By The Mad Preacher

The LORD is my light and my salvation―whom shall I fear? The LORD is the no-fearstronghold of my life―of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1 NIV)

What a wonderful declaration! I don’t have to be afraid because God is my stronghold! He’s the Light that illuminates my way and shatters the darkness. He’s my deliverer, my healer and my Savior. God is the one who has taken me to his bosom to love and protect.  No wondered David said, “Who have I got to fear!”

For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:13 NIV)

It has been correctly said that the Bible is full of “Fear-nots”? [1] Yet the church seems to be full of fear. Why is that? After all, doesn’t the Bible tell us to “be anxious for nothing?”[2] Yet still, many of us are down right…fearful. In fact, I’ve talked with many who seem to be scared out of their wits! It’s most alarming to see believers give in to fear. Should we be fearful? Obviously not, when you considering God’s Word admonished us to be fear-free.

“But Rod,” you may be thinking, “these are anxious times. The economy is going up and down. Gas prices are through the roof. We’re under the constant threat of terrorism and America is waging a war that’s happening on a global scale. Some people are cleaning out grocery stores and stocking up for fear of the worst. Things are pretty scary right now.” I’m inclined to agree. Things are very scary right now. Indeed, “These are times that try men’s soul.”[3] However, the pressures of life, including those brought on by terrorist’s threats, should not overwhelm us with dread but, rather, drive us to our knees.

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV)

The Apostle Paul faced anxiety and often battled fear. He openly admitted it.  He said that he had been “harassed at every turn―conflicts on the outside, fears within.” [4] At one point, he confessed that he had been under such great pressure that he “despaired even of life.” [5] Have you ever felt like that? Have you ever despaired of living?! The great Apostle Paul experienced those emotions. Certainly, we all feel that way from time to time.

“Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.” – Jesus (Luke 21:26 NIV)

Yet Paul went on to say, “But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God.” [6] He knew that God was his light and his salvation. He had learned a valuable lesson over the years while facing fear and the enemies who were seeking to take his life. He could gladly echo the words of David, “The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?”

Yes, we all face fears from time to time. That’s part of life. We can’t always control all that befalls us. However, we can choose, with God’s help, how to respond to fearful things. So, it’s your choice. Fear… it can drive you to despair or lead you to the Prince of Peace.

When I am afraid, I will trust in you. (Psalm 56:3 NIV)

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” – Jesus (Luke 12:32 NIV)

Is there lack of true assurance,                                                                                     Like a broad unguarded hole?                                                                                        Do you need real love to heal you                                                                                 And your suffering soul?

Have you heard enough excuses?                                                                                    Do you want to know the truth?                                                                                       My child, I am with you                                                                                                  And I will never leave. [7]

[1] There are a total of 82 in the NIV                                                                               [2] Read Philippians 4:6-7                                                                                               [3]The American Crisis by Thomas Paine                                                                         [4] 2 Corinthians 7:5                                                                                                        [5] 2 Corinthians 1:8                                                                                                      [6] 2 Corinthians 1:9                                                                                                        [7] Trust in Me by Geoff Thurman as recorded by Charles Billingsley

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