It was Franklin Delano Roosevelt on his first inaugural address who famously said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Fear has a debilitating, paralyzing effect even when it resides only in the imagination.
In Psalm 27, David begins with a very positive declaration. Twice he proclaims that he doesn't fear anyone or anything. Notice his words, "The Lord is my light and salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"
If we take a close look at this Psalm, it wouldn't take long for us to discover David's secret to living a fearless life.
Verse 4 holds the key: "One thing I have desired of the Lord that I will seek..." And what is David's number one priority in his life? It is to draw near God and enjoy His presence all the days of his life. David has gotten so familiar with the ways and character of God that his confidence in Him has become firm and unshakeable. Fear vanishes in the presence of love.
The more we get to know the powerful God of the Scriptures the less fear has a hold on us. The more we depend on our abilities and circumstances the greater fear has influence over us. Personal closeness with God drives away fear.
David confesses that he would have lost heart "unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." David's life is a myriad of difficult circumstances, yet he always holds out in fervent hope of God's goodness and redeeming power. He is absolutely certain regardless of his situations in life that God will be there for him. He knows God from personal revelation and experience borne out of intimate knowledge of Him.
Towards the end of Psalm 27, David underscores the importance of learning to wait upon the Lord, "Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!" The kind of waiting David is talking about is an active engagement that implies trustful expectation in God's sovereign will that He will work everything out for our good and for His glory. Fear will not thrive in this kind of spiritual environment.
"And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:7)