Thursday, July 17, 2014

What To Do About Fear

Fear. It is a terrible emotion. It paralyses our rational thinking. It sometimes has a root, has substance, comes from a real situation but most of our fears are mere shadows; things that might or could be. Fear is often related to tomorrow, found in the unknown, coming from a position of uncertainty. Fear often prevents action, causes us to lay down our arms, makes us run away. Fear is a bully.

Fear is often a shadow that is dispelled by Light. Where it wants to bind our hearts, faith wants to free us. Where it wants to prevent us from moving forward, trust will propel us onward. Fear is a natural response to things beyond our control or knowledge. We all have it from time to time because none of us know what tomorrow holds; none of us can guarantee tomorrow; none of us have anything beyond this moment. But the Light dispels all such shadows that provoke fear because the Light tells us:

"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." (Joshua 1:9)

But perhaps that is the real root of our fears, that we do not know Jesus as we aught. Knowing Jesus is not going to prevent the fear from trying to come on you but leaning on Jesus will certainly send the shadows scurrying away. Our confidence is never found in our ability or anyone else's because we will always fail ourselves as will other people, but the Lord never fails. The above verse is a very famous verse but people do not always note the one before it:

"This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success." (v. 8)

This is about relationship, intimacy with Father. It is about walking with Jesus all the time and drawing on his strength. Fear should be a sure sign to us that the relationship is not as intimate as it should be. It means we are weak and we need to be reminded of our true source of strength. The Word tells us again and again that our confidence cannot be found in our own strength or intelligence because we have no real strength, however Yahweh is our backer, our encourager, our provider and our source of confidence because he is our strength.

Jesus said, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me." We can only do that in a covenant relationship, when we trust that he is focused on us as we are focused on him. Fear may come upon a Christian but it can't stick to a lover of Jesus. We may not be able to see what is going to happen tomorrow but we do know who holds tomorrow and us in it. Dispel fear with faith, trust and obedience. "Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

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