Fear Not

Fear not for I am your God...Fear can be a good thing when kept in perspective.  Last time we learned that fearing God in the right way can bring benefits.  God doesn’t want us to unnecessarily tremble in His sight but He does want us to respect His power, acknowledge His holiness, worship His majesty, and reverence Him in our lives.  This is not a bad thing.  As we build a relationship with the living God we realize He is a God of love and only wants the best for us. 

Also there is a healthy kind of fear that comes with wisdom or heeding caution.  It keeps us from jumping off the side of a building thinking we can fly, picking up a rattle snake thinking we won’t get bit, or driving 150 miles per hour thinking we won’t have an accident. 

However, some fears paralyze us, keep us from doing what we should or could do, and prevent us from living a fuller, richer life, which is what God wants for us.  Therefore we must learn to control those fears or they control us.   

We are a fear ridden world.  Extreme fears result in countless phobias (and I do mean countless – just check out www.phobialist.com).   Most of us don’t have to deal with those but we do wrestle with fear of rejection, hurt, humiliation, disappointment, commitment, criticism, loss, or the future.  The residual effects of these fears are enough to hold us captive and prevent us from leading the life God intended. 

Fear of rejection keeps us from meeting new people.  Fear of failure keeps us from accepting responsibility.  Fear of looking foolish keeps us from asking questions or trying new things.   Fear of the future makes us afraid to enjoy the present.  Fear of losing keeps us from playing the game. The list is endless.  

God Has Not Given Us a Spirit of FearGod anticipated we would have trouble grappling with these feelings so He filled the Bible with admonitions to “fear not!”  A spirit of fear does not come from God. (2 Timothy 1:7)  So as we draw closer to God, He calms our fears.  When we seek God, He delivers us from our fears. (Psalm 34:4) We are not relying on our strength but God’s.  When God is with us, He helps and upholds us. (Isaiah 41:10)  

When we truly realize God is our refuge and strength, we know we have nothing to fear. (Psalm 46:1-2)  Why be afraid of people when God is our salvation and strength?  (Psalm 27:1)  God told Joshua not to be afraid or even discouraged because God would be with him wherever he went. (Joshua 1:9)  God is also with us wherever we go.  We are not alone.  The God of love is with us.  God loves us and there is no fear in love. (1 John 4:18-19) 

Of course we have to believe what God says.  That takes faith.  The choice is ours.  We can continue to let these unhealthy fears control us and prevent us from living a fuller, richer life or we can build a relationship with God and turn them over to Him.  Remember, when we seek God, He delivers us from our fears.  (Psalm 34:4)    


Fear and Faith

Fear imprisons, but faith liberates;
Fear paralyzes but faith empowers;
Fear disheartens, but faith encourages;
Fear sickens, but faith heals;
Fear makes useless, but faith makes serviceable;
Fear puts hopelessness at the heart of life,

While faith rejoices in its God.

~Henry Emerson Fosdick



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