DOUBT, WORRY AND FEAR – THE INEXTRICABLE TRIO (Part 2)

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have summoned you by name you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord you God, the Holy One of Israel, Your Saviour.” (Isaiah 43:1b-3a )

FEAR

God has not given us a spirit of fear. In fact fear is from the devil. When we entertain fear in our hearts we are giving the devil a foothold in our lives. Give him an inch and he will take a mile. By cowing to his suggestions when we should be rebuking it, we are permitting him to rule over us. “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.” (Romans 8:15)

Job had feared for the wellbeing of his children, He offered sacrifices for them for fear that God would punish them for their riotous living. “His sons used to take turns holding feast in their homes, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them.  When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would send and have them purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, ’Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.’ This was Job’s regular custom.” (Job 1:4-5)

How often have we feared for our children that they might not do well, that sickness will deprive us of them? How often have we harboured thoughts of failure and disappointment over an issue when we should have been thanking God for a breakthrough? The more we ponder or dwell on negative thoughts the more likely they will manifest themselves in our lives. And we shall conclude like Job: “What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.” (Job 3:25)

A messenger came to Job one day and reported that Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house “... when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you.” (Job 1:18-19)  When fear dominates our thoughts they become reality, because they take control of our thought life. If we see darkness all around us darkness will manifest itself ultimately. We are spiritual beings that can bring about what we see and declare in our spirit.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears s not made perfect in love.” (! John 4:18) When we love profoundly and totally, we see and think only the good in people and not magnify their mistakes or faults. Love is an all-compassing sentiment that when we offend God we run to Him and He will receive us with open arms. His nature is to shower His love on us. As we bask in His love, we get to a point where we will refrain from disobeying or hurting God.

Simple faith alone is necessary.

Our troubles, trials and tribulations are intended to build us up not to break us. We even grow stronger for each ordeal we overcome is an assurance of God’s protection over our lives and a signature of His unfailing love. “We are pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our mortal body.” (2 Corinthians 4:7-10)

“Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For out light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

How do we combat fear? “While he [Peter] was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him! When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. Get up,’ He said.’”Don’t be afraid.’ ” (Matthew 17:5-7) Jesus is the permanent antidote to fear. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me..... And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (John 28:18,20)