“Be Not Afraid!”

I have realised, over the recent years, that all my problems stem from fears.

To some extent fear appears to be part and parcel of my human condition. In fact, I’d go as far to say that fear is the basic driving force of many of my thought and actions. Even in writing this article I recognise that I’m using ‘fear’ as a means of grabbing your attention – a habit I developed over my years of writing advertising copy.

Fear sells! You know the sort of fear-grabbing ploys: We’re not rich enough! We’re not happy enough! We’re not accepted enough! We’re not secure enough! The list goes on and on…

So where did all this fear come from in the first place?

The Bible tells us in the Book of Genesis that Adam and Eve were afraid because God had apprehended their transgression in taking from the Tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. To protect them, God drove them out of the security of the Garden should they live forever in the Garden in that state of fear!

Which brings us pretty much to the present day; other than the wonderful truth that there is now a way out of the condition of fear in this lifetime. For God had already promised Adam and Eve that He would send a Saviour to deliver us from evil. His name is Jesus!

When we hide ourselves in Jesus we are hiding ourselves in the Father’s love; for His perfect love drives out all fear! In other words God’s love is the antidote to fear; “Fear Not!”

But how do we apply this amazing truth? The problem is I have issues in my life that are screaming:
“Be afraid! Be very afraid!”

There’s a whole lot of stuff out there demanding my human pre-disposition towards fear! There’s the Recession, job losses, terrorism, ill health, etc, etc…

But what does the Word of God say about fear? How do we live in freedom from fear? Well, apart from the fact that I have a promise that one day every tear will be dried from my eyes when I reach Heaven, there are many Scriptures that guide me towards living a fear-free life. My personal favourite is found in 2 Chronicles 20.

This is a passage of Scripture I have lived in for many years; in fact beginning when I was struck down with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / M.E. The Scripture chronicles the events of God’s people under the reign of King Jehosophat who suddenly found themselves faced with mighty armies of the Philistines moving in to destroy them. They didn’t stand a chance – such was the size and power of the aggressors.

And so the people of God sought the Lord, in desperation, for an answer.

Finally the word of the Lord came to them through the Prophets. They we told to not fear the mighty armies coming against them but to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord God who was with them.

For me this passage of scripture has provided a ‘Scriptural checklist’ to ensure victory over my enemies of ill health.

1. They were told to not be afraid nor dismayed for the Lord their God was with them.

2. They were commanded to go down against the enemy but that they would not need to fight the battle.

3. They were told to ‘position themselves’ – which I take to mean asking God why the enemy is there in the first place; and then deal with any known sin that might have ‘opened a door’ to the attack!

4. They were instructed to ‘stand still and see the Salvation of the Lord God who is with them.’

5. Again, they were told not to be afraid!

6. They were commanded to believe what the Lord’s Prophets would say to them in this situation.

7. They were then instructed to praise the Lord, ‘for His mercy endures forever.’

8. Finally, through the Prophets, God told them that He alone would set ambushes against the enemy so as to defeat them!

9. They assembled and Blessed the Lord with thanks.

10. The Israelites became filled with joy as they celebrated the victory that was already won BY FAITH. And through their faith,the Lord was able to confuse the armies into destroying each other.

The battle was won through God’s goodness alone. They didn’t have to lift a finger – only their hands in praise!

My question is, where are the areas in your life that would benefit from such fearless faith?
I pray that you would seek God’s Word to hear what He has to say about your situation and give you the grace to praise Him for the answer.

www.peterjfoster.co.uk

Copyright May 2011

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