Proverbs 3:25-26 says, “Do not be afraid of sudden terror, nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; for the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught.”
We certainly live in a time where fear seems warranted, don’t we? Frequent terrorist attacks have altered many of our activities, we can’t let our children use public restrooms unattended for fear of pedophiles, and this year’s election cycle may be enough to give us a nervous break-down. “Sudden terror” and “the wicked” press in on us from all sides.
When there are very real reasons to fear, how do we obey scripture and not live in fear? By realizing that emotions are not meant to paralyze us, but are meant to cause us to act. Pretending that there isn’t danger in the world is foolish. We can bring some calm into our lives by being prepared.
My sister lives in Kodiak, Alaska and takes walks with her baby every day. The very real threat of bears doesn’t keep her huddled in her house, but she also takes the dog, bear spray and a firearm when she goes out. While we should certainly do what we can to protect ourselves and our families from evil, there are also spiritual things that we can do to keep fear from overtaking us.
First, we acknowledge the complete authority that God has over our lives. Job 14:5 says, “You have decided the length of our lives. You know how many months we will live, and we are not given a minute longer.” That means that no matter what happens, nothing can happen to us personally that God has not allowed. This should be a great comfort to us!
Second, we should pray. The Psalms are full of prayers about fear. Psalm 118:5 says, “I called upon the Lord in my distress; the Lord answered me.” Particularly as it relates to the state of our nation, more and more people are saying that they are afraid. For the first time ever, when polled, people say that they believe that their children are going to be worse off than they were. More than 80% of people say that they are dissatisfied with the direction of our country and they feel helpless to do anything about it. We are not helpless! We can (and must!) go to God in prayer for our country, not just asking for safety, but asking for spiritual renewal. The Lord answers such prayers.
Third, we develop a heavenly perspective. Paul said, “For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Phil. 1:21).” If we are not firmly convinced that when we die we will live in eternity with Jesus in perfect peace, and that this is infinitely better than anything that we can imagine, we will hold too tightly to this earth and will live in constant fear of losing it. Death is not the worst thing that can happen to a Christian, in many ways it is the best!
We do not have to be chained to fear, even as evil and terror surrounds us. We are above that. We are children of a good and all-powerful God. Never forget whose you are and how much you are loved. Let us fill our minds with the truth of God’s Word, so that there is no room in it for overwhelming fear.
(For those who have missed any of the previous lessons, you can go to https://comethirstyministry.com/blog/ and view all previous postings.)
Day 1: Psalm 68:1-13 (God Defends Widows)
Day 2: Psalm 113:1-9 (Women)
Day 3: Psalm 139:1-24 (We are known by God)
Day 4: Proverbs 2:22 (Teach our Children)
Day 5: Proverbs 3:11-30 (Wisdom as a Woman)