Fear? Or Fear NOT!

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Fear? Or Fear NOT!

Fear knocked. Faith answered the door.
No one was there.

Fear? Or Fear NOT!

         FEAR!  FEAR. . . !

       That turmoil that all at once grips your guts in a wrenching, tumultuous knot; a specter that, from time to time, ruthlessly torments your soul in any given situation. In these times which we live it, fear comes in many forms, especially in these current times.  Yet, the born again child of God can clearly sense the conflict between fear and faith as they journey faithfully through the written Word of God.

       We may sense a strange foreboding for the future as the nation is gripped in it’s current “culture war,” concerned about the long term repercussions before God. Yet we read, “. . . .thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.” (Daniel 4:25)

       We think and say, “It's impossible to make a difference; an impact. It's all over.” Yet we read where the Lord says, “. . .The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27) Or, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27)

       We may feel, “I can't go on, I am too weak.” But we read where God says, “. . . .My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (II Corinthians 12:9) Or, “He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.” (Psalm 91:15)

       In these confusing times, we might perceive, "I can't figure things out; I can’t do it." But then we read where the Lord God says, “ Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) Or, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13)

       We say: "I can't manage; I am afraid." And then we read, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) And “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of POWER, and of LOVE, and of a SOUND mind.” (II Timothy 1:7) And finally, “FEAR NOT, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)

Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee by Rembrandt.       In the midst of the storms of life, in the midst of the storms which encompass nations, we need to remember the One who is our model in all things. When Jesus and the disciples were crossing the sea during the event portrayed in Mark, chapter four, and the storm struck, the specter of fear once again made its presence known. We see as the disciples tried to navigate the ship; it was being tossed about like a cork on the sea, and we see the Lord, sound asleep “on a pillow,” in the rear of the vessel. As the disciples were beginning to panic at the severity of the storm, struggling in their efforts to navigate the ship, they aroused their Lord in incredulous wonder that He would be sleeping at a time like this! “Lord! Don’t you care that we are about to perish?” Yet we read where, after He had silenced the storm; “Peace! Be still. . .!” He then scolds them for their lack of faith. They, coarsely rousing Him from His confident slumber to join them in their unwarranted fear and panic; He, in response, basically exhorting them: “Will you guys relax! My Father is in control!”

       What was different about the Lord’s demeanor and response in this perilous situation? From a natural man’s standpoint and perceptions, the whole group was at immediate risk of losing their lives. Yet Jesus, not walking in the realm of natural perceptions, or, “not walking by sight, but by faith,” (II Corinthians 5:7) but rather, “dwelling in the Secret Place of the Most High, under the shadow of the All Mighty” (Psalms 91:1), was well aware of the presence and protective cover of our Heavenly Father. And that regardless of the exterior and physical circumstances. His apostles were not so enlightened at this time.

       But, as the Bible says, pertaining to us, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.” (Romans 15:4) When we look at the world around us; what we perceive to be reality; the “status quo,” we sometimes conclude that because the circumstances are not what we would have them to be, that God is somehow not in control. We than read the scripture, the written Word of God, and reason that they cannot be true because the evidence that we perceive from looking around us does not comport with them. This is walking by sight, not faith. Men and women should be looking at the Bible and concluding that it is truth because God testifies to its truth and what we perceive with our senses is not reality. The elite fighter for the Lord will continually be filtering reality through the prism of Biblical truth instead of through the prism of our own perceptions.

       In these times, when the world howls that “God is dead,” morality is “relevant,” truth “subjective,” and the enemy’s minions cavort and mock at the perimeter of the Church’s camp, this would seem to become even more unattainable. But then we read, words spoken by Jesus Himself, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have OVERCOME the world.” (John 16:33) And also, “Ye are of God, little children, and have OVERCOME them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (I John 4:4) and “I will never leave you or forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

       Back and forth, back and forth, in this seemingly endless conflict, until stability, endurance, steadiness, and maturity is founded in us as we learn to stand on the Rock, the unfailing Word of God, and learn to fear no more. Regardless of outward circumstances, beholding as the Spirit of God nurtures forth true combat faith in our weak hearts and souls. This is how the training of a Christian warrior, an elite fighter takes place. And the basis of that training, that the promises of God are still valid, even in the most perilous and difficult of times.

       So, what’ll it be? Shall we fear? Or fear NOT!

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Fear? Or Fear NOT!
              Fear Not!
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