“For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
discretion will guard you, understanding will watch over you.”
A constant sidekick to suffering, fear strikes when our resources are already at low ebb, hammering at the door of our soul, threatening to break down the walls of our weakened resistance.
If you are in that place of fear, I have good news for you: God has given us the tools we need to strengthen the walls that guard our heart and to protect us against the relentless attack of the enemy. Those tools are wisdom, knowledge, discretion, and understanding. Consider these definitions from the American Heritage Dictionary:
Wisdom is an “understanding of what is true, right, or lasting.” Considering that fear tells us lies, distorts our thinking, and traps us in anxieties about the past or future, what better protection could we have than a firm grip on the truth, on the good, and on the eternal?
Knowledge is “familiarity, awareness, or understanding gained through experience or study.” Fear blinds us. It tells us that we cannot understand it, cannot escape it, cannot control it. But God promises that knowledge will make us aware of ourselves and of how our fears work, and will give us an understanding of how to overcome them.
Discretion is “freedom of action or judgment.” Fear not only blinds us; it binds us. It paralyzes our choices, freezing us in place. God’s answer is discretion: he himself reaffirms our choices, providing us with freedom of action and judgment.
Understanding is “the quality of comprehension; discernment.” Part of the power of fear is confusion. When we are afraid, we cannot think straight, and so things seem much worse than they often are. Understanding grounds us, providing us with a foundation under our feet so that we can discern the right path to take.
We gain wisdom, knowledge, discretion, and understanding through studying Scripture, praying, reading books on spiritual matters, receiving counsel, and talking with family and friends (to name just a few methods). What are you doing now in these areas? What new means can you try?