By The Mad Preacher, Rod Davis
What a wonderful declaration; I don’t have to be afraid because God is my stronghold! Like a mighty fortress he surrounds me, protecting me. God’s the Light that illuminates my way and shatters the darkness. He’s my deliverer, my Savior and friend. Father 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”? Yet, the church seems full of fears. Why is that? After all, doesn’t The Bible tell us to “be anxious for nothing?” Yet still, many of us are downright…afraid! In fact, I’ve talked with many who seem to be scared out of their wits! It’s most alarming to see believers in Jesus give in to fear. Should we be fearful? Obviously not, considering God’s Word admonished us to be fear-free.
“But Rod,” you may be thinking, “these are anxious times. The economy is in the toilet. We’re under the constant threat of terrorism and America is waging a war that’s happening on a global scale. Remember a few years ago when people are buying duct tape to seal their windows. Many are stocking up groceries and bottled water for fear of the worst.
We’ve suffered several terrorist attacks here in the US and even one in my home town. Things are very scary, right now. Indeed, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” However, the pressures of life, including those brought on by terrorist’s threats, should not overwhelm us with dread, but rather, propel us to pray.
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.” At one point, he confessed “We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself.” Have you ever felt like that? Have you ever despaired of living?! The great Apostle Paul experienced those emotions. Honestly, don’t we all feel that way from time to time?
Yet, Paul went on to say, “But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God.” He knew that God was his light and salvation. He had learned a valuable lesson over the years while facing fears, like from 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?”
“Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.” – Jesus (Luke 21:26)
Yes, we all face fears from time to time. That’s part of life. We can’t choose the cards that life deals us, but we can choose how we play those cards. We can’t always control all that befalls us. However, we can choose, with God’s help, how to respond to those things. So, you see, it’s our 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)
You can watch the video version of the message at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=go33TFJ3sEk
Look for new posts from The Mad Preacher on Saturdays.
 There are a total of 63 in the KJV.  Read Phil. 4:6-7 NIV  Thomas Paine wrote the words “These are the times that try men’s souls.” They were written in Paine’s pamphlet ‘American Crisis’ during the winter of Valley Forge as a way to encourage soldiers and the public to continue to fight in the Revolution despite the many severe hardships the war was putting everyone through. Taken from http://www.answers.com  2 Corinthians 7:5 NIV  2 Corinthians 1:8 NIV  2 Corinthians 1:9 NIV