Friday, March 25, 2011

Fear Not: Part 2

(This post is part of a series where I'm posting a message that I recently shared with the ladies of our church.  To read Part 1, go here.)



Over the years, I’ve come to accept that I’m not an expert in many things.   I've had to accept that for whatever reason, apart from the Lord’s help, I am just very very prone to fear what is frightening.

Whether you’re a fear “expert” like me, or more casually aware of an occasional anxiety, we all are acquainted with fears.  In the midst of our fears and worries, something deep down within us wants to know...is it really possible to have lasting peace? If it is possible, how?  

We’re going to spend some time in God’s word this morning to see what He says about how we can weaken the influence of fear in our lives. Let’s turn together in our Bibles to Isaiah 41.  One passage that’s been especially helpful to me over the years in my own struggle against fear is found in this chapter. 

Isaiah is writing to the people of the southern kingdom of Israel.  In the early parts of Isaiah, God forecasts that the people are going to experience His judgment.  They’ll experience His judgment by losing everything they’ve held dear and taken refuge in in this world.  They’ll even lose their land and their homes.  Pretty scary situation, right?  But then later in the book of Isaiah, God begins speaking words of reassurance to His people, even as they face the prospect of a terrifying situation, of losing everything that’s mattered to them. Follow along with me in Isaiah 41:10 to hear the Lord loving speak to His fearful children: 

God tells us, “Fear not, for I am with you.  Be not dismayed for I am your God.  I will strengthen you.  I will help you.  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

This call from God not to fear isn’t a judicial order; God wasn’t barking out an uncaring or exasperated command like, “FEAR NOT! “ That’s not the heart behind God’s words. These words are being spoken from the mouth of a loving Father that really cares about His fearful children.

Imagine holding your child that you deeply love in your arms-your child that’s crying and scared, afraid of the dark and looking to you for comfort.  You want to help this little one; you don’t want this child that you love to fear so you tenderly and patiently say, “Don’t be afraid.”  That’s how God is lovingly speaking these words to the Israelities-the same nation that’s well known for years before having wandered in the desert for 40 years, a nation that grumbled against God and forgot Him, a nation that doubted again and again that He’d provide.  God is lovingly speaking these words to the Israelites as a loving Father and He’s speaking them to us as well.

Do you see that when He says, “Fear not,” He’s saying it with love?  God is not merely a distant judge, He’s a loving Father.  Before we even cared anything about Him, He decided-He chose to make us His children.  He adopted us into His family.  “In love He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will.” (Eph.1:4-5)  He is our loving father.

So we can see in Isaiah 41:10 that God lovingly calls us not to fear.  But there’s something else we need to see; we need to see the reason why He calls us not to fear.

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One Response to “Fear Not: Part 2”

  1. thanks for sharing this here, Katie. I'm sorry I missed hearing it live but I am enjoying reading it here!

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