“Even though I walk through the darkest valley,I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4, NIV)
As you listen to every single TV or radio commentator you have wonder: “Is it their job to scare us?” If you pay attention to the commentators, you’re hearing that “The worst is yet to come”, “The third wave is coming soon and will probably be worse”, “Life will never be the same”, “Get ready for record inflation, $8/gallon gasoline and the fall of our nation”. Death, destruction, the loss of an entire way of living is inevitable, it appears. That is, if you believe all that the politicians, editors and the experts are espousing.
But if I asked you to identify a group of professionals that lie the most, you would probably say without hesitation, “politicians, the editors of our major papers and cable stations and Hollywood celebrities. Remember, it’s the same folks that we don’t trust, that most often lie and are routinely mistaken. The media deliberately seems to report things the wrong way, and the movie stars arguably do not represent the most intelligent or honest people on the planet.
We must not be afraid. God spoke those words 4000 years ago: Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6) “… I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13, NIV). In other words, tell the those telling you to be afraid to be keep their fears to themselves.
When we are scared, we do, say and think stupid things—-at least I do. But when I trust God with the dangers and challenges, and I am certain about what I am doing, I tend to be more circumspect and helpful in keeping the flames of fear down or causing a challenge from turning into pandemonium. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (I John 4:18, NIV); and that’s what you and I have access to—-the bulletproof, perfect love, that comes from God and also produces unshakeable courage. We do not have to live in fear because of His all encompassing love—-a love that leaves us totally certain that the One “who knows the number of hairs on our heads” cares for us.
Fear is something we face every day, it can steal our joy and peace if we let it overwhelm us. What do we do when faced with valid fears like the loss of a job, the death of a loved one, the future of our children, and sickness? We can turn to Scripture to be reminded of God's love and promises of protection and peace in our lives. David said it this way: The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? (Psalm 118:6). Isaiah said, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
It is because we trust in our personal intuition, education and experience that we often find ourselves unable to trust God. But hear this today: All of our fears are sinful. There is no need to be afraid! “Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.” Those are not my words—-they come from Isaiah 54:4. Claim these truths and live free of fear.
When we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior He freed us from fear—-we have no need to ever be “set free” again! The devil wants to keep us in bondage by hiding the truth. “Of all the liars in the world, the worst are our own fears.” — Rudyard Kipling. Don’t listen to the lie. “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’” (Romans 8:15, NIV). We sustain and establish our own fears by refusing to nourish ourselves in our faith. But how can anyone who is truly identified with Jesus Christ suffer from doubt or fear? Our lives should be an absolute hymn of praise resulting from perfect, irrepressible, triumphant belief. Do you want to kill fear in your life today? Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death.
Do you the definition of fear? F E A R = False Evidence Appearing Real. “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” (Plato). Are you afraid of the light? .Are you afraid of the real truth?
The term “fear not” is stated in the Bible 365 times—once for each day of the year. God does not prohibit us from crying, being sad, or mourning, or even at times to be unhappy! But He demands that we not fear. “The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1. “Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats ; do not be frightened.” (Saint Paul).
As a very small child I can still recall how afraid I became when my mom would drop me off in the Sunday school class at church. I was probably three or four, but I was scared to death she would not come back for me. I can also recall the fear of going to a new place and how I squeezed my dad’s hand to make sure he could not let go! I wanted security. I was never afraid as long as one of them was near me to scoop me up or hold my hand. I believed that nothing bad could ever happen to me when they were near me. To me, my father was “Superman”. He would never let anything happen bad happen to me. Take that emotion and hold onto it! That’s what God is reminding you and me of today. He has your hand! He won’t let go! It’ going to be okay! “Trust Me”, He is saying, “As much as you trusted your mom and dad, trust Me and see if I am not able to love you, hold your hand and scoop you up more, tighter and faster than they ever could! My only fear as a child was the my protector, my dad, would die! But my Heavenly Father cannot let go, let me down or die.
“..say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.” Isaiah 35:4
So let me stop now and confess that I am not a man that has yet risen above fear. I am still afraid at times, and there’s no excuse for it. I have failed my family, friends and those that might look up to because when it comes to fear, I am a sinner—-I fear things. I have been tested and tempted to fear, more over the past six years than anytime in my life. I should have looked back to the times He rescued, restored and re-established me, but instead I failed Him by depending upon my personal contacts, my personal strength and the skills I have honed to take care of me—-they all come up short. He must be disappointed in me for falling back into fear rather than being a beacon of confidence and courage to those that were watching me. I have hid my fears, to a large extent, but fears eventually explode and are made evident in my dour and depressed mood.
But I have come back, with power, to the assurance of His words: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” of its own. Joshua 1:9
Why should you and I never accept fear in our lives? God says, “I will never leave you.”’ Take this with you when the enemy attempts to put fear in your heart. Remind the devil, and yourself, that, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear’ ” (Hebrews 13:5-6). We don’t need to be paralyzed by this virus, this administration, the news, the economy or our own demise. We don’t need to ever be obsessed with apprehension about the “what if’s” again. This does not mean that I will not be tempted to fear, but I can remember God’s words of assurance. I can be full of courage, like a child who has his hand securely in his father’s hand. Faith begins to falter when apprehensions enter my thinking, and I forget the meaning of God’s assurance— I forget to take a deep spiritual breath. The only way to remove the fear from my life is to listen to God’s assurance to me. “But now, this is what the LORD says“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. (Isaiah 43:1, NIV)
So if you have fears in your heart, ask yourself: “What am I listening to and who am I fearing this morning?” Whatever and whoever it is, choose to face the fear and let go of the fear—-and watch Satan flee. “When it seems that there is nothing and no one to help you, say to yourself, “But ‘The Lord is my helper’ this very moment, even in my present circumstance.I will not fear.” It does not matter what evil or wrong may be in our way, because “He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you….’ (Oswald Chambers). Paul put it this way: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
Our human frailty gets between God’s words of assurance and our own words and thoughts. When we realize how feeble we are in facing difficulties, the difficulties become like giants, we become like grasshoppers, and God seems to be asleep. But remember God’s assurance to us— “I will never…forsake you.” But are we seeking Him or wringing our hands in despair? “I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4, NIV
1. Tell Him what you are afraid of. Admit it!
2. Repent of that fear & surrender your fear to Him—give Him permission to take care of it.
3. Ask Him to send you His peace and ask Him to squeeze your hand today.
But let me close with this final thought. Those outside the true church have much to fear with great reason. This tells me that those who are telling us to be afraid, (whether they are liberal or conservative) that they are themselves on the outside and are themselves afraid. Don’t be drawn into their world—focus on that new Kingdom that is coming.