Archive for the ‘Fear’ Category

DO NOT FEAR

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Day 263

“Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord”
2 Chronicles 20:17

A Transjordan coalition of Moabites, Ammonites, and Meunites formed as an invading army against their common enemy Judah. Jehoshaphat, King, was warned about the invasion and his immediate response was fear. Considering the frailty of our human nature, it is not uncommon for fear to be a first response to threatening situations. We all succumb to it. But, Jehoshaphat knew that God had sovereign dominion over everything.

“Do not fear” is based on God’s sovereignty. Jehoshaphat did not muster his armies, but set himself to seek the Lord. He declared God’s sovereignty, proclaimed a fast and prayed, professing his entire dependence upon God. He sought refuge in Him. He also recognized that he could not fight the enemy under his own power. He needed to have God’s strength.

Jehoshaphat teaches us a great lesson; do not look at the circumstances, but look at the Lord. The word declares that even if a mother forgot her child, our Father would not forget or abandon us. He is sovereign and has dominion over everything. We are far more secure by abandoning ourselves to God’s care than to rely upon the arm of the flesh.

“Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and
Mount Seir, who had come against Judah;
and they were defeated”
2 Chronicles 20:22

GOD’S PROMISES

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Day 185

“Fear not . . .”
Isaiah 43:1b-2

God’s redemption comes with great and powerful promises. One promise is His Divine Presence and care throughout our life. Knowing these promises will keep us in life and in facing trials and tribulations

We were chosen by God before the foundations of the earth. His love called us to Himself and one of His first promises when He released us from captivity was, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you.” The blood of His Son was shed to redeem us and so we would know, He called us by name. We are His. He knows us intimately. We belong to Him. We are the sheep of His pasture.

Not one thing happens that He has not permitted. He is there in the midst of those times we encounter difficulty in our life. Even though our natural instinct is to cry out to God to deliver us, get us out quickly or remove it now, it may not happen. Instead of removal, He does something far greater – He takes us through it. He not only will be with us and not let us be overcome, we’ll not be harmed. And, He will give us encouragement.

“And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows”

MERCY AND FEAR OF THE LORD

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Day 110

“He hath not dealt with us after our sins;
nor rewarded us according to our iniquities”
Psalm 103:10

Goodness and mercy follow us all the days of our lives. It is His mercy that reached down and rescued us, delivering us out of the hands of Satan. It is His mercy that keeps, heals and brings us into His glory.

But what does the fear of the Lord have to do with mercy? Great mercy comes to those who fear the Lord and great mercy is what we need. ‘Great’ means to be strong and put to more strength. The fear of the Lord is an attitude of the heart that looks to God with respect and awe, knowing that He has all power, wisdom and goodness. The fear of the Lord leads to obedience. It will cause us to make decisions that the flesh does not want to make and to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. This attitude pleases our Heavenly Father in the same way that we are pleased when our children respect and honor us.

God has no desire to make our way hard and miserable. We make our own way hard and miserable with our unrighteous thoughts and attitudes. God’s grace is always there to take care of our sin and His mercy to cover the effects of sin. Our Father wants us to know His mercy and to respect and trust Him. . That really isn’t very much to ask, is it?

“But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting
to everlasting upon them that fear him”
Psalm 103:17

HE IS A REFUGE

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Day 98

“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble”
Psalm 46:1

When we were small children and were greatly threatened by danger, we would run into the arms of our mother or father. Instinctively we knew we were not only being protected, but completely shielded from the danger. It was like a hiding place, a safe sanctuary where we had no fear, doubts or further concern. Everything was going to be well. These instincts were natural to us as children, God-given for our safety and covering.

How things change as adults! The transition from childhood to adulthood for true believers should be from our earthly parent’s covering to God’s. Who do we run to when we encounter great danger and trouble in adulthood? The truth is many do not know God’s place of refuge. Yet, everything needed to protect and keep us, give us peace and strength, stop fear and give help is present in our Father and Lord Jesus Christ.

God has provided everything we need in Jesus Christ. We need only to make Him the center of everything in our life – “God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved” [verse 5]. We need only to be still and quiet in Him and know He is sovereign over every minute detail of our life, knowing not one thing happens without His knowledge. We need to be as a child in coming to our Lord. Practice this and you shall never again know fear.

“Therefore will not we fear, though the earth
be removed, and though the mountains be
carried into the midst of the sea”
Psalm 46:2

WHAT GOD HAS GIVEN US

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

Day 94

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, and of love and of a sound mind”
2 Timothy 1:7

What a declaration! Although Paul was writing this in the context of ministry, the truth of this verse applies to every true believer. It is an extraordinary revelation of how God has equipped us to live our lives here on earth. We are not defenseless, we have nothing to fear. We do not need to be cowardly in the face of the enemy.

God has given us the Holy Spirit, who dwells in us. We have been given power – limitless, never-failing power. It is the power to declare the name of Jesus, to stand up for our faith, to speak righteousness in the midst of unrighteousness. It is a part of who we are as new creations, of our character, and the faith in which we walk. Added to that is love. We are able to love our enemies, love those who hate, love those in need. God has shed His love broadly in our hearts, and now we can demonstrate and live that love in our daily lives.

God has given us a sound mind, and leads us to self-discipline. When things in our lives, relationships, and society come apart and become stressful, where there are pandemonium and emotional outbursts, we can be steady as a rock, levelheaded and focused on the power of love. We become a ‘rock’ to others who need to know His peace in their lives. Yes, God has given us everything pertaining to life and godliness so that we can stand in faith.

“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust,
and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah
is my strength and my song”
Isaiah 12:2

HE DRAWS NEAR

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

Day 74

“The waters closed over my head, and I
cried out, ‘This is the end'”
Lamentations 3:54-57

Have you ever been gripped in fear? Most of us have at one time or another. Fear has the capacity to paralyze us, seeming to grow in strength; overwhelming and reducing us to nothing. It causes us to lose all sense of control. Jeremiah cried, “…the waters closed over my head,” sensing the end of everything.

Fear also brings despair, and leads us to give up hope. Forces outside of us may bring this on, or it can be of our doing. But, Jeremiah called out of the depths of fear and despair because He understood something – the power of his God. So he called on God’s Name. When all else was gone, He knew the one sure thing in life was His God. And God heard him.

The difference between children of God and children of the world lies in the hope we hold. It transcends all causes for fear. It is this hope that has brought strength to those being persecuted for their faith. It is this hope that saves. It is this hope that keeps us even if we lose everything. It is this hope that knows He is right there and hears us. It is this hope that causes Him to draw near, and whisper in our ears, “Do not fear.”

“Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed. I am
your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you;
I will uphold you with my victorious
right hand of righteousness”
Isaiah 41:10

GOD’S CARE FOR US

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Day 11

“He Himself was asleep”
Matthew 8:24b

Most of the disciples were experienced and skilled fishermen. A journey by boat across the lake was routine, but in this case a fierce storm hit the lake, causing the boat to be swamped and putting it in danger of sinking. Make no mistake about it, this storm was sudden, violent, and life threatening. It was literally causing a sea quake. It was the equivalent of a hurricane. Jesus was in the boat, sound asleep, even during the raging storm.

This reflects what often happens to us. Unexpected storms occur in our life. They can create life-threatening havoc. We have similar reactions as the disciples; we attempt to control the storm, but when it overwhelms us our hearts fail. We then are filled with fear and even anger. We think that God is asleep, and remote from our trouble. We fear He doesn’t care about our situation. We want to know where He is.

But, God is where He always is – right in the boat with us! Asleep or not, He has sovereign control over all things, even the storms that rise up in our lives. We may be frustrated, angry and in fear. We may not see His hand in the situation. We may fall into a resentful, “You don’t care” attitude. But, these disciples didn’t know Him yet. When He awoke, He quieted the storm; demonstrating His sovereignty, for He does care about us.

“Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distresses. He caused the storm to be still,
so that the waves of the sea were hushed. Then
they were glad because they were quiet; so
He guided them to their desired haven”
Psalm 107:28-30

LOVE CASTS OUT FEAR

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Day 1

“For you did not receive a spirit
that makes you a slave again to fear…”
Romans 8:15

She came out of a hard life and struggled with the idea of God’s acceptance. One day she wrote to her Pastor the following; “I only go so far because I’m afraid. I keep waiting for you to say, okay, ‘I’ve had enough of you. You are never going to get it. You are just a waste of my time.” Rejection and fear; how many of us wrestle with this?

Our Father understands us and this is why He initiated His love first. We who were lost in sin could not love. We were filled with fear: fear of punishment; fear of loss;  fear of rejection; and even fear of love. So, He loved us first. And He demonstrated this love by becoming one of us, living in our midst and by dying for us on a cross.

His love toward us is so immense that He has adopted us as His own. Yes, His own. He has taken us into His house. Now He is our Father. We have been set free to even call Him “Daddy”. In place of fear, He has given us freedom, confidence and the assurance that we are His. He covers us with His love. He fills us with His Spirit. “Our Father in heaven” Matthew 6:9