like his enemies were out to get him. Listen to verses 11-13 ~

11 Because of all my adversaries I have become a reproach, especially to my neighbors, and an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street flee from me.

12 I have been forgotten like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel.

13 For I hear the whispering of many — terror on every side! — as they scheme together against me, as they plot to take my life.

David was feeling threatened. People were talking about him, they disapproved of him, people didn’t want to be near him. He was dead to them. People were scheming against him. David was anxious, panicking. And when we’re like that we have some choices. We can do nothing and remain anxious and nervous, feel powerless and impotent. We can try to get out of our situation on our own power, hoping our decisions are the right ones. And you know when we’re in these dire situations, we make rash decisions.

Or you can trust in the power and presence of God. You can seek God and draw closer to Him and use His power, wisdom and grace to help you.

So, how can we attack panic? When panic attacks - - -

Don't trust your feelings. In verse 22, David said,

22 I had said in my alarm, “I am cut off from your sight.”

David thought God had abandoned him. He was convinced he was all alone and God could do nothing to help, so he became alarmed and began to panic.

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