Fear not!

What makes you afraid?

Is it death?  Is it snakes?  Is it rejection?

I would be surprised to find someone who has no fears at all.

Looking at myself, I think my most common fear is disappointing others and not being liked.  There are undoubtedly others which I have forgotten over my life or have not yet faced.

But God tells me: “Fear not!”

In Isaiah 41:10, the Lord says: “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.  Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.”

I was thinking of this today as I grappled with a few nagging worries – worries that are trivial in reality.

Think for a moment about what that Isaiah passage is saying.

Am I alone?  No, God is with me.

What kind of God do I have?  He is a God of power who is able to do more than I could ask or imagine.  But more important than that, he knows me inside out and still loves me.

I don’t have to pretend I’m perfect in his eyes.  He knows I am not – and he still loves me.

Are my fears greater and more important than God?  No.  God is with me and will take me through whatever big or small trials I face just as he has throughout my life with him.

I believe Satan exploits our fears to draw us away from God.  There is the great story of Elijah after his victory over the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 19.  His implacable enemy Queen Jezebel threatened his life and he ran away in fear.  Feeling sorry for himself, he asked God to take his life, but God spoke to him in a “gentle whisper”, sending him out on a last assignment before dramatically taking him up to heaven.

Elijah was exhausted and he wilted under Jezebel’s threats.  He forgot God and thought only about his problems.

But, the apostle Paul says in Romans 8:39 that “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.”

Knowing that, we can face death itself with confidence.

God has equipped me – and all of us – with two weapons to fight fears – prayer and thanksgiving.

With prayer, I can bring my problems to God and ask him to deal with them.  With thanksgiving, I can rejoice in what God has done and is doing in my life.

Praise God!

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