Well, I was in the midst of writing this second part when all of a sudden I accidentally closed the window where I was writing. I fear doing that when I write. I was just about to finish the article, as a matter of fact. So, Let me attempt to remember what I so wonderfully had written…
I grew up with fear. I was afraid of my two older brothers beating up on me. I was afraid of doing something wrong and getting caught by either my father or mother. I was afraid of not making the right grades in school. I was afraid of taking tests. I was afraid of Marco who bullied me in elementary school. I was afraid of losing my parents or my siblings. I was just a scared kid; I had fear.
As I grew older, I was afraid of asking a girl out on a date. I was afraid of rejection. I was afraid of not graduating from high school. I was afraid of my future. I was afraid that parents would get a divorce. I was afraid of driving. I was afraid of leaving my room.
As a Pastor you would think that I have gotten over my fears. Now that I am 48 years old, the biggest fear I have is germs. That’s not a good thing when you’re a Pastor. After all, you have to shake people’s hands even though you have no idea where their hands have been. Then there’s the occasional “close” talker. You know the types: they stand real close to you and you can feel their breath on you when they are talking; they stand so close you can hear them breathing; they stand so close that you can even see their nose hairs sticking out…
At any rate, fear is a real thing that I have dealt with and continue to do at times. I am sure that there are some of you who deal with fear either on a constant basis or now and then as well. It grips us. We have no idea what to expect when we enter an unfamiliar place. Fear takes hold of us when we get around a whole bunch of people with whom we have nothing in common. Fear arrests us at times when we are worried about our current familial situations or financial situations. Fear is a real malady by which all of us are afflicted if not all of the time at times.
In the first part of this series, we learned that when we have a fearful heart, we can turn to the Lord and He will answer and deliver us from all of our fears (Psalm 34:4). In the midst of fear, God is surely able to deliver us. It takes us learning to seek after Him (Matthew 6:25-34), and when we seek after Him, He will be found! Then when He is found, we need to keep our focus on Him instead of our fears (Psalm 4:8; Philippians 4:8, 13). In Jesus Christ there is safety and security (John 14:1-6) and because of this, we need to fix our eyes on Him.
Knowing these things, we do not have to be slaves to fear. And believe me, for some fear is their master. Paul the apostle wrote some encouraging words to us:
Romans 8:15: For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
1 Timothy 1:7: For God has not give us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.
Because God has gifted us with the spirit of power and love and discipline, we can overcome our fears whatever they may be. But notice that it is God who has given us these things. It is not something that we have within ourselves per se. Rather, it is a dependence and trust in Him and in His Word. Trusting God casts out fear.
Psalm 56:3-4: When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?
Psalm 56:10-11: In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise, in God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?
Man cannot do anything to me that is going to cause me to fear because I know that God is with and for me and I know that He will never forsake me!
Hebrews 13:5-6: Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my Helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?”
Fear grips us at times. But when we turn to the Lord for help to overcome our fears, they dissipate. Fear arrests us at times. Sometimes the fear seems to be overwhelming but God’s love casts out fear. Fear keeps us at times in a frenzy, but we have nothing to fear because of God’s presence with us.
To overcome fear in 2015, turn to the Lord Jesus Christ. He has said to us:
John 14:1-6: “Do not let your heart be trouble; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”