Fear or Faith?
Fear has been with the human family for a long time. When Adam and Eve sinned by eating of the forbidden fruit, the Bible suggests that Adam and Eve were afraid of the presence of God. Genesis 3: 8-10 records the sad story, "And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called to Adam and said unto him, where are you? And he said, I heard thy voice, and I WAS AFRAID." Satan wants us to be afraid. He delights in seeing us drown in our own miseries putting ourselves in a position where he can destroy us. Peter says in I Peter 5: 8, "Be sober, be vigilant: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." Fear is one of Satan's biggest weapons.
Fear is something that weakens our immune system. At the very time when Covid 19 was generating chaos when we needed our immune systems to be doing their best work, the devil created an atmosphere of panic and fear. People around the globe were saying, "I am afraid." Fear increases the likelihood of heart and digestive problems. It can interrupt processes in the human brain that help to control our emotions. It can affect our sleep and create fatigue and depression. Fear has been piled on top of fear and it is estimated that forty percent of the world's population over the past few months has considered suicide. Other factors have added fuel to the fire; out of control protests with endless nights of looting and burning, and add in the most controversial election, at least, in my lifetime. It seems fear is part and parcel of everyday life now so how does the Christian deal with it? What do we do or what should we do when we are experiencing fear? Do we succumb to fear, or do we ask that God increase our faith? There seems to be only two options, "FEAR OR FAITH".
It seems almost incredulous that when Jesus left his disciples, He told them not to be afraid. Check it out in John 14: 1-3, He tells them, "Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in Me" (THAT IS FAITH, NOT FEAR) Later in John 14: 27, He told the group, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you... Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." He added another thought in John 16: 33 when He stated, "That in me you might have peace, In the world ye shall have tribulations (that is fear creating trouble) but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." Keep in mind that some of the greatest characters in the Bible, at one time or another, had to deal with fear. Some struggled with their faith.
1-Jacob's experience the night he dreamed of a ladder set upon the earth, the top of it reached to heaven with the angels ascending and descending on it. Gen. 28: 12. Verses 13-17 says Jacob was afraid, but the Lord promised to be with him.
2-Moses was startled and afraid at the burning bush. Exodus Chapter 3 tells the story of how Moses made every excuse to get out of leading the Hebrew people out of Egypt. But God told him, He would be with him.
3-Joshua as he looked across the Jordan River at the mighty city of Jericho was terrified. God told him in Joshua 1: 6-7 to be strong and of a good courage and that the conquest of Canaan would be successful.
4-Elijah, after his signal victory at Carmel ran for his life when the wicked queen threatened to put him to death. I Kings 19. God told Elijah that he had more work for him to do, He was to go and anoint two kings and to select a new prophet in his place., Oh and by the way, to prepare for a trip to heaven in a chariot of fire.
5-Queen Esther risked her life to save her people. She told her uncle Mordecai that she would go in unto the king and plead for the Jewish people. Esther Chapters 4-5 The Jews were allowed to defend themselves and were saved.
As we wrestle with the panic and fear that the devil is throwing at us, let us fill our minds with the precious promises of God's word. Remember Psalms 119: 11 tells us, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." With God on our side, we are a majority, "In God I have put my trust, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT CAN MAN DO TO ME." Psalm 56: 11. And I will leave you, my dear friends with my favorite Bible text. It is a passage that I turn to often. Is. 41: 10, FEAR THOU NOT, FOR I AM WITH YOU. BE NOT DISMAYED (do not faint) FOR I AM YOUR GOD. I WILL STRENTHEN YOU, YES, I WILL HELP YOU, I WILL UPHOLD YOU WITH MY RIGHTEOUS RIGHT HAND." Courage to each of you,
Wayne Easley/written on Jan. 12, 2021 in Costa Rica
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Danna has traveled as a teacher/speaker for Closure for Jesus ministry and frequently holds Zoom meetings and online health counseling.