Friday, November 4, 2011

Living in Fear

November 4, 2011

"'Do not be afraid of ________________, whom you now fear. Do not be
afraid of him,' declares the LORD, 'for I am with you and will save you
and deliver you from his hands.'" Jeremiah 42:11

I know of an ugly four-letter word. It begins with the letter "f." Dare me to say it?


How many prayers have we whispered to the Lord at night, Oh Father, please keep me safe. How long have we searched for that feeling of security, an assurance that no harm will ever come our way? We falsely believe, If only someone could guarantee my safety, I would live in such peace.

Call off the search parties.

Look high and low, and no place will you find a promise of physical safety. Stop searching. It simply isn't there. Instead, we must learn to place our trust in the arms of the One who guards both our bodies and our souls.

The Lord says, "I, yes I, am the One who comforts you. So why are you afraid of mere humans, who wither like the grass and disappear? I am the Lord your God . . . I have put My words in your mouth and hidden you safely in My hand." (Isaiah 51:12, 15, 16)

David claimed, "I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?" (Psalm 56:4)

Jesus said, "Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body;
they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul
and body in hell. What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you [yes--YOU!] are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows."
(Matthew 10:28-31)

Home security systems, dead-bolts, a barking dog--all good attempts to bestow upon ourselves a sense of comfort and security. But it is God who ensures our safety for all eternity.

Harm may come our way on earth but God causes all things--ALL THINGS--to work together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). He promises that all things--ALL THINGS--are for His glory (Romans 11:36).

Sexual assault is for God's glory? Being beaten in our own home is for our good?

Absolutely not.

But when we turn to the Lord for healing He empowers us to become more than conquerors through Christ who loves us (Romans 8:37). When we live in peace despite a horrific experience in the past, God gets the glory.

Rather than lying awake at night in fear of what may happen to me or to my children, I remind myself of God's truth. Satan has to ask permission--PERMISSION--to sift us like wheat (Luke 22:31)! Why does God grant the enemy such permissions? Only eternity will tell. But God promises that He is in control, that He loves me more than I can fathom, that my dignity and honor come from Him, and that as His child, and as the Father of my children He will redeem every experience I endure. True peace comes, not from the guarantee of my physical safety, but from the security of my spiritual life.

How do we transfer our trust from worldly things unto Him?

We must know Him.

Our carnal minds would fail to trust a stranger to guard over our most valuable possessions. Even if we'd heard from a friend that this "stranger" was trustworthy doubt would disrupt our peace. The same proves true with our relationships with the Lord.

God is faithful, for He cannot deny who He is (2 Timothy 2:13). God is trustworthy. But we will not discover true peace until we come to know Him ourselves.

How do we come to know Him? Through His Word. Bible reading isn't something good Christians do. Intimacy with God's Word is our very life and breath. His Truth is where peace, comfort and security are found.

If you want to know God better, I'll join you on your venture. If you want to meet Him for the first time, find a friend, a pastor, a Bible-teaching church, someone who can introduce you to Him.

Jesus says, "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" (John 14:9). Want to know God? Find Jesus first. Accept Him as Lord and Savior of your life. Then God's peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live--not in fear--but in Christ Jesus.

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