FEAR NOT! (Psalm 56:3-4)
Nothing comes into your life but what Almighty God allows. Sometimes He says, “I will let her go through that. She will draw upon My strength.” God may also say, “No. I will not allow that. It will overwhelm him. He is not ready.” Nothing comes into your life that God doesn’t already know about. And since He is with you, you don’t have to fear.
Can fear be avoided entirely? Probably not. But Scripture gives us an alternative plan that prepares against and responds to fear. Psalm 56:3 says, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” God's Word gives us hope when we find ourselves overtaken by fear. Instead of staggering in it, we can put our trust in Him. We can deliberately turn away from fear and toward the Lord.
Many have sought refuge in the Lord in their times of fear. In 1947, missionaries Dick and Margaret Hillis settled with their four children by the Mule River in the Honan province of China. Nearby, a mission church swelled with nearly a thousand Chinese every Sunday. It would have been a happy time but for the impending war between Chiang kai-Shek and the forces of Mao Tse-tung.
One day, Nationalist Captain Hwang urgently told Dick, "The Communists are marching on the Mule River Market. You better take your family and flee." It was too late, however. The Communists had blown up all the railroad bridges. That evening the Hillis family heard the first shots and soon the battle raged around them. There was no sleep as they spent the night in prayer. The city soon fell, and the streets were filled with a swarm of Communist troops.
Then a new danger arose. Captain Hwang, outside the city walls, was lobbing shells at the Communist soldiers. The bombing reached a crescendo one night as each shell dropped closer to the Hillis home. The house next door exploded into flames and splinters, killing all that lived within it. It appeared that the Hillis home would be obliterated next. The family huddled together in the corner as another shell exploded shooting dirt, glass, and bricks through the windows and walls. The house trembled and quaked as the bombs exploded. The children screamed and were momentarily deafened by the explosions. The family prepared for death when suddenly the shelling stopped. The family emerged from the corner into a room that was filled with debris, but no one was hurt.
Dick tucked the children into bed that night. When he knelt by Margaret Anne, he noticed a dirty scrap of paper stuffed under her pillow. On it was printed in big, childlike letters these words: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." During her nights of terror in China, little Margaret was learning to be still and rest in God's care in her time of fear. God wants us to do the same.
David confronted his fear with unwavering trust in the Lord and by praising the Lord for the reliability of His Word. David cried out, What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. He knew the antidote to fear. It is trusting God. When fear grips our heart, the escape is to trust Him. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me. Taking God at His Word is the essence of trust. David, no doubt, reflected upon the promises of God’s deliverance which he found in the Word. David praised God’s Word and he was not afraid what men might try to do to him. His trust was in God and in His Word. David had nothing to fear.
God's Word gives many reasons why we need not fear. Here are a few of those reasons.
1. He is our Safekeeper—The Lord will protect us. (II Kings 6:16)
2. He is our Shadow—God is with us and will bless us. (Genesis 26:24; Isaiah 43:1-3)
3. He's on our Side—God is on our side. (Psalm 118:6)
4. He does Significant things—Great things God will do. (Joel 2:21)
5. He is our Soldier—The Lord helps fight our enemies. (Deuteronomy 20:3-4)
6. He is our Spouse—Our Maker is our husband. (Isaiah 54:4-5)
7. He is Stable—God will not fail or forsake us. (I Chronicles 28:20)
8. He is Steadfast—The Lord is consistent. He changes not. (Malachi 3:5-6)
9. He is our Strength—The Lord will strengthen and help us in weakness. (Isaiah 41:10)
10. He has Superiority over Death—There is life beyond the grave. The Lord has conquered death. (Revelation 1:17-18)
11. He is our Supplier—God supplies our needs. (I Kings 17:13; Philippians 4:19)
12. His Surveillance is Upon Us—God watches over us and cares for us. (Matthew 10:30-31)
Prayer, Father, I confess that sometimes my fears reveal I’m not trusting You as I know I should, but trusting in something or someone else instead. Thank You for reminding me just how fragile everything else is compared with You. Thank You for never leaving or forsaking me. Thank You for never letting me down and always proving Yourself trustworthy. Help me learn to trust You increasingly and banish fears from my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.