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Given the pervasive nature of fear, it seems wise for us to consider more of what the Bible would teach us about fear and fighting fear.

On the nature of fear . . . 

  • 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.  1John 4:18
  • The love of God for us is perfect love.  When we walk in the love of God, in fellowship with Him, abiding in His word and living by His Spirit, we can experience a life free of fear.  In fellowship with God, the torment must flee and the Spirit of God brings peace, the peace that passes understanding.
On why we shouldn’t fear . . .
  • Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.  Matthew 10:26
  • Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”  Luke 12:32 (Jesus speaking)
Without fear, it is possible to have peace
  • You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.  Isaiah 26:3
With God, we have a remedy for our fear.  Look to Jesus, author and finisher of our faith.  Focus on what God has done, is doing and will do.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus . . . look full in His wonder face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.

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What does the future hold? . . .  How will I keep my house without a job? . . . What will I do if my spouse gets ill and can’t work? . . .  What if my spouse leaves me? . . . What if no one loves me? . . . Who will help me when I get older? . . .  How will my child make it in the world? . . . What’s that noise upstairs? . . . Who’s at the door at this time of night?

Big and small, fears are our constant companions.  Fear is one of the universals of the human condition.  We all have fears.  Perhaps that is why the Bible mentions fear and commands us not to fear so many times.

We can learn some important things from the Bible about fear.
There is only One to fear . . . 
  • Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  Matthew 10:28
Fear not because God is with you . . .
  • Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.  Behold, all those who were incensed against you Shall be ashamed and disgraced; They shall be as nothing, And those who strive with you shall perish.  You shall seek them and not find them-Those who contended with you. Those who war against you Shall be as nothing, As a nonexistent thing. For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’  Isaiah 41:10-13
Don’t fear because God will not leave you . . . 
  • Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”  Deuteronomy 31:6
Fight fear with the Word of God.  When you are afraid, remember what God has said and remember that God cannot lie.  What He promises, He will do.

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As with everything worth conquering, fear is a worthy adversary.  Fear can be rational like when you fear for your life when driving in a snow storm and your car makes a 180 degrees turn, so you are facing oncoming traffic with just as little traction as you.

Or fear can be irrational, totally disproportionate to age, experience, or actual conditions.  Irrational fear is more crippling.  It keeps one from starting or finishing, from forgiving or leaving, from loving or risking, from living or dying (to self).

Joshua gives great encouragement,  “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Whew . . . the LORD your God is with you wherever you go?!!  Problem solved.  Fear banished . . . for now.

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As we continue in our endeavor to know God more, consider Deuteronomy 31:8:  “[The LORD] is the one who goes before you.  He will be with you.  He will not leave or forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

I find the following attributes of God described in this verse:

  • God as Leader (“goes before you)
  • God as faithful companion (He will not leave or forsake you)

God goes before me to lead me.  He shows me the way not by pointing to it on some map or instruction manual.  He leads me Himself.  This speaks of His personal and intimate involvement in my life.

God asks the rhetorical question (the answer is obvious)  through the Prophet Jeremiah, “Am I a God near at hand, . . . And not a God afar off?”  Jer. 23:23

In addition to leading me and going before me, God is a faithful companion along the way.  He will not leave me or forsake (abandon, desert, or give up on) me.  Because He wants to make sure that I know He is near, He repeats the promise “I will never leave or forsake you”  many times in the Bible.  He knows that I am afraid of this.

  • Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
  • Deuteronomy 31:8 “And the LORD, He is the one who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”
  • Joshua 1:5 “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.
  • 1Chronicles 28:20 And David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD God-my God-will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.
  • Heb 13:5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.

No person can make this promise and ever hope to be able to keep it.  Having lost my father at age 3, I learned early that people leave and forsake us despite the best intentions.  Only God can make the promise to always be with me and really carry it out.  He alone is God.

To the only true God, my leader and ever faithful companion, be honor and glory forever!

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I re-read a journal entry that I had written about an extended trial I was going through.  In the entry, I was crying out to God asking how I would ever be able to go forward.  I was tired and out of strength.  The path was totally hidden from view by the fog of uncertainty.  The LORD showed me Psalm 20:1-6.  The message was that He would minister to me out of my existing relationship with Him.

I think the message for all of us is to always (whether in trials or in times of peace) be in close relationship with God.  Is God your BFF (Best Friend Forever)?  He should be.

Psalm 20:1 says, “May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble; May the name of the God of Jacob defend you.”  To answer you, the LORD must hear you.  For God’s name to defend you, you must be associated with or be called by God’s name.  To be called by God’s name is to be in close relationship with God, even as close as a child.

Psalm 20:2 provides, “May He send you help from the sanctuary, And strengthen you out of Zion.”  To send you help, He must know what you need and where to deliver it.  The Sanctuary was the Old Testament place where God was (c.f. the New Testament where God’s spirit dwells in the believer).  This statement can best be understood as a promise that God will send you help from where He dwells.  He will send believers to be your help, your brothers and sisters in Christ will be ministers of God to you.  Also God will minister directly to you by His spirit dwelling within you as a believer.

Psalm 20:3 goes on to say, “May He remember all your offerings, And accept your burnt sacrifice.”  The offerings were part of the worship of God in the Old Testament.  It would be like saying today, “May God remember all the sincere worship in which you engaged.”  The burnt sacrifice was the sacrifice to deal with sin.  It is described in the Old Testament as “a sweet aroma to the LORD.”  God is pleased by the sweet smell of our offerings.  As we lay our lives down for others in obedience, as we practice gentleness, self-control, patience, long-suffering and love, we sacrifice up our flesh and what it wants.  That sacrifice is pleasing to God.  He promises to remember that.

In the next 3 verses, Psalm 20:4-6, we read the following:  “May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, And fulfill all your purpose.  We will rejoice in your salvation, And in the name of our God we will set up our banners! May the LORD fulfill all your petitions.  Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven With the saving strength of His right hand.”   From the relationship with God, comes fulfillment.  This is not just the idea of getting what you want, but rather of having the one who hears, answers, claims, defends, helps, strengthens and remembers you bring to you the best things – things that will satisfy your deepest longing and fulfill your very reason for being.  That is what God does daily for those who are called according to His purposes and called according to His name.

May the God of all creation be your BFF!

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