Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid… for I myself will help you,” declares the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
This past year I finished a series of booklets detailing some of the major concerns many people are facing. The booklet on fear has been the most requested booklets of the fourteen topics.
Fear is something that can absolutely extinguish the joy in life. It can make the healthiest person sick to their stomach. It can paralyze your ability to think clearly. Those who regularly experience fear know too well its byproducts — discouragement and doubt.
Today, many people focus on their fears instead of the rich promises of God. We fear financial ruin because of the unstable global economy. We fear the loss of our jobs because of a brighter, more talented, young person may take our spot. Many fear a global war with countries like Iran or terrorists who have taken over missile armories. Then we fear what will happen to America because of the decline of the moral and social values we once cherished.
The singer and psalmist, Asaph, who wrote twelve of the Psalms found in the Bible, shares with us his remedy for discouragement and doubt. In Psalm 73 we read that at one time Asaph was prideful and arrogant. He wrongly viewed those who had prosperity as wicked. Asaph looked at those who were connected and successful and was seemingly jealous. He was also in despair about his own condition.
Then he realized that his focus had been wrong: “When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.” (Psalm 73:16–17) Asaph realized that living a life without fear, discouragement, and doubt has no bearing upon a person’s wealth or status in life. It has to do with our focus and faith.
Jesus reminds us, “But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God.” (Luke 12:6–8)
It is easy to look at our circumstances and feel afraid. The Apostle Paul reminds us: “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.” (Hebrews 11:24–26). When fear raises its ugly head and challenges your peace, remember to daily appropriate the promises of God and look ahead to your eternal reward.
How do these verses speak to you:
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
“And this is what he promised us even eternal life.” (1 John 2:25)
Suggestion for Prayer
Tell God what you’re afraid of and ask Him to replace your fear with His perfect peace. Thank Him for caring about you enough to know even the numbers of hairs on your head and trust Him to continue to care for you. Imagine your eternal reward and praise God for His perfect provision.
Jim Grassi, D. Min.