How to Handle Fear (2)

Related Resources

How To Handle Fear Part 1

How To Handle Fear Part 2

How To Handle Fear Part 3

How To Handle Fear Part 4

Anxiety (merimna) - Word Study

Anxious, be anxious (merimnao) - Word Study

Jesus' solution "Do not be worried" Mt 6:25ff

Paul's Solution - Philippians 4:6; Philippians 4:7

Peter's Solution - Cast your cares on God - 1 Peter 5:7

Worry - What is it?

John Piper's Studies on Fear & Anxiety

Fear of Death by Henry Law (1797-1884)

Spiritual Fears by Henry Law

Fear And Its Remedy

Multiple Additional Resources on How to Handle Fear

HOW TO HANDLE FEAR
PART 2

Webster says that "fear" is

"an unpleasant, often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger" and is often manifest by "painful agitation in the presence of or anticipation of danger".

Someone has written that

Fear is the wrong use of imagination. It is anticipating the worst, not the best that can happen.”

Worry which is closely related to fear has been defined as

“a small trickle of fear that meanders through the mind until it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.”

Not a bad definition!

Fear is the feeling of anxiety, dread, or terror caused by the nearness of danger, and it can impel us to flee our immediate situation. Everyone experiences fear in one form or another throughout life.

Fear wears many faces—being worried about what others may think of you, or being anxious about getting accepted by others or being nervous while performing in public or refusing to speak in public.

Fear is the knot in the pit of your stomach that makes you wish you could just disappear. In a world filled with danger and uncertainty, one thing is certain—we cannot escape fear. So as believers we want to understand how we are to respond when we feel afraid. The Bible uses several words related to fear including afraid, terror, dread, anxious, tremble, shake, and quake over 850 times.

Fear and anxiety although similar are distinct.

Fear is an immediate and intense internal alarm system that alerts us to the presence of danger and rivets one's focus on the primary goal of protection, by either to fighting or taking flight from perceived danger.

Anxiety on the other hand is the pervasive feeling of apprehension that lingers long after the danger has subsided. Anxiety is that nagging feeling of dread which encompasses worrying about future negative events that are both unpredictable and uncontrollable.

The first mention of of fear is found in the Garden of Eden, after sin had entered the world. Moses records that

"eyes of both of (Adam and Eve) were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?" And he said, "I heard the sound of Thee in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself." (Ge 3:7, 8, 9, 10).

When sin entered the perfect environment, mankind died spiritually, Adam and Eve were alienated from God, and their nakedness and alienation resulted in fear of God. The God of love had become an object of terror. Note their first reaction as the result of fear was to hide! God never meant for mankind to live in fear. But when sin entered the world, so did guilt. And guilt produced fear, and fear made Adam want hide. So fear was related to the introduction of sin into the world. (For more click here or here or here) There was no fear on earth until Satan and sin entered the Garden. Since this first terrifying encounter in the Garden, the human race has lived with the constant threat of fear, for all although

"through one man (Adam) sin entered into the world and death through sin,… death spread to all men, because all sinned" (Ro 5:12-note).

Note fear is not necessarily a sin although it may be a consequence of sin. In one sense all who have never trusted Christ as Savior, have good reason to fear God's righteous judgment, for

"it is a terrifying (fearful, dreadful, horrifying) thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31-note)

"for our God is a consuming fire" (Hebrews 12:29-note)

"if anyone's name (is) not found written in the book of life, he (will be) thrown into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:13-note).

On the other hand, all who have by grace been saved though faith do not need to fear meeting their Lord and Maker

"for there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1-note)

As believers we must recall to our mind that we…

"have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15-note)

And yet it is because believers still live in bodies of flesh and in a world that is corrupt and fallen, that fear is a reality we must deal with until the day we are glorified and free from the contamination and corruption caused by sin.

GOOD GODLY FEAR

The Bible teaches that reverential fear of Jehovah is…

"wisdom" (Job 28:28)

"clean (pure), enduring forever" (Ps 19:9)

"the beginning of wisdom" (Ps 111:10, Pr 9:10)

"the beginning of knowledge" (Pr 1:7)

something we should choose (Pr 1:29)

"to hate evil" (Pr 8:13)

that which "prolongs life" (Pr 10:27)

that which gives us "strong confidence" (Pr 14:26)

"a fountain of life that one may avoid the snares of death" (Pr 14:27)

that which makes little (referring to possessions, etc) better than great treasure and turmoil (Pr 15:16)

"the instruction (idea of chastisement, reproof, discipline or child rearing) for wisdom" (Pr 15:33)

that which "keeps (one) away from evil" (Pr 16:6)

that which "leads to life so that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil" (Pr 19:23)

"riches, honor and life" (Pr 22:4)

to be lived in always (Pr 23:17)

the delight of our Lord (Isa 11:3)

our "treasure" (Isa 33:6)

that which sustained the progress of of the early Christian church (Acts 9:31)

that which prompts holy living and boldness so that we seek "persuade men" to be reconciled to God through the gospel of Christ (2Cor 5:11,20)

Ray Stedman remarks that

"Somehow the idea has grown among Christians that fear is an improper motive; that if it be accepted at all, it is base and inferior. But Scripture never takes that position. Everywhere, from Genesis to Revelation, and especially in Genesis and Revelation, the fear of the Lord is extolled as a very proper and highly desirable motive for living. In fact, it is regarded as foundational. "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline." (Pr 1:7). The psalmist exhorts us, "Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing." (Psalm 34:9), and declares that a man reaches a stage of great danger when there is "no fear of God before his eyes" (Psalm 36:1)."

In sum, a good, godly fear of Jehovah describes the fear which has conquered all of the other fears related to our sinful, guilty nature (click here for devotional by Spurgeon). When we make a conscious, choice to fear the Lord (as shown by our actions… be wary of deceiving yourself by saying you fear but not living accordingly), you need not fear anything else.

Peter writes that

if you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each man's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay upon earth. (see note 1 Peter 1:17)

This right kind of godly fear serves to motivate one to seek Him and to refuse evil.

Fear God, you saints, and you shall then

Know what is right to fear;

Make you His service your delight;

Your wants shall be His care.

When we fear the Lord, we need not fear bad people or bad news because we know that God is in control of all circumstances, and causes

"all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28-note).

We may not know what the future holds, but we can trust the One Who holds the future. So place your faith in Christ and He will put your fears to rest.

In the Old Testament, we see an illustration of this principle of trust in the Lord serving as a shield against fearful thoughts. At that time King Ahaz of the southern tribe of Judah faced a crisis because of an impending invasion by the Assyrian army. The kings of Israel (the northern 10 tribes) and Syria (Aram) wanted King Ahaz to join them in an alliance, but Ahaz refused, so Israel and Syria threatened to invade Judah. But behind the scenes, King Ahaz made an alliance with Assyria! The people of Judah considered Isaiah a traitor because he said that King Ahaz was wrong to rely on Assyria. It was against this background that God counseled Isaiah not to walk in the way of the people of Judah, saying

"You are not to say, 'It is a conspiracy!' In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, and you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it. It is the Lord of hosts (click to study and meditate on God's Name, Jehovah Sabaoth) Whom you should regard as holy (more literally "Jehovah Sabaoth, Him you must set apart") and He shall be your fear, and He shall be your dread." (Isa 8:12, 13)

God is telling His man Isaiah

"Don't fear men or adverse circumstances. Set Me apart and fear Me."

Peter writing to believers who were suffering for the sake of righteousness quoted (Is 8:12, 13) exhorting them to

"not fear their intimidation and (to) not be troubled (stirred up, agitated)" (see note 1 Peter 3:14).

Peter then explains that for the believers to handle their fear they should

"sanctify Christ as Lord (quoting Isa 8:13a substituting "Christ" for "Jehovah") in (their) hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence" (1Peter 3:15-note).

As Christians, when we are faced with adverse people or circumstances, we may be tempted to give in to our fears but Peter says that if we “sanctify Christ as Lord” in our hearts (or like the old hymn says "Turn your eyes upon Jesus and look full in His wonderful face [then] the things of this earth will grow slowly dim in the light of His glory and grace" play hymn), we need not fear mean men or menacing circumstances. What does it mean to “sanctify Christ as Lord” in our hearts? It means to turn everything over to Him, and to live only to please Him and glorify Him. It means to fear displeasing Him rather than fear what men might do to us. How wonderfully this approach simplifies our lives! It is Matthew 6:33, Romans 12:1; Romans 12:2 (click notes Mt 6:33, Ro 12:1; Ro 12:2) combined into a daily attitude of faith that obeys God’s Word in spite of consequences. It means being satisfied with nothing less than the will of God in our lives (Jn 4:31, 32, 33, 34).

JESUS TELLS DISCIPLES

HOW TO HANDLE FEAR

Jesus addresses the fears of his disciples with three gentle exhortations. The particular fear Christ discussed is explained in Mt 10:32, 33: the fear of confessing Christ openly before men.

(1) "Therefore (read the entire chapter for the context) do not fear them (in context those who would cause the disciples trouble and difficulty), for there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known." (Mt 10:26).

Jesus' point is that believers should not fear because they know that one day God will vindicate them. Disciples need not fear trouble from men now, because we look forward to the promise that in the end God will make everything right. All truth and goodness and all falsehood and wickedness will be seen for what they really are.

(2) "And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear (reverential respect and awe combining elements of admiration, fear, wonder and a lofty concept of God) Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Mt 10:28 click devotional)

Don't fear death, for with believers it is a defeated foe

"O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1Cor 15:55, 56, 57)

The second reason for learning not to fear men emerges from the fact that the worst men can do does not match the worst God can do.

(3) "Therefore do not fear; you are of more value than many sparrows." (Mt 10:31)

In Jesus' day, sparrows were relatively valueless, yet even this most insignificant of little birds cannot fall (Greek word can mean "hop") or even hop on the ground outside of the gaze of their Creator's attentive eye. Similarly God's knowledge of His children is so keen that He knows about even every spiritually inconsequential hair on our head. How much more is He concerned about our spiritual well being. Since God's children are so very dear to Him, how can we be anxious and fearful, knowing of such intimate care and protection from our heavenly Father?

WHEN THE STORM COMES

HOW DO YOU RESPOND?

FEAR OR FAITH?

Mark 4:35-41

"And on that day, when evening had come, He said to them, "Let us go over to the other side." 36 And leaving the multitude, they took Him along with them, just as He was, in the boat; and other boats were with Him. 37 And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. 38 And He Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they awoke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" 39 And being aroused, He rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Hush, be still." And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. 40 And He said to them,

"Why are you so timid (fearful)?
How is it that you have no faith?"

41 And they became very much afraid and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?"

Fear leads to godlessness because it opposes faith. Note how the disciples were forced into godlessness through their fear of the storm.

Warren Wiersbe comments that

"The storm described here must have been especially fierce if it frightened experienced fishermen like the disciples. There were at least three good reasons why none of the men in the ship should have been disturbed, even though the situation appeared to be threatening.

Three Reasons The Disciples

Should Have Had Faith & Not Fear

1) They had His promise that they were going to the other side (Mk 4:35). His commandments are always His enablements and nothing can hinder the working out of His plans. He did not promise an easy trip, but He did promise a guaranteed arrival at their destination.

2) The Lord Himself was with them, so what was there to fear? They had already seen His power demonstrated in His miracles, so they should have had complete confidence that He could handle the situation. For some reason, the disciples did not yet understand that He was indeed the Master of every situation.

3) They could see that Jesus was perfectly at peace, even in the midst of the storm. This fact alone should have encouraged them. Jesus was in God’s will and knew that the Father would care for Him, so He took a nap. Jonah slept during a storm because he had a false sense of security, even though he was running from God. Jesus slept in the storm because He was truly secure in God’s will. “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep, for Thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety” (Ps 4:8).

"Lord Don't You Care?"

How often in the trials of life we are prone to imitate the faithless disciples and cry out, “Lord, don’t You care?” Of course, He cares! He arose and rebuked the storm, and immediately there was a great calm. But Jesus did not stop with the calming of the elements, for the greatest danger was not the wind or the waves: it was the unbelief in the hearts of the disciples.

Our greatest problems are within us, not around us. This explains why Jesus gently rebuked them and called them “men of little faith.” They had heard Him teach the Word and had even seen Him perform miracles, and yet they still had no faith. It was their unbelief that caused their fear, and their fear made them question whether Jesus really cared. We must beware of “an evil heart of unbelief” (see Hebrews 3:12-note).

The disciples were afraid, but Jesus was not! He kept on sleeping, confident that His Father was completely in control (Ps 89:8, 9). The disciples failed this test of faith because they did not lay hold of His word that He was going to the other side. It has well been said that faith is not believing in spite of circumstances; it is obeying in spite of feelings and consequences. The disciples looked around and saw danger, and looked within and saw fear; but they failed to look up by faith and see God. Faith and fear cannot dwell together in the same heart.

Sometimes the Lord calms the storm.
Sometimes he lets the storm rage and calms his child.

C H Spurgeon once wrote…

When prayer engages God on our side, and when faith secures the fulfillment of the promise, what cause can there be for flight, however cruel and mighty our enemies?

Exodus 3:12 A Man without Fear

And he said, Certainly I will be with thee.—Exodus 3:12

OF course, if the Lord sent Moses on an errand, He would not let him go alone. The tremendous risk which it would involve, and the great power it would require, would render it ridiculous for God to send a poor lone Hebrew to confront the mightiest king in all the world and then leave him to himself. It could not be imagined that a wise God would match poor Moses with Pharaoh and the enormous forces of Egypt. Hence He says, “Certainly I will be with thee,” as if it were out of the question that He would send him alone.

In my case, also, the same rule will hold good. If I go upon the Lord’s errand, with a simple reliance upon His power and a single eye to His glory, it is certain that He will be with me. His sending me binds Him to back me up. Is not this enough? What more can I want? If all the angels and archangels were with me, I might fail; but if He is with me, I must succeed. Only let me take care that I act worthily toward this promise. Let me not go timidly, halfheartedly, carelessly, presumptuously. What manner of person ought he to be who has God with him? In such company it behoveth me to play the man and, like Moses, go in unto Pharaoh without fear. (Spurgeon - Faith's Checkbook)

No Need for Fear
Robert Murray McCheyne
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear"
-- 1 John 4:18

Twice God spake from heaven, and said, "This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased." God perfectly loves His own Son. He sees infinite beauty in His person. God sees Himself manifested. He is infinitely pleased with His finished work. The infinite heart of the infinite God flows out in love towards our Lord Jesus Christ. And there is no fear in the bosom of Christ. All His fears are past. Once He said, "While I suffer thy terrors I am distressed;" but now He is in perfect love, and perfect love casteth out fear. Hearken, trembling souls! Here you may find rest to your souls. You do not need to live another hour under your tormenting fears. Jesus Christ has borne the wrath of which you are afraid. He now stands a Refuge for the oppressed--a Refuge in the time of trouble. Look to Christ, and your fear will be cast out. Come to the feet of Christ, and you will find rest. Call upon the name of the Lord, and you will be delivered.

You say you cannot look, nor come, nor cry for you are helpless. Hear, then, and your soul shall live. Jesus is a Saviour to the helpless. Christ is not only a Saviour to those who are naked and empty, and have not goodness to recommend themselves, but He is a Saviour to those who are unable to give themselves to Him. You cannot be in too desperate a condition for Christ. As long as you remain unbelieving, you are under His perfect wrath--wrath without any mixture. The wrath of God will be as amazing as His love. It comes out of the same bosom. But the moment you look to Christ, you will come under His perfect love--love without any coldness--light without any shade--love without any cloud or mountain between. God's love will cast out all your fears.

The Shield of Faith
Comments by Dr Wayne Barber
(complete note)

"In addition to all, taking up the shield of faith
with which you will be able to extinguish
all the flaming missiles of the evil one.
"
(Ephesians 6:16-note)

What is my shield? It is my intention to obey God. Now if you’ve made up your mind and purposed in your heart, "I am going to obey you," that is a shield, friend. Now, if that intention is not there it renders the thoughts active in your life. That is why the thoughts are able to lodge and stay because you have not made up your mind to obey God at any cost. You don’t have your loins girded about with truth. You are not committed to Christ and everything that He is and to what He says. Where is Christianity in the 20th century? Right there. They have no shield, but they have their sword. Oh, they can quote Scripture. They will beat you over the head with it. But friend, the flat of the blade has no cutting power whatsoever until I have the shield up, which is the intention of my heart to obey God. Then I can nail that thought with the cutting edge of that sword and the point. As 1Cor 2:15 says, the "spiritual (man) appraises all things." He examines it. He says, "Okay, let’s examine this in light of the Word of God. Is this what God says? Or is this another lie of the one who was a liar and a murderer from the beginning, Satan himself? Is this just simply a part of that infected darkness that is all around us?"

Friend, if you don’t have your shield up, your sword means nothing. In my heart I wanted to obey Christ. Therefore, my intention was right and I could stop the thought. If your intention is not there, the thought is going to lodge in your mind and you are going to wake up the next day feeling like that thought is really the truth. It hasn’t got a thing to do with truth. You haven’t made up your mind to gird your loins with truth. Therefore, you don’t have a shield. When you pick up the Word it doesn’t mean anything. It is like a rubber knife. It has no cutting edge to it whatsoever.

Fear Escape
Proverbs 1:1-7

You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield. —Psalm 115:11

In our increasingly dangerous world, think of what we have to fear: Ominous terrorist threats, frightening crime rates, increasing natural disasters, sobering energy crises, … God.

Yes, God. Ironic, isn’t it, that in a world full of fearful things, the single source of our refuge and safety is also the One we are instructed to fear?

Consider Solomon’s words: “In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge” (Pr 14:26). Then look at the next verse: “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life.”

We try to avoid life’s fearful things because they interrupt our peace. Yet we are told to move toward fear—the fear of God. For those who “fear the Lord, … He is their help and their shield” (Ps. 115:11).

Our faith in God can deliver us from the fears of the world (Ps. 23:4)—but only because our faith relies on a fear that is different from worldly fear. Proverbs 29:25 says, “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.”

To fear God is to sense His awesomeness. When we acknowledge that greatness and trust in Him, we no longer want to sin against Him. He becomes our refuge from the fears of this world. In Him we find peace. —Dave Branon (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Fear Him, ye saints, and you will then
Have nothing else to fear;
Make you His service your delight;
Your wants shall be His care. —Tate & Brady

Those who fear God need not fear the world.

GOD'S HOLINESS

"And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God (Exodus 3:6).

According to a doctor at Johns Hopkins University, man is constituted "in nerve and tissue and brain cell and soul" to function best on faith. In other words, God made us so that we realize our greatest potential when we are free from the devastating effects of fear. Yet all of us have fears. Those who deny this are being dishonest with themselves. We are afraid of others, ourselves, the future, the past, unemployment, public opinion—the list is endless!

The Bible mentions no less than two dozen words relating to fear. They range in meaning from terror to timidity, and most carry a nega­tive connotation. But one kind of fear—the fear of the Lord—is posi­tive and health-producing. Scripture tells us that it is the "beginning of knowledge" (Pr. 1:7) , that it is "clean" (Ps. 19:9) , that it gives "strong confidence" (Pr 14:26) , and that it is "a fountain of life" (Pr 14:27). But most significantly, we can choose to be controlled by this fear (Pr 1:29).

Moses expressed this kind of fear when God confronted him from a burning bush that was not consumed. Moses "hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God" (Ex 3:6).

The fear of God is reverent trust. We stand in awe of God, His power, and His holiness. We believe His warnings, His commands, His promises. We hold His character in such high respect that we choose "to hate evil" (Pr 8:13) , knowing that all His commands are for our good. By fearing Him we express our devotion to Him. It is the one fear that overcomes all others. —D. J. DeHaan. (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Only the fear of God can banish the fear of men

><> ><> ><>

FEAR OF GOD

"Slaves, in all things obey … with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord." (Colossians 3:22)

"Perfect love casts out fear (1John 4:18).

Jesus commands us to love God (Mt. 22:37) , yet Paul enjoins us to fear Him (Col. 3:22). But if we love God, shouldn't we be free from fear? Doesn't perfect love cast out fear? My own experience can help answer this question. I love the Lord, but I still have some fear when I think of the day I will stand before Him. I'm not afraid He will send me to hell; I know that Jesus paid the price for my sins. Yet the thought of standing in the presence of a holy God awes me. This element of fear helps me to try to please God. The kind of fear that is cast out by love, though, is a cringing dread of eternal punishment. God has delivered me from that.

The Wind in the Willows, a children's allegory by Kenneth Grahame, illustrates the love-fear relationship.

Two animals, Mole and Rat, meet Friend and Helper, who personifies God. Mole shakes as he whispers,

"Rat, are you afraid?"

"Afraid," murmurs Rat, his eyes brimming with unutterable love—

"Afraid! Of him? Oh, never, never! And yet—and yet—oh, Mole, I am afraid!"

Daniel the prophet must have experienced that same feeling. His love for God was great, yet when he met the Lord in a vision he collapsed in fear (Dan 8:15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22,23,24, 25, 26, 27) . One glimpse of God's holiness over­whelmed him with a sense of his own sinfulness.

We must love God, but we must also stand in awe of Him. The combination of love and fear is the key to holy living. —Herbert Vander Lugt (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

He who doesn't fear God should fear everything else

The Sword Against Fear
The Word of God

(Click additional note)

"Take the helmet of salvation
and the Sword of the Spirit,
which is the Word of God."
(See note Ephesians 6:17)

God gives us not only a shield against fear but also a weapon, the "sword of the Spirit, the Word of God" (Ephesians 6:17-note). The Scottish pastor and writer Thomas Guthrie spoke of the value of our "sword" as

"an armory of heavenly weapons, a laboratory of infallible medicines, a mine of exhaustless wealth. It is a guidebook for every road, a chart for every sea, a medicine for every malady (including fear), and a balm for every wound. Rob us of our Bible and our sky has lost its sun.”

Christians who rely simply on their experience of salvation and their feelings to get them through fearful situations are easy prey.

Feelings come and feelings go

And feelings are deceiving;

My warrant is the Word of God,

Naught else is worth believing.

The better you know the Word of God, the easier it will be for you to detect Satan’s lies and resist his offers. Keeping our mind steadfastly fixed upon God is critical when we’re tempted to worry. Meditate upon the passages of Scripture that describe God’s character: His lovingkindness, power, faithfulness, goodness. Meditate also upon verses about peace and rest. (See Memorizing His Word, Primer of Biblical Meditation, Biblical Meditation). It is good to talk things over with others, but only the Lord can work in your heart and turn fear into faith. God knows everything the enemy says and writes, and He has a perfect plan. By faith, take everything to Him in prayer.

"The steadfast of mind Thou wilt keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in Thee. Trust in the LORD forever, for in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock." (Isa 26:3)

So when we set our minds on the unchangeable, trustworthy Rock of our salvation, we are setting it upon the truth of God's word and the result can be "perfect peace."

You're Afraid Of Whom?

The fear of man brings a snare,
but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.
Proverbs 29:25

Mrs. Ima Terror chased her husband through the crowds at the zoo, waving her umbrella and unleashing insults like invisible missiles. Her perspiring and winded husband, seeing that the lock on the lion's cage had not quite closed, yanked it open, jumped into the cage, slammed the door, pushed the astonished lion hard against the bars, and peered over its shoulder. His frustrated wife shook her umbrella, stuttered in anger, and finally managed to explode, "Ralph, come out of there, you coward!"

Ralph, in this fictitious story, is like the people of Israel that we read about in the book of Numbers. They were confused about whom they should really fear. They saw themselves as grasshoppers when compared to the giants in the land where God wanted them to go (Pr 13:32, 33).

If we are so afraid of people that we stop following the Lord, we're not trusting Him. It shows that we have doubted His plan, His power, and His promises. We have failed to recognize that He, above all others, is the One to be feared—which means that He is to be reverenced, trusted, loved, and obeyed.

Father, forgive us for fearing what we should not be afraid of, and for not fearing and trusting You. —M R De Haan II (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Our love for God should always move

Our hearts to do what's good and right;

Love also fears His judgments true

And stands in awe of His great might. —D. De Haan

Fear God, and you'll have nothing else to fear.

What Do You Fear?

Who are you that you should be afraid of a man who will die?
Isaiah 51:12

A large number of people admit that they have a serious fear of computers. Just being in the same room with a computer causes some to suffer from feelings of panic, irregular heartbeat, breathing difficulties, dizziness, and trembling. One therapist says that these individuals have more than the normal fear of failure while learning to work with computers. They become so anxious that they are afraid they're going to lose control, go crazy, or pass out. Does this make sense? No, but no phobia makes much sense. Yet the fear is real.

This reminds me of another phobia that many of us have—the fear of the opinions and actions of others. How must it look to God when we think and act as if our well-being rests solely in the hands of people? How does it look to the One who is in control when we become so afraid of people that we panic and forget to trust entirely in Him? Well, the prophet Isaiah told us. He said that fearing the reproach of people is foolish because they are dying creatures who, like grass, are here today and gone tomorrow (Isaiah 51:12).

Yes, people can do us great harm (Isaiah 51:13, 14), but the Lord has the last word (Isaiah 51:15, 16). Our future and everlasting well-being depend on Him and Him alone. —M R De Haan II (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

What others do or think can make

Us hesitate to take a stand

Until we realize God holds

The now and future in His hand. —Sper

Faith can break the stranglehold of fear.

Prescription For Anxiety

Cast your burden on the Lord and He shall sustain you;
He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

Psalm 55:22
(Click here for another devotional)

According to a Wall Street Journal report, anxiety has overtaken depression as the leading mental health problem in the United States. Anxiety-fighting drugs are now the top-selling pharmaceutical products. Even with a booming economy and political stability, worry and apprehension remain part of our human condition—one that can never be adequately relieved by a pill.

When David composed Psalm 55, his mind was agitated by the same types of situations we struggle with today: He recoiled in horror from the violence, anger, and abuse that stalked the city streets (Ps 55:9, 10, 11). He suffered the anguish of being betrayed by a close friend (Ps 55:12, 13, 14). He longed to leave and escape to a place of peace (Ps 55:4, 5, 6, 7, 8). Because David's anxious pain mirrors our own, his prescription for relief can be ours as well. He wrote, "I will call upon God, and the Lord shall save me… Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you" (Ps 55:16,22).

Anxiety is a burden we are not called to bear. Instead, we are to lay our concerns on Christ because He cares for us (1Peter 5:7; Philippians 4:6; Philippians 4:7 -see notes 1P 5:7; Ph 4:6; 4:7).

If your heart is weighed down today, the Lord is ready to bear every burden you give Him. —D C McCasland (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

All your anxiety, all your care,

Bring to the mercy seat, leave it there;

Never a burden He cannot bear,

Never a friend like Jesus. —Joy

God invites us to burden Him with what burdens us.

The Folly Of Worry

Do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about its own things.
—Matthew 6:34 (note)

Ralph Easter had driven many times from Calgary, the foothills city of Alberta, to Banff, high in the Canadian Rockies. But it was his first trip that left an indelible impression on him. He said that as the road wound westward from Calgary over rolling hills, there always loomed before him in the distance a range of snow-capped peaks that seemed to block the highway. He recalls wondering how he would ever pass over such an insurmountable barrier, but he drove steadily on. Finally as he reached the point where it had looked as if the road would stop, he came to a sharp bend and the highway stretched on as before. Many such turns kept him progressing upward and forward until he came to the other side of the range.

As we travel the road of life, obstacles often loom up before us, filling us with apprehension. Illness, surgery, financial reversal, or loss of a job threaten to keep us from reaching our goals. But as we keep on by faith, God opens a new way before us. Most of what we worry about never comes to pass. But even when trouble comes, God is there to show us a new course. We can avoid the folly of worry by trusting Him today for all our tomorrows. —R W De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

For all His children God desires

A life of trust, not flurry;

His will for every day is this:

That we should trust, not worry. —Anon.

Worry is a burden that God never meant for us to bear.

Haunting Fears
(Our Daily Bread)

The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God."
--Psalm 53:1

Irrational fears, or phobias, torment many people. They may be afraid of crowds or open spaces or heights. There's even a fear called theophobia, which is either a dread that God exists or a strong denial of His existence. But surely theophobia is rare, isn't it? Maybe not. We read in Romans that enemies of God do all they can to expel any awareness of Him from their minds (Ro1:28). They become "futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts [are] darkened" (Ro 1:21).

We shouldn't be surprised, therefore, when Thomas Nagel, a professor of philosophy and law at New York University, uses logic to explain away "the fear of religion." In his book The Last Word, he candidly admits that he is "strongly subject to this fear," and says, "I hope there is no God!"

Regardless of how apprehensive someone might be of the mere thought of anything religious, God is real and He yearns to be our Savior. When we open our minds and hearts to the gospel of Jesus Christ, our outlook on life changes completely--from fearful pessimism to trustful hope. Then, having an appropriate fear of the Lord, we find deliverance from other fears that plague our lives.

Have you found hope and confidence in Christ? --V C Grounds (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Fear God, you saints, and you shall then

Know what is right to fear;

Make you His service your delight;

Your wants shall be His care. --Tate & Brady

Put your faith in Christ and He will put your fears to rest.

Three Keys to Peace

Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!
--Psalm 144:15

When W. B. Davidson was a young boy, he walked with his father 3 miles from his rural home to his grandmother's house. While they were visiting, the sun set. Davidson writes, "Between our home and grandmother's house was a swamp. That night the croaking of the frogs, the chirping of the crickets, and the shadows of the trees frightened me. I asked my father if there was any danger of something catching us, but he assured me that there was nothing to dread. And so, taking me by the hand, he said, 'I will not allow anything to harm you.' Immediately my fears passed away and I was ready to face the world."

Someone has said that the three keys to real peace are: fret not, faint not, fear not.

1. Fret not--because God loves you (1Jn 4:16).

2. Faint not--because God holds you (Ps139:10).

3. Fear not--because God keeps you (Ps 121:5).

As we rest in the love of Christ and recognize that God holds our hand, we too shall be at peace and unafraid. The "three keys to real peace"--fret not, faint not, fear not--can open our prison of worry and discouragement. Let's step out into the full joy and liberty of the children of God! --Henry G. Bosch (ODB Editor 1956-1981) (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

When the way is dim, and I cannot see

Through the mist of His wise design,

How my glad heart yearns and my faith returns

By the touch of His hand on mine. --Pounds

© 1913 Hope Publishing Company

(Play this marvelous hymn)

The perfect antidote for fear is trust in God.

FEAR OF FALLING

The eternal God is your refuge,
and underneath are the everlasting arms.
--Deuteronomy 33:27

Have you ever dreamed that you were falling out of bed or from some great height, and you awoke in fright? I remember that as a boy I would often be awakened by such a terrifying feeling.

I heard about a man who had this sensation as soon as he slipped into sleep. He was so rudely awakened by his sense of falling that he was afraid to go back to sleep. He feared he would die, and he imagined he was falling into a bottomless pit. Then one evening as he was strolling through a cemetery, he saw this phrase engraved on a tombstone:

Underneath Are

The Everlasting Arms

These words reminded him that when believers die, they are safely carried by the Lord to their home in heaven. He recalled the assurance of the psalmist, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me" (Ps 23:4).

The once-fearful man realized that in life and in death--and even in sleep--the "everlasting arms" of our loving Lord are there to catch and hold us. That night he was able to sing what he was taught in childhood, "Teach me to live that I may dread the grave as little as my bed!" At last he could fall asleep without fear. --M. R. De Haan, M.D. (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

I can trust my loving Savior

When I fear the world's alarms;

There's no safer place of hiding

Than His everlasting arms. --Hess

You can trust God in the dark as well as in the light.

How To Handle Fear

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.
--Psalm 56:3

Some years ago as I lay in a hospital bed, I overheard two women talking in a waiting room outside my door. Evidently the husband of one of them was in critical condition. She had been under extreme stress and was greatly concerned about his recovery. She said to her friend, "You know, when you're as worried as I am, you just have to smoke!" That made me think about how people handle their fears. Some turn to alcohol, others turn to food, and some to busyness. The psalmist gave us a better solution to the problem of fear. He said, "Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You" (Ps 56:3). It's tragic when we turn to something other than the Lord to fill the void or cover up the pain we're feeling.

If we have put our faith in God's Son, Jesus Christ, we can have confidence that our heavenly Father sees us in our trials and has promised His protection. In times of distress, we can place our trust in the Lord. He wants us to call on Him so that He can encourage us with His presence and give us His peace. As you rest in the Lord and rely on Him today, you will be able to say with the psalmist, "Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You." --R W De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Nothing is hid from His all-seeing eye,

Never a teardrop nor even a sigh;

Anxious and troubled you never need be--

Trust Him completely and doubtings will flee. --Nienhuis

When fear knocks at your door,

let faith open it.

Someone Is With You

Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you.
--Isaiah 41:10

Some years ago as I lay in a hospital bed, I overheard two women talking in a waiting room outside my door. Evidently the husband of one of them was in critical condition. She had been under extreme stress and was greatly concerned about his recovery. She said to her friend, "You know, when you're as worried as I am, you just have to smoke!" That made me think about how people handle their fears. Some turn to alcohol, others turn to food, and some to busyness. The psalmist gave us a better solution to the problem of fear. He said, "Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You" (Ps 56:3). It's tragic when we turn to something other than the Lord to fill the void or cover up the pain we're feeling.

If we have put our faith in God's Son, Jesus Christ, we can have confidence that our heavenly Father sees us in our trials and has promised His protection. In times of distress, we can place our trust in the Lord. He wants us to call on Him so that He can encourage us with His presence and give us His peace. As you rest in the Lord and rely on Him today, you will be able to say with the psalmist, "Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You." --R W De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Nothing is hid from His all-seeing eye,

Never a teardrop nor even a sigh;

Anxious and troubled you never need be--

Trust Him completely and doubtings will flee. --Nienhuis

When fear knocks at your door,

let faith open it.

Freedom From Fear

You did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear.
--Romans 8:15 (note)

Lena arrived in the port city of Magadan, Siberia, well before the Iron Curtain was drawn back. Sick and penniless, she went to the dock area to find work. There she met a gentleman who, as she put it, had "a good heart." He gave Lena a job in his factory, and he and his wife provided her with food and shelter. Lena had always feared the future. She confided in the couple about her visits to spiritualists and fortunetellers, but her newfound friends assured her that she didn't need to consult the mediums to be secure about the future. Then they told her about Jesus. Lena had never heard of Him, so they explained who Jesus is and that He could set her free from her fear. A few months later, Lena became a believer in Jesus Christ. "Now," she says, "instead of seeking the spirits, I am led by the Holy Spirit." Her apprehension about the future has been replaced by the peace that God alone can give.

Perhaps you're worried about the future and preoccupied with what it may have in store for you. There's only one way you will ever have peace about it. Like Lena, you must put your future in God's hands. Trust in Christ as your Savior. Then, no matter what the future holds, you will experience the peace that His Holy Spirit brings. --D C Egner (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

I don't worry o'er the future,

For I know what Jesus said;

And today I'll walk beside Him,

For He knows what is ahead. --Stanphill

We may not know what the future holds,

but we can trust the One who holds the future.

Conquering Our Fears

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.
--Psalm 56:3

A young woman who lived in a crime-ridden area was waiting for a bus when a rookie policeman came up to her and asked, "Can I wait with you?" "That's not necessary," she replied. "I'm not afraid." "Well, I am," he said. "Would you mind waiting with me?"

The apostle Paul was candid with his readers in Corinth, admitting his fear and weakness, even to the point of trembling (1Cor 2:3). But he faced up to it, expressed his need for the Lord, and then relied on Him. He said that his speech and preaching were a "demonstration of the Spirit and of power" (1Cor 2:4). We may safely assume that Paul spent much time praying and depending on God while he was in this wicked city.

Admitting that we are sometimes fearful isn't a sign of being out of fellowship with God or that something is wrong in our lives. To acknowledge that we become anxious about dying, about getting cancer, about losing our mind, or about our children getting in trouble is being honest about our feelings. To overcome our fears, we must first acknowledge them. Then we must bring them to God and go forward in obedience. That's the only way to conquer fear. --D J De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Press forward and fear not, though trials be near;

The Lord is our refuge, whom then shall we fear?

His staff is our comfort, our safeguard His rod;

Then let us be steadfast and trust in our God. --Anon.

Do the thing you fear--and the death of fear is certain. --Emerson

Fear and Faith

I agree with the statement "Faith chases out fear, or fear chases out faith." But I also know that no believer is immune to panic or terror.

One Sunday evening the hair on my neck stood up and my heart rate soared as the driver of an oncoming car tried to pass another vehicle when he shouldn't have and I was forced off the road. Christians caught in a major earthquake have told me about the panic that seized them when it occurred. Military people who have survived intense bombing attacks say that anyone who claims he wasn't afraid at the time is either a liar or a fool.

It is not a sin to feel panic or terror in a life-threatening situation.

During a sudden, violent storm, the disciples were gently rebuked as having "little faith" because they should have known that nothing could harm them while Jesus was in their boat. But they did the right thing in calling out to Him, "Lord, save us!" (Mt 8:25).

Jesus responded to their fears with the question

"Why are you timid (fearful, cowardly), you men of little faith?" Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and it became perfectly calm." (Mt 8:26)

Next time fear strikes, think of the truth about God and commit to trust His character. Follow the pattern of the psalmist who said, "Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You" (Ps. 56:3). Some handle their fears by turning to alcohol, others to food, and some to busyness. The psalmist gives us a better solution -- turn to the LORD. It's tragic when we turn to something other than the Lord to fill the void or cover up the pain we're feeling.

Remember, fear will chase out faith
or faith will chase out fear.

I'll walk this day in faith, dear Lord,

No foe nor storm I'll fear;

Because I'm trusting in Your Word,

I know that You are near. --Anon.

Faith can break the stranglehold of fear.

Nothing is hid from His all-seeing eye,

Never a teardrop nor even a sigh;

Anxious and troubled you never need be--

Trust Him completely and doubtings will flee. --Nienhuis

When fear knocks at your door, let faith open it.

How To Conquer Fear

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.
--Psalm 56:3

We live in a world plagued by fear. People worry about illness, poverty, family disruption, war, famine, and the future. For those who place their trust in the Lord, however, it's different. Because their lives are in the hands of an all-wise, all-loving, all-powerful heavenly Father, they can face any difficult situation with confidence.

Henry Durbanville writes this about the gifted fourth-century preacher John Chrysostom: "Exiled from the position which he held as the greatest preacher of his age, this noble man refused to be intimidated. 'What can I fear?' he asks. 'Will it be death? But you know that Christ is my life, and that I shall gain by death. Will it be exile? But the earth and all its fullness are the Lord's. Will it be loss of wealth? But we brought nothing into this world and can carry nothing out. Thus all the terrors of the world are contemptible in my eyes, and I smile at all its good things. Poverty I do not fear, riches I do not sigh for, and from death I do not shrink.'" This same testimony can be ours. With God as our Father, Christ as our Savior, and the Holy Spirit as our Guide, we can face every situation with perfect confidence in the One who conquers fear. --R W De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Terror by night nor arrow's flight

Can make my soul afraid;

Naught can alarm, no foe can harm,

When on Him I am stayed. --Anon.

Faith in God is the best antidote for fear.

Fight Fear With Fear
Read: Psalm 34:4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

"Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him."
--Psalm 34:9

The daughter of a well-known Chicago crime boss has written a book in which she tells of the uneasy fear that continuously stalked her father. His gangland-style death later confirmed that his fears were not unfounded.

Many people live with fears that are as real to them as the dread of the mob was to that man, even though their lives are good and upright. Take the case of David, the author of Psalm 34. He had reason to be fearful because he was stalked by men who wanted to kill him. Yet his experience helps us see the right way to deal with fear.

Just as fire can be used to fight fire, so fear can be used to fight fear. David reminded his readers that those who fear God above all else can be delivered from all other fears. When believers learn to reverence God and obey Him, they find that they are the most privileged and favored people in the whole world (Ps 34:8, 9).

Are you looking for security in a world where frightening situations and unsettling circumstances abound? There is no better way to find it than to live each day with a healthy fear of God--a reverence that creates a longing to obey Him. --M R De Haan II (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Fear Him, ye saints, and you will then

Have nothing else to fear;

Make you His service your delight,

He'll make your wants His care. --Tate & Brady

Those who fear God most fear men least.

JESUS IS WITH YOU

Isaiah 41:10 was originally spoken by Isaiah to Israel but in principle is applicable to every believer:

'Do not fear, for I am with you;

Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,

Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'

Isaiah 41:10

Every night a boy had to walk past what he believed was a haunted house. A friend gave him a good-luck charm to give him courage. An adult said, "It's sinful to be afraid. Trust God! Be brave!" But he was still afraid. Then someone said with compassion, "I know what it is to be afraid. I will walk with you past the house." That's all the boy needed to quell his fears.

Several years ago I was asked to conduct a funeral. I had spoken at many similar occasions as a pastor, but this one was different. Physical and emotional exhaustion had depleted my inner reserves, causing me to lose all confidence in myself. But as the hour approached, I held to the promise of Isaiah 41:10 and did what I knew I had to do. Looking back, I've concluded that it wasn't simply using a Bible verse or telling myself to trust God that helped me through. Instead, it was because Someone was at that funeral, not only comforting the grieving but also lifting my fears. That Someone was Jesus Christ, who Himself had endured intense sorrow and grief. He was there in the person of the Holy Spirit. Are you facing fear today? Let the words of Isaiah 41:10 remind you that the Lord is with you. --D J De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Fear not, I am with thee--O be not dismayed,

For I am thy God, I will still give thee aid;

I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,

Upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand.

(Play Hymn "How Firm A Foundation")

Fear will leave us

when we remember that Jesus is with us.

There’s within my heart a melody

Jesus whispers sweet and low,

Fear not, I am with thee, peace, be still,

In all of life’s ebb and flow.

(Play Hymn "He Keeps Me Singing")

WHICH SCARECROW DO YOU FEAR?

Like the children of Israel in Numbers 13:17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22,23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, Hannah Hurnard, author of Hinds' Feet on High Places, was once paralyzed by fear. Then she heard a sermon on scarecrows that challenged her to turn her fear into faith. The preacher said, "A wise bird knows that a scarecrow is simply an advertisement. It announces that some very juicy and delicious fruit is to be had for the picking. There are scarecrows in all the best gardens… If I am wise, I too shall treat the scarecrow as though it were an invitation. Every giant in the way which makes me feel like a grasshopper is only a scarecrow beckoning me to God's richest blessings." He concluded, "Faith is a bird which loves to perch on scarecrows. All our fears are groundless." Hannah testified that this humble parable has encouraged her to walk along some frightening but fruitful pathways more times than she could number.

What is your scarecrow today? Difficult circumstances? Personal inadequacy? Uncertainty? The enemy of your soul wants to keep you away from the place of God's blessing. Perch on your scarecrow by faith, start singing, and expect an abundant feast! --(Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

So let us trust Him in our troubles,

For He is loving, kind, and wise;

And most often trials and troubles

Are but blessings in disguise.

--Jarvis

THE ANTIDOTE FOR ANXIETY

Our world is filled with fear. Even in fairly stable and secure countries, people are afraid. According to a USA Today article, "We panic over pesticides and cellular phones, ozone holes and mercury fillings."

Science, government, and psychiatry can deal with some of these fears, but there are other fear-producing circumstances that even the world's most powerful military force can't prevent--an earthquake, a tornado, a flood, a fatal disease.

One fear, however, overshadows all others--the fear of our inescapable appointment with death and God's judgment (Heb 2:14, 15; 9:27).

The only antidote for this anxiety, and ultimately all others, is found in gaining confidence that we are in God's protective care.

That assurance begins to grow when we put our trust in Jesus as our Savior. He is the One who took the sting out of death (1Cor 15:55, 56, 57). Once we receive Him as our Savior, our faith grows as we learn more about the wisdom, love, and power of God, and our fears diminish as we choose to focus on Christ instead.

Today, declare with the psalmist: "I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust'" (Ps. 91:2). --V C Grounds (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

There's so much now I cannot see,

My eyesight's far too dim;

But come what may, I'll simply trust

And leave it all to Him.

--Overton

The perfect cure for worry is trust in God

Playing God
(Our Daily Bread)

Do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about its own things
.
--Matthew 6:34

I had never thought of worry as a form of taking on God's responsibility. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that worry, in its naked form, comes close to doing just that. I thought of this after seeing a sign in a church foyer that read:

Do not feel totally, personally,

irrevocably responsible for

everything. That's My job. --God

This advice does not absolve us of all responsibility, however. The force of the statement lies in the words totally, personally, irrevocably, and everything. We often feel we must solve all our problems ourselves, and that unless we come up with the right solution all will be lost. Of course, we must take responsibility for our own lives. Yet God wants us to rely on His guidance. When problems arise, our first duty is to bring them to Him in prayer. He may show us that we've created our own difficulty, and may reveal that we must make changes to resolve it. He'll grant forgiveness and give the strength to change. Or He'll assure us that we're doing all we can, and say, "Leave it with Me. Just do your next duty."

Only God has sufficient energy and wisdom to handle everything well. Worry will gradually lose its hold on our lives if we learn to stop playing God. --D J De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

I walked life's path with worry,

Disturbed and quite unblest,

Until I trusted Jesus;

Now faith has given rest.

--HGB

When worry walks in, strength runs out,

but strength returns when we let God in

One Way to Get Rid of Fear

The wicked flee when no one pursues,
but the righteous are bold as a lion
.
--Proverbs 28:1

The flashing sign along a stretch of North Carolina interstate warned:

Slow Down:
Drug Checkpoint Ahead

About 200 vehicles took the next exit--and were the only ones searched. The only drivers with reason to exit were residents or those avoiding the checkpoint! Authorities made several arrests and seized two cars that were transporting drugs.

A loss of courage is just one of the side effects of law-breaking. The boldness required to break the law is soon replaced by the fear of getting caught. We find ourselves running even when no one is chasing us (Pr 28:1). Our fear eventually reveals and confirms our guilt.

In Leviticus 26, God explicitly told His people what would happen if they chose to break His law. He warned that they would flee at "the sound of a shaken leaf" (Lv 26:36), and they would run "when no one pursues" (Lv 26:37). But He also left the door open for genuine repentance (Lev 26:40, 41, 42).

Fear shows our lack of a close relationship with God. Confession is the first step in restoration. If we admit our sins to God, He promises forgiveness (1Jn. 1:9). By coming clean with God, you'll discover that your fear will be fleeing instead of you. (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

My sin--O the bliss of this glorious thought--

My sin, not in part, but the whole,

Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more:

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

--Spafford

Few things instill more courage

than a good conscience toward God.

PARALYZING EFFECT OF FEAR
(Our Daily Bread)

One day Charles Spurgeon, the great 19th-century preacher, stood on a London street corner, afraid to cross the road. The street was a bustle of horses, carts, and carriages, with drivers urging their steeds onward at breakneck speeds and no rules of the road to control them. Only when a blind man asked Spurgeon for help did the two cross together in safety.

Fear is a powerful, paralyzing emotion. It can make grown men seem like frightened children. God not only understands this, but He is also very patient with us as He develops in us the faith that overcomes fear.

In Matthew 14, Jesus calmed the disciples' terror with the words "Be of good cheer! It is I" (v27). But He also rebuked them, saying, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" (v31). He wanted their "little faith" to yield to larger faith.

The Lord can use our fears to develop our faith. We may, like Spurgeon on that street corner, defeat fear by helping others. Or, like the disciples, we may sense the Lord's rebuke. But His chastening cannot come without the knowledge that He is there. To the child of God learning to trust in His care and goodness, our fears will bring renewed assurance that He is always there (Heb 13:5). (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

HOW TO HANDLE FEAR
What do these verses from Psalms say about fear?
Ps 18:4, 5, 6,28, 29; 23:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; 27:1, 2, 3,14; 34:4, 5,6, 7, 8, 9,10; 56:1-11

Put your faith in Christ
and put your fears to rest

EFFECT OF TRUTH ON FEAR
"The Law of Confidence"

In the fear of Jehovah there is strong confidence.
--Proverbs 14:26

Do your legs shake and does your mouth get dry at the thought of talking to a nonbeliever about Christ? If so, you're not alone. To the extent that we learn to fear God, we can overcome our fear of people. This is what I call "the law of confidence." It's not the only factor in developing courage, but it's the most important.

This rule makes little sense to those who look for security only in man-made hiding places. Yet for those who love God above all else, the words of Jesus carry strength: "Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Mt. 10:28). This truth dissolves fear and gives courage to those who accept it. Deep in their hearts they realize that even if the Lord allows the enemy to destroy their physical life they will lose only what is keeping them from enjoying the presence of their Savior in heaven.

Think of that when God gives you an opportunity to speak or act in His behalf. There may be an initial struggle with fear. But once you see your life as secure in God, as David did in Psalm 3, you'll find sleep and renewed strength. -- (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

O feeble soul! O timid heart!

Would you be strong and true?

Then from all sin and wrong depart

And seek God's will to do.

--DJD

Fear God and you will have nothing else to fear

Are you looking for security in a world where frightening situations and unsettling circumstances abound? There is no better way to find it than to live each day with a healthy fear of God--a reverence that creates a longing to obey Him

Those who fear God most fear men least

Tags