Fear Not, for I am with You
All through Scripture God tells His people over and over not be afraid. He is forever saying “fear not” and “I am with you” to His children. I think He assures us again and again because He knows that we are afraid of so many things. Without the Father’s care there is much to fear in this life. But the Father calls His children to live a fear-free life.
How would a fear-free life differ from the life you are living now? When we live with fear, physical and chemical reactions are activated in our bodies that are toxic to our bodies and to our health. And living with fear keeps us miserable and negative. Our loving Father has better things for us than that. It is His desire to give us the kingdom!
Scripture says: “For the Spirit which you have now received is not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption in which we cry, Abba Father!” (Romans 8:15) The Holy Spirit that lives in us, is the Spirit of adoption. The Holy Spirit will cause us to know that we have been adopted into the family of God and have a heavenly Father. And this Spirit will lead us to pray and cry out to God as our “Abba”. The word “Abba” means Daddy. God our heavenly Father is a personal God and Father to us! We talk or pray to Him and He talks or communes with us.
Is this Scripture implying that the spirit of slavery to the bondage of fear is the opposite from the Spirit of adoption in which we cry, Abba Father? When we are in a loving community we do have less fear than when we are out there on our own and by ourselves, or when we are in an unloving community. The Bible tells us that “There is no fear in love because perfect love casts out fear” (1John 4:18) Is God’s love the antidote for fear?
I have a friend who volunteered to be the foster mother to a small child who had been severely abused by her parents. The child had been shaken so badly by her parents that doctors believed she had become brain damaged. Her name was Suzie, and when Suzie arrived at my friend’s house, she could not talk or walk. Without loving parents, the child’s growth had been stunted. Suzie was two and a half years old and doctors believed that she would never grow to be a normal child. They thought she might be blind since she didn’t seem to see anything. All the child did was bang her head against the wall day after day.
My friend loved this little girl the minute saw her. She became her foster mother and she took Suzie in her arms and rocked and sang to her. My friend played games with Suzie and spent weeks just holding her and loving her. Soon Suzie began to smile and cuddle and babble. And gradually she started trying to say words to her foster mother. She stopped banging her head against the wall and after a year passed Suzie was playing with toys and walking. Today Suzie is a happy normal five year old running and playing with other children her age. As a single mother, my friend adopted little Suzie and she insists that all Suzie needed was love.
Babies in orphanages who are not loved often die. They have no physical disease but it would seem that their spirits need love to survive. And they die from a lack of love. And we are like those babies in that we grownups also need love or we will die. God the heavenly Father calls us to come to Him through Christ, but we can refuse His call. When we run away from God’s abiding love, we are like babies who do not receive the love we were meant to have. We have no anchor when the storms of life come. Fear takes over our lives when we leave God out.
God calls us to trust Him with our problems. “Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5) Take God at His Word! Learn to experience the faithfulness of God. Choose trust in God over worry. Scripture says: “Cast all your cares and troubles onto Him because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 3:5
God calls His children to love Him and obey His Word and love and help one another. To live out a life of love. He wants us to love Him more than anything else. (Exodus 20:3) And He calls us to “Abide in My love” (John 15:9) Can we take time to abide in Gods’ love? Sink down into it? What a joy and comfort and luxury. Scripture tells us that “God is love.” (1 John 1:9) And perfect love casts out fear. Remember that the God of the universe is our loving Father.
Let’s remind ourselves when we become fearful, that God is with us? When trouble comes we can focus on Christ and not on our trouble. Embrace that you are in God’s hands instead of spending time thinking about what could go wrong. Do what we can and don’t worry about what we cannot do. We know that we can do whatever we need to do through Christ who strengthens us. (Philippians 4:13) We have wonderful promises in the Bible and this one in Philippians 4:13 is one of my favorites. I often feel like I am not capable of doing a job that is put in front of me. In those times when I feel inadequate, I pray and stand on Philippians 4:13. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I can feel Him there with me strengthening me as I start out on the job and feel my fear slipping away.
If we focus on faith then as we use our faith, we find that it will grow. Little faith will become great faith with use. And when we have faith in God we can shut the door to the fear that so often comes knocking. And we can stand on the precious promises in Scripture and experience for ourselves that they are real. Faith is all important. If we have ten million dollars in the bank but we don’t believe it is there, then we may go hungry in the streets. We cannot experience God’s abundant love through Christ for us without having the faith to believe it. (John 3:16)
Also Scripture tells us to “Be anxious in nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication make your requests known to God, and the peace of God which passes understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6) This Scripture instructs us to pray instead of being anxious and worried. To release the problem to God. God promises to take care of us.
Whenever fear comes over me and threatens to do me in, I always run to my very favorite Bible verse: Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed: for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with the right Hand of My righteousness.” When we remember that the all powerful and merciful God our Father is always with us in our problem, strengthening us and helping us and holding us up with the right Hand of His righteousness, then fear has no place to settle in and take hold of us. “The Lord is our Light and our Salvation, Whom shall we fear?” (Psalm 27:1)
Some of the ideas in this blog were taken from Joyce Meyer’s book, “Power Thoughts”.