Lucia's Blog: FEAR - LESS
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Saturday, November 28, 2020

FEAR - LESS

 
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”
1 John 4:18



Lately, I have been meditating on 1 John 4:18 with all that is going on in our world today, from COVID-19 to our political arena.  Often, we are faced with worry and crushed with anxiety over the unknown, things such as the coronavirus.  There is no break in the news.  Our lives have changed completely, both socially, spiritually, and psychologically.  Everywhere I look, there is fear.  Our whole country and even the church is being driven by fear.  So what must Christians do during these times of uncertainty? How must we handle our anxieties and fears?   The remedy to anxiety and fear is found in the Word of God.  The Lord has urged us not to be afraid, for perfect love casts out fear.  God wants His children to face their fears and overcome them.  Think for a moment what we are telling God when we are afraid. Does Jesus not care about us?   Why not trust our Lord no matter what we are going through in life?  God knows what’s best for us and cares about what we are going through. 

You see, worry will not change anything but only increases our fear and anxiety.  Instead of being afraid, why not pray to God and lay our worries and fears at His feet?  With God on our side, we can have victory over fear.  God has promised to take care of us, and we must trust in His promises. When we pray, we are trusting God.  But when we fail to trust in Him, neglecting prayer,  stress rises, and we feel overwhelmed by our circumstances.  Anxiety is hopeless despair and is an illegitimate fear of the future that contradicts our faith (Matthew 6:25-34).  God commands us to fear Him and nothing or no one else.  He also encourages us in His Word not to be afraid.  

Did you know that the expression “fear not” is found in the Bible more than sixty times?  That means that we must choose not to be fearful but courageous.  To be worried and afraid about matters of life implies that one does not trust God completely.  When our focus is on the treasures of this earth, we fail to trust in God completely.  I Corinthians 16:13 exhorts us saying,
"Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong..." 
 
God wants us to be courageous.  
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”  (2 Timothy 1:7)   

Let us not be afraid.  God does not want us to be cowards. He does not want His church made up of scaredy-cats! He commands us to be strong and steadfast in mind. So let us consider God’s viewpoint about overcoming our fears and accepting His remedy. 


I.   "FEAR NOT."

In 1 Peter 2:17, Peter declared, 

“Fear God.” 

Throughout the Bible, from beginning to end, God has demanded reverential, godly fear (Deut. 10:12; Eccl. 12:13).  Fear is a powerful motivating force.  

  1. It caused Adam and Eve to run and hide from God’s presence (Gen. 3:8). 
  2. Jonah fled his country by sea (Jonah 1:9-10). 

All who sin against God will fear His displeasure (Heb. 10:27).   On the other hand, the fear of God compels many to obey Him.  In the Old Testament, we have many examples of men who obeyed God because they feared Him.   
  1. Noah (Heb. 11:7).
  2.  Abraham (Gen. 22:12).
  3. The midwives of Egypt (Ex. 1:17-19).
  4. The early church (Acts 5:11) and 
  5. All who are aware of God’s coming judgment (2 Cor. 5:10-11).   


Although we are commanded to fear God, we are also encouraged not to be afraid. We find the expression,Fear not,” more than sixty times in the Bible.  The Word of God teaches us to "fear God" (Ecclesiastes 12:13) as a positive blessing.  This type of "fear" involves respect, honor, and reverence to God and will lead us to do God’s will. This fear is illustrated by Noah (Hebrews 11:7). The Bible also teaches us not to allow our hearts to be filled with "fear" as a negative attitude.  

In John 14:27,  Jesus said, 
"Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." 

This type of fear includes anxiety, dread, apprehension, etc.  It must not be confused with caution.  Let us notice more carefully such words of encouragement: “Fear not.”

  • Reasons Why God’s Children Must Not Have Fear: 
    • God has promised to bless us throughout our journey in life.  

God appeared to Abraham and told him not to fear.  He promised to bless him and his future generations (Gen. 26:24).   When the Israelites battled with King Og at the battle of Edrei, God comforted Moses with the words, “Fear not” (Num. 21:33-35).  

    • God has promised to protect us when we are in danger.   
He declared in Genesis 15:1

“Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield.” 


Elisha told his servant, 
“Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them” (2 Kings 6:16).
    • God has promised to strengthen us when we are weak. 
Moses encouraged the Israelites and Joshua with the words, 
“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not” (Deut. 31:6-8). 

God repeated to Isaiah several times, 
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee”  (Isa. 41:10).
    • God has promised to be our companion in trials. 
David compelled his son, Solomon, 
“Fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD” (1 Chron. 28:20).

Isaiah prophesies of  God’s promises to the church,
“Fear not: for I am with thee”  (Isa. 43:1-7).
    • God cares for His children. 
Jesus declared in Matthew 10:31
“Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” 

He also said in Luke 12:32
“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
    • God has promised us that He will give us life beyond the grave. 
Jesus told John in Revelation 1:17-18
“Fear not…I am he that liveth, and was dead.” 

The angel told the women at the tomb,
 “Fear not ye… for he is risen”  (Matt. 28:5-6).

What a great comfort for God to reassure His children with the words “Fear not!”    

“[Fear not], for I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me”  (Heb. 13:5-6).


Thus, let us trust God completely in faith so that we “Fear not!” 


II.   TYPES OF FEARS:  

  • Terror or Practical Fear:  

This kind of fear is our emotional reaction to sudden trouble.  Emotional fear is a practical response.  When we understand the consequences of our actions, we avoid them.  People behave recklessly when they lack this kind of practical fear.  Our young often lack this kind of fear because they have not experienced many of the terrible things that can happen when we are careless. They do things without thinking about the danger and consequences of their actions.  The fool is fearless because he lacks knowledge or understanding of the consequences of dangerous behavior.  When one fears God, he understands the consequences of disobeying God.  He is not willing to test God with sinful behavior.  Practical or reasonable fear compels us to avoid sin and walk God’s level path of righteousness.

  • Cowardice: 
This type of fear does not allow us to accomplish what must be done because we are afraid of the consequences. 

    • Fear of the Future (Anxiety):  
Anxiety is also another type of fear. Anxiety is stress which comes from not trusting God.  It expresses itself as hopeless despair and is often self-incriminating.  Jesus regards worry as an illegitimate fear of the future, which contradicts our faith.  In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus declared,  

Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?  26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?  28 'So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;  29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  31 'Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

This kind of fear is difficult to identify since we tend to view it as natural or merely a simple concern for what we believe is essential.  But Jesus condemns this kind of fear, for it shows a lack of faithFear of the unknown or the future can freeze us and make us inactive and fruitless.  One example of this kind of fear is the rich young ruler of Matthew 19.  This young man was afraid to give all away.  His fear kept him from being Jesus’ disciple.  

    • Fear of Rejection:

Indeed, we all want others to think well of us and accept us.  But when we hesitate out of fear of rejection, "the fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe"  (Proverbs 29:25).  When we do the right thing, we often do things that others may not like.  Many are led into the path of sin and unrighteousness because of those leading the way around them.  One example is Peter, who denied the Lord because of those around him (Matthew 26:69-75).  And though many followed Jesus while He was on earth, they did it secretly for fear of others (John 19:38). However, Christians must be willing to take a public stand for the Lord to receive salvation (Romans 10:9-10). It is sad that so many esteem men more highly than they do Jesus!  Christ’s disciples must never fear because God is watching over us.  

    • Fear of Pain and Discomfort:

Clearly, we all want to be comfortable and not feel pain and discomfort at all.  However, some Christians will do anything to avoid confrontation. Yet, when Paul was thrown out of the city and stoned, he reentered the city (Acts 14:19-20). God wants us to be faithful, even to the point of death (Revelation 2:10). With God on our side, there is no need to fear what men can do to us (Psalms 118:6).

"The LORD is on my side; I will not fear.  What can man do to me?

    • Fear of Failure: 

In Jesus’ parable of the talents, He stresses the negative impact of fear.  

Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.  25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’  26 'But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed.  27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.  28 So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.  29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.  30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’’'  (Matthew 25:24-30)


The fear of failure immobilizes us. It is much easier to remain where we are than to try the unknown and fail.  This is exactly why God told Gideon to send away all who were afraid of battle (Judges 7:2-3). It is no army, the army of the fearful. Why?  Simply because the fear of failing is contagious and spreads rapidly (Deuteronomy 20:8).  Sadly, many do not obey God or become children of God because of fear.  Because of fear, many Christians do not grow and serve the Lord faithfully.  Because of fear, many will lose their souls!  

    • Fear of Death: 

Jesus died to release us from the bondage of the fear of death (Heb. 2:15). We cannot deny that we are by nature creatures who are afraid of the unknown.  We don’t know what lies beyond the grave.  But we Christians know that we must not fear death.  The death of our loved ones becomes a real test of faith in God.  The world is absorbed with the pursuit of living a long life.  They want to live forever because they fear the unknown, death.  But Christians know better, for they have Jesus as their answer to the fear of death.  

    • Reverent Fear or Respect:  

In the Bible, the word fear is often connected with God as reverential respect. It implies the idea of standing in awe of God, acknowledging His superiority and authority. It is referred to as the fear of the LORD.”

      • The Fear of The LORD:

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever”  (Psalm 111:10).


From the beginning, God has always commanded His children to fear or respect Him and His Word.  Fear of God is the same as obedience to Him.  Fear of God’s wrath or judgment is essential to our salvation.  God’s children must be prepared to face God one day to avoid His wrath on us.   

"For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' says the Lord. And again, 'The Lord will judge His people.'  31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.'" (Hebrews 10:26-31)

“Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us.”  (1 John 4:17-19)


Since the precious blood of Jesus has forgiven us, there is no need to live in fear or terror.  God’s love has made a way of reconciliation for us with Him and thus enables us to avoid His wrath.  

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”  (2 Peter 3:9)

  • “No  Fear.” 

Fearlessness is often considered a positive trait.  Some fear is good, reasonable, and necessary.  The humanist is treasuring up for themselves the wrath of God. Men live in fear every day.   

“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”  (Revelation 21:8)


We Christians must live without the fear of the world. We must live in the fear of God.   In Genesis 22:12, God told Abraham after his sacrifice of Isaac. 
“Now I know you fear Me.” 

Fear is equivalent to faith.  Why?  Because when we put our trust in God, doing what He commands us to do, we have nothing to fear.  In Psalms 33:18-22, we read, 

“Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy,  19 To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine.  20 Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield.  21 For our heart shall rejoice in Him, Because we have trusted in His holy name.  22 Let Your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, Just as we hope in You.”


The fear of God is central to our salvation.  In Acts 10:34-35, Peter said, 

“I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.”


The writer of Ecclesiastes 12:13 declares, 

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all.”


So, whom do you fear, God or man?

Consider some examples in the Old Testament, where God’s people were commanded to fear the LORD:  

    • Abraham:

 Abraham demonstrated the wrong "fear" in Genesis 12:11-13; 20:1-2“Fear" led Abraham to practice deceit.

    • Moses:

Moses called God’s people not to be afraid but to fear God. 

In Exodus 20:20, Moses urged the people saying, 

Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.” 


Moses demonstrated his "fear" in Exodus 3:11, 13; 4:1, 10 "Fear" led Moses to attempt to justify himself before God while refusing to obey Him.

    • Before Israel entered the Land of Canaan:

In Deuteronomy 6:2, before Israel entered the Land of Canaan, Moses urged God’s people, saying, 

That you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son's son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long.” 

    • Joshua’s Death:

Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:14)


III.   SPIRIT OF FEAR?

Timothy was a younger preacher and traveling companion of Paul, who was like a son to him in the faith. As we read Paul’s last letter to Timothy, we discover a problem many Christians face. 

“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord”  (2 Tim. 1:7-8).  


Although Timothy knew the Truth, fear of his circumstances may have caused him to draw back from Paul.

Are you prone to stand for the Truth, or do you cower in fear?  

Consider a few Bible examples of men who stood for the Truth without “fear.”

  • Elijah:

Elijah was not afraid to take a stand for the Truth.  It is amazing how the prophet of God confronted Baal’s 450 prophets without fear, trusting God.  Elijah mocked Baal and his prophets for not sending fire to consume their sacrifice.  Paul’s words to Timothy described Paul well, for he was not ashamed of our Lord’s Testimony.  

  • Nathan: 

He was not afraid to stand up for the Truth either.  He confronted King David for the wrong he had done.  Remember that David hid his sins from the nation.  David lied and murdered his lover’s husband.  He had become an adulterous murderer. God’s messenger, Nathan, dared to face the king, who could have killed him just like he did others to cover up his sin.  It would not have made any difference to David had he murdered the only man who knew of his evil actions.  Yet, Nathan courageously told him, “Thou art the man.”  Do you know these four words could have cost the prophet his life?   Yet, Nathan was not ashamed of the Testimony of the Lord, just like Paul.  

  • John the Baptist:

He is another courageous man who was not afraid to take a stand for the Truth.  The Jewish people were aware of Herod taking the wife of his brother, Philip, to be his own wife. John courageously confronted the king. John did not hesitate to tell Herod that he had violated God's Law by committing such lawless actions.  The Greek translation indicates that John told him not just once but over and over. He reminded Herod of his sin repeatedly. His stand for the Truth cost him his life.  Again John was not ashamed of the Testimony of the Lord.  How about you and me?  Are we afraid to take a stand for the Truth, even if that might cost our lives? 

Take, for instance, 

  1. Our nation that has shamefully and openly chosen to redefine marriage and kill the innocent souls of babies in the womb.  
  2. Our nation has allowed ungodly men to lead us as our leaders.  
  3. Morals and values that were once sacred to us as a nation under God are now cast aside.  
  4. God’s laws and principles of righteousness are not only ignored but are passed by to allow men to mock God and His righteousness.  

Christians, how do you react?   
  1. Do you react with a spirit of fear?  
  2. Are you ashamed of the Testimony of the Lord, refusing to take a stand for righteousness? 
  3. I ask, “How long, O Lord, how long?” 
  4. Are we ashamed?


The following are a few Bible examples of great men who were overcome by fear at some point in their lives.  But God urges us not to be overcome by “fear.” 

  • Elijah:

He demonstrated his "fear" in 1 Kings 19:1-4.  "Fear" caused Elijah to become discouraged.

  • Job:

He demonstrated his "fear" in Job 3:25.  Job's "fear" became a reality.

  • Peter:

He demonstrated his "fear" in Matthew 14:30; Matthew 26:69-75.  Peter's "fear" caused him to sink when, by faith, he had been walking on water, and then later, his fear led him to deny Jesus.

  • The one-talent man:

He demonstrated his "fear" in Matthew 25:24-25"Fear" prevented this man from using what he had been given.


IV.   OVERCOMING OUR FEARS:

To overcome our fears, we must remember that God forbids “fear,” for fear is not of God (2 Tim. 1:7).  We also must remember what will happen to “the fearful” or "the cowardly" (Rev. 21:8).  We must trust God and not lean on our own understanding (Prov. 3:4-6).  We must get rid of anxiety and live one day at a time, forgetting tomorrow and acknowledging that God will take care of us today, for He has only promised us today (Matt. 6:34).  Love must fill our hearts (1 John 4:18). 

Fear is a serious problem in our society.  When we allow fear to control us, it will destroy us little by little.  It will rule our minds and bodies.  Many are afraid of things that are of the unknown, the future.  Some fear growing older or dyingThat is futile! Rather than worrying and being fearful of growing older and dying, why not start preparing for them the best we can? Death is not the end (Heb. 9:27).  It is a blessing to grow old (II Cor. 4:16). Moreover, people worry or are afraid of things that will never happen. The truth is, most of our fear will never happen, so we must understand this truth and stop worrying.  So, if worry and fear are ruling over your life, it is time to start conquering it today! The cure for fear and anxiety is simply to trust in God’s faithfulness, love, and providential care.  

In Mark 4:35-41, Jesus and His disciples are in a boat trying to cross the sea of Galilee.  But out of nowhere, a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat because they were so big. So their boat began to fill with water.  But Jesus was asleep, even as the boat was rising and falling as the water was splashing into the boat!  Notice what Jesus’ disciples said to Jesus in verse 38.  

“Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 


Does that not sound familiar when we are afraid and filled with worry?  Do not we cry out to God saying, “God don’t you care? Do you not know what is going on? Do you not care that we may die?”  

Now let us pause for a moment and think about our questions to God. Stop and think about what the disciples were asking. Are we aware of what we are asking God when we are afraid?  Do we not acknowledge that our Lord Jesus cares about us and everything that is happening around us?  Honestly, stop and think about it.  Do you believe with all your heart that Jesus cares about you?  I hope that your answer is a big YES no matter what you are going through.  Yes, Jesus cares for you and about you. Jesus cares what you are going through. Jesus cares about your life!  

Isn't it remarkable what Jesus did afterward!  He spoke, and the wind stopped, and the sea calmed down.  So what was Jesus trying to teach and show His disciples?  He showed them that He had complete control over the earth.  There is nothing outside of Jesus’ power.  He is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). Stop and meditate on this for a moment.  

  1. Is there anything impossible for our Lord?  
  2. Is there anything too difficult for Him? 
  3. Is He not capable of answering all our requests or supplications?  
  4. Is there anything that God cannot do outside of His skill set?  

This is precisely what Jesus was trying to show His disciples.  

Jesus asked next, 
“Why are you so afraid?” 

This is God’s question to His disciples and us as well. Why are you so afraid? Now, stop and think about how His disciples should have answered His question.  They could have easily said that they were afraid and in danger because the boat was almost sinking and they were going to drown!  It is foolish to doubt who Jesus is and His care for us.  Jesus cares, and that must calm us when we are afraidJesus has total control over the affairs of this earth!  So why are we so afraid?!  

In verse 40 of our text, Jesus continues saying, 

“Have you still no faith?” 


In Luke’s account  (Luke 8:22-25),  Jesus asks, 
“Where is your faith?”  (Verse 25)

Can you grasp what Jesus is trying to show us?  Fear comes from lack of control. When we lack control, we fear.  That is why we see so much chaos all around us.  When people start realizing that they have no control, they panic.   Of course, we like to believe that we have control, but the truth is we do not.  We forget that we have zero control, especially over a virus like COVID-19.  Our lack of control generates fear.  That is exactly what we are seeing now!  But do we acknowledge that  God is in control and not us?  Where is our faith and our trust in God?  We must believe that our Lord cares and is in control over all.  True faith does not panic but instead turns our fear over to God.  

So how do we overcome our fears and worries?  Why not read Matthew 6:24-34 It is a very rich and encouraging passage that we can hold on to during our hard and difficult times.  

We must not worry about the physical things of this world. It is about our focus and mindset. When we worry and are afraid, we are focusing on the wrong things, and it will be impossible to defeat fear and anxiety.

The best way to defeat fear is to acknowledge that we are valuable to God (Matthew 6:26, 28-30).  We must be mindful that God does care for us and what is happening to us.  We are so valuable to God that He sent His only Son to die for us.  Jesus’ cross demonstrates the depth of God’s love and care for us!  And though God cares for the smallest sparrows, feeds them, and knows when they fall from their nests, we are worth more than sparrows to God, for we were made in God’s image. He made us to have a relationship with Him.  

Feeling fearful because of worry is worthless (Matt. 6:27).  We waste our God-given time worrying about what we watch on TV, the news, or any other source of media.  We are constantly reminded of our present Coronavirus and how many people are infected and dying.  But do we have control over a virus such as this?  Only God has control and can change it.  So, what can our fears and worries amount to?  Why do we spend so much time in fear and worry over things that we have no control over and cannot change?  Thus our fear and worry are worthless! 

Our heavenly Father knows what we need (Matt. 6:31-32).  God has shown us repeatedly in His Sacred Book how He took care of the nation of Israel throughout their journeys in the wilderness.  God was aware of what they needed, and He took care of them.  He knew they needed food and shelter, and He provided for them.  God knows what we need, for He cares.  So stop worrying and start trusting God more!  Where is your faith?  

Do you want to know the answer or the remedy for fear?  Seek God first and His righteousness (Matt. 6:33).  Turn to God instead of turning away from Him, ignoring Him and His precepts.  

You may rest assured that if you seek God diligently, He will take care of the rest.  Worry and fear show our lack of faith and trust in God to provide for us.  We worry and are fearful because we refuse to believe that God will provide for us.  Trusting in self and others to provide what we need will only bring worry and fear.  God has promised us that He will take care of us if we seek Him first. Instead of worrying and being afraid, why not allow God to show you that He cares and loves you?  Why not show God that you truly believe in Him and that He will take care of you today, not tomorrow, for today is all we are promised?  

Let go of tomorrow (Matt. 6:34). Why do you worry about tomorrow?  Jesus commands you to stop worrying about tomorrow.  He wants you to give tomorrow to Him.  He wants you to give your future fears and future worries to Him alone.  Why not thank God that He has given you today?  Learn to live for today and let tomorrow go!  Don’t place your hope in this world but on God.  I must choose always to be fearless and trust my Father in heaven no matter what may come my way!

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  (Philippians 4:4-7)  

Paul's words compel us to be fearless and anxious about nothing.  When Paul wrote this letter to the brethren in Philippi, life was not easy for them.  They were encountering many problems for proclaiming Jesus as the king rather than the Roman emperor. As we read this letter, we can observe these problems. 
"Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have." (Philippians 1:27-30)


Paul is urging these brethren to stand firm in the faith. 
“Not frightened in anything by your opponents.” 

They were suffering for the sake of Christ because they were engaged in the same conflict as Paul. Paul and Silas were beaten and imprisoned when they came to Philippi (Acts 16:23-24).  These brethren were undergoing severe persecution and suffering. But notice Paul’s words again:

“Do not be anxious about anything.” 


Do you suppose Paul wrote those words because things were going well?  What do you think?  Not at all! Notice that Paul was imprisoned when he wrote this letter. When Paul wrote this letter, these Christians were being beaten and arrested for proclaiming Jesus and standing firm for their faith.  What do you think these Christians were experiencing?  How do you feel when you’re told not to be anxious about anything considering the suffering and distress you are experiencing? 

Paul simply asked these brethren to rejoice!  But how are we to rejoice and be fearless when things are dark and awful?  When Paul commanded these brethren to rejoice, he did it for various reasons.

  1. These brethren were supposed to appreciate what they had in the Lord and what He had given them.
  2. They were not supposed to look at their circumstances because it is almost impossible to rejoice when we focus on them.  Rejoicing requires looking past our circumstances, for it is the Lord who rules over our circumstances. 
  3. They were supposed to look past their circumstances and focus on their hope, their salvation. 
  4. Nothing must separate us from the love of God:  distress, famine, persecution, danger, and difficulties. If God’s love does not leave us, our love must not leave Him.   
  5. It is much easier to rejoice and be fearless when considering what God has done for us and how He continues to bless us.  When we consider how valuable we are to God, nothing will shake us or move us from our hope.  


One of the main reasons we Christians must behave graciously amid our panics and fears is because people are watching us.  In Christians, people must see something different from what they see in the world in our times of chaos. Thus, we must avoid becoming irrational when our world becomes irrational.  We must not behave like the world, for they do not know the Lord.  We must rejoice and be reasonable when our world is upside down because the Lord is near us. Knowing God is near us must compel us to handle our fears and anxieties in a manner worthy of God and the Gospel.  

Christians must not allow fear to overwhelm them under any circumstances.  Period!  Why?  Simply because the Lord is always near us when we seek Him, especially through prayer.   God commands us to pray and not worry about anything.  Our worrying does not accomplish anything but makes our fear and anxiety increase.  Instead of worrying and stressing, why not choose to pray with thanksgiving as we have been commanded?

“But in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”


Anxiety shows our lack of trust in God’s care. On the other hand, prayer shows our trust in God’s care (1 Peter 5:6–7).  So throw all your anxieties and fears on God because He cares for you.  Humble yourself before His mighty throne of Grace and give Him your worries and fears.  


CONCLUSION:

The best remedy for worry and fear is to make known our requests to God so that His peace will guard our hearts and mind. There is no peace when we are anxious, worried, and fearful.  And though God might not fix our troubles when we cast them on Him, He will indeed give us His peace.  Another good remedy to help us eliminate our fears is to think on God’s spiritual thingsWe must exchange our thoughts of fear for thoughts that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and commendable. Worry and fear arise when our thoughts are out of control.  Do you want to know what raises fear?  Watching tv, the news, the internet, and social media.  So stop participating in such things that rattle your faith and start focusing your thoughts on the things of God!  Read your Bible more and pray, pray, and pray.  Do not allow the things of this world to dominate you and cause you to obsess on worries and fears!  

We must trust God so that we may rejoice, be fearless, and be reasonable.  We must not fear the future or fear the unknown, but instead fear the LORD.  When we fear God, He protects us, giving us hope, joy, and peace.  Remember, God commands us to have joy, not fear.  Our failure to fear God is what cripples us, but the fear of the LORD makes us truly fearless and immovable.

Likewise, it is wise and reasonable to spend more time in prayer when we are worried, anxious, and afraid to allow God's peace to guard our hearts and minds.  Remember that God is near when we humbly draw near to Him in prayer.  Finally,  look past your circumstances and instead look to God.  Remember, the Lord has commanded multiple times saying,  “Fear Not.”  

  • Fear not, God is with us.  
  • Fear not, God is our God.  
  • Fear not, God will strengthen us.  
  • Fear not, God will help us.  
  • Fear not, God will uphold us.

Let these thoughts be our constant reminders, God’s pillars, and promises when we face fear in our daily lives that we must overcome. 

“Let not your hearts be troubled, believe in God.” 


Yes, we must believe in God!  We must trust God!  We must allow God to be our Helper and our strength.  He will uphold us with His righteous right hand.  Thus fear not, seek the LORD, and put your trust in the One who created it all.  

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  (Isaiah 41:10)


May we fear not but instead trust God always amid our panics and fears.  May we allow God to be our Helper and strength when we are afraid and worried.  May we draw nearer to the throne of God in prayer when we are worried, anxious, and afraid to allow His peace to guard our hearts and minds.  And finally, may we always look past our circumstances and instead look to God for help.

Luci




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