Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Fear Not: Part 3

(This continues the series where I'm re-posting the message that I shared last year with the women of our church.  If you missed the beginning, you can read Part 1 and Part 2.)
The reason that we’re called not to fear isn’t because scary things don’t happen (they do!) or because we can handle them on our own (we can’t).  The Israelites really were facing a very frightening situation that they simply could not handle on their own.  The reason that they were called not to fear, the reason we’re called not to fear is because of the truth of who God is.  This is how God wants us to weaken the influence of fear: by fighting for faith in Him.

God tells us, “Fear not for/or because: I AM WITH YOU."  Why are we called not to fear? Because God is with us.  He’ll never leave us; this isn’t just a nice idea or an isolated verse in scripture.  This promise is repeated over and over and over again in God’s Word.  Just one of many other places where this is said is Hebrews13:5, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  He’s with us!

God tells us, “Be not dismayed for/or because, I am your God.”  Why are we called not to fear?  Because He is our God-ours!  He’s not a distant stranger; if we have put our hope in Christ for the forgiveness of our sins, we have a relationship with God as our loving Father. We’re His children!  He really cares about us because we’re His.  He promises this over and over again in His Word. For example, Isaiah 43:1 says, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.”

God tells us, “I will strengthen you.  I will help you.  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  Why are we called not to fear? Because He promises to strengthen us! He promises to help us.  He promises to uphold us with His righteous right hand.

Think of the Israelites again.  They were in the desert for 40 years; a really frightening situation.  They were utterly dependent on God to provide even the very food that they ate.  And what did He do?  He gave them a new food that they’d never even heard of; He gave them manna.  He came through for them with just enough food for each and every day so that they wouldn’t starve.  God really did strengthen, help and uphold them even while their scary situation continued for decades and decades.  And this same God promises to strengthen, help, and uphold us.

This is who God is.  He’s our loving father that’s with us.  No matter what happens, He will strengthen us and help us and uphold us.  If we’re really believing this, shouldn’t it make a difference when we face things that are scary?

(Check back tomorrow for Part 4.)

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