23 Apr Facing Our Fears
April 23, 2021
If God is for us, who is against us?
What is it that you are most fearful of right now? Maybe you are worried about the ungodly culture you, your children, and your grandchildren are facing. Maybe you are worried about escalating tensions around the world or here in the United States. But I imagine what you fear most is much closer to home. Maybe it is a health concern. Maybe it is the possibility of losing your job. Maybe it is a financial concern. Let me encourage you to do something: Make a list of those two or three things that seem to be sapping your spiritual strength. Then find a corresponding verse from God’s Word that has a promise for you concerning that fear. For example, if you are afraid that you will not be able to provide for yourself or your family, you might want to read or memorize Matthew 6:25-26: “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life. . . . Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?”
To give in to your fear is to assume that you are powerless. Yes, you and I are powerless apart from God. But we have a God who has limitless promises and a limitless presence. I love the words of Peter Kreeft, who said, “God has more power in one breath of his spirit than all the winds of war, all the nuclear bombs, all the energy of all the suns in all the galaxies, all the fury of Hell itself.” Do you believe in a God like that–a God who can do anything? Therefore, as He said to Joshua, why should you tremble or be dismayed?
In his book “All In,” Mark Batterson wrote about a group of missionaries a century ago who were known as one-way missionaries. When God called them to an assignment, they bought a one-way ticket, fully planning to die wherever God called them. One of those missionaries was A. W. Milne, who felt the call of God to set sail for the New Hebrides islands in the South Pacific. Every missionary who had gone before him had been martyred by the tribesmen, yet he was not fearful of death. He went boldly knowing that he was answering God’s call. A. W. Milne ministered in the New Hebrides for thirty-five years. When he died, the tribesmen buried him and erected a tombstone with this epitaph: “When he came there was no light. When he left there was no darkness.” What gave A. W. Milne the courage to face that kind of situation? He relied on God’s promises. Jesus said, “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. . . . Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). Second, he relied on God’s presence. Jesus said in Hebrews 13:5, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.” When we rely on God’s limitless promises and His limitless presence, we do not have to fear. That is why Paul could say with confidence in 1 Timothy 1:7, “God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” Don’t panic.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Survival Tip #1: Don’t Panic” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2019.
Peter Kreeft, “Back To Virtue” (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1992), 105; Mark Batterson, “All In” (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2013), 13.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org