Fear Not

Isaiah 41:10 “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.’

Consider all of the ways people are affected by fear. I can’t think of one person who hasn’t made decisions based off fear. We find ways to worry about things that haven’t happened yet, or concern for what we might find. We gain stuff and worry we are going to lose it, and the ever present fear of the future drives many news stories with today’s events.

The directive to {not fear} is not a suggestion but a command and while it’s easy to repeat what God declared, I question how we perceive it.

There are plenty of ways God has given His people pathways that make life seem less scary. Connective verbs like “if” you do this “then” that will happen are found throughout the Word of God. In Deuteronomy we are given a reminder that if you obey, then you will enjoy long life in the land. Later in Leviticus we see God warning Israel that if they remain hostile toward Him, then He will multiply their afflictions seven times over. Whether the promise is blessing or cursing, there is security in knowing the outcome of our actions.

The consequence of actions are ways God gives people opportunity to choose the correct path and yet so many choose the wrong way. If fear drives people, why don’t they fear God more than this world?

Godly Fear

The Lord knows what is best for us, He knows the path that brings us peace and He continually beckons us to follow. For those who choose to follow Him, and I count myself among this people; we don’t need to worry that God is giving us ‘suggestions’ or best practice scenarios.

To fear is to doubt God. When I fear I doubt His love for me, that He has my best in mind. When I fear the ‘reproach of men’ or their insults as it says in Isaiah, I am showing that judgement from others takes precedence over the One who stands as judge over all mankind.

Isaiah 51:7 “Listen to me, you who know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear not the reproach of man, nor be dismayed at their revilings.”

How many times do we see Jesus reminding His disciples to not fear?

Jesus mentions to {not fear} 33 times to His disciples, so when you consider the themes in Jesus ministry, the reminder carries significance. Jesus used practical ways to strengthen His disciples; wind and waves on the Sea of Galilee, constant threats by which they were delivered, His authority over sickness, disease, and death and He demonstrated His power over the spiritual forces that came against them.

We can look back at God’s faithfulness to His people and be reminded that He is the same today as He has always been.

Through the prophets and Kings, God reminded His people to remain faithful in his call and He demonstrated His sovereignty and power on numerous occasions.

Isaiah 35:4 “Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.”

No matter what people threaten us with, we can know that God is sovereign over all our circumstances.

Man-made Fear

We give ourselves so many reasons to take our eyes off the Father and place them on our circumstances, yet we must remember these things are not out of control. If you’ve placed your life in the hands of God, you are under the authority of the King, He delights over you and will never lead you where He has not first prepared the way.

Isaiah 52:12 “For you shall not go out in haste,
and you shall not go in flight,
for the LORD will go before you,
and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.”

Do you trust Him? Will you be willing to release all of the things you can’t control over to Him and trust Him for your future? If you choose to trust, you will have peace and you will see His faithfulness.

The end of this journey is the fulfillment of what was promised in the beginning.

Isaiah 35:10 “And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, And come to Zion with singing, With everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, And sorrow and sighing shall flee away.“

You see, the Lord gives us a deposit of things to come. When a sinner is saved by grace there is a visible joy that overwhelms their life. Fear begins to dissipate, shame is left behind, and hope is restored for the redeemed of the Lord.

We can know without a doubt that God will remain faithful because He reinforces this knowledge, even when we first meet Him. People may ask you how you can have so much peace in the midst of chaos and the answer baffles them…it’s because of Christ in me.

This is our Hope—Jesus Christ— and and those who hope in the Lord have never been disappointed.

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