The word for this week is 'FEAR'.
Not in the sense of reverence or awe of God but rather in the sense of fright, of being afraid. Fear is a very real thing. Some people fear death. Some fear disease. Some fear the dark. Some fear the effect of drugs while others do not fear the effect quite enough. Some fear losing what they possess and what may well possess them. Some fear what isn’t known and while some fear what is. If it is possible to fear fear, I’m sure someone is experiencing that today too.
Fear can be a paralyzing experience. Charles Allen, author of Victory in the Valleys shares this story about fear. 5-year old Johnny was in the kitchen as his mother made supper. She asked him to go into the pantry and get her a can of tomato soup, but he didn't want to go in alone. "It's dark in there and I'm scared." She asked again, and he persisted. Finally she said, "It's OK--Jesus will be in there with you." Johnny walked hesitantly to the door and slowly opened it. He peeked inside, saw it was dark, and started to leave when all at once an idea came, and he said: "Jesus, if you're in there, would you hand me that can of tomato soup?" The words “fear not” or “do not be afraid” are used 365 times in scripture—once for each day of the year on the Gregorian calendar. God knew that fear would be a present reality in our life and encourages us to not be overcome by it. The first usage of it is found in Genesis 15:1 when God told Abram to not be afraid. The last use of the term is located in Revelation 2:10 where Jesus says to His church, ‘do not fear any of those thing you are about to suffer’. (Speaking directly to the church at Smyrna and us)
So what do you fear today? Has it paralyzed your ability to move forward in the journey of faith? Have you put on the whole armor of God and picked up the sword of the Spirit so that you may be able to stand strong in a world that would want you and me to be overwhelmed by fear? The only way to overcome fear is to respond with faith in the promises of God. David said in Psalm 27:1, "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?" It has been wisely said, "When you fear (reverence) God you have no reason to fear (be afraid) anything else." Trouble is compounded when we choose the opposite approach in life. When there is no fear (awe--reverence) of God in our lives, as a consequence life will be overwhelming.
When faced with circumstances that appear dark with uncertainty, I urge you to 'faith in Christ'. He will turn the light on for you. He will provide light in the darkness so that you might see and not be afraid to walk where you've never had the confidence to do so before.
Therefore in the middle of the month of August 2018, let's join with David and the ranks of the redeemed and proclaim to the adversary and the world that Jesus is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
"Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered..."
That includes the enemy of fear! Therefore do not be afraid!
May the Lord bless you with courage today to enjoy the victory He has already accomplished on your behalf in Jesus!
1 Corinthians 15:58