Published June 23, 2009

Shelia Shares....

People all around have fear. It can be a dominating force in our lives. It can make us incapable of doing anything. It can overwhelm us, send us into a depression, give us an existence that isn't worth living.

It can be a fear of loss – loss of health, loss of finances, loss of life.

It can be a fear of pain – the physical pain of poor health, the emotional pain of losing a spouse to death or divorce, the social pain of not feeling accepted and the spiritual pain of not being sure of your relationship with God and where you will spend eternity.

All of these are types of fears of the future. (We don't fear the past. It has already happened. We don't fear the present that already is.) We fear the future that we don't understand – a future that seems unsure.

We can fear loss. We can fear pain. We can fear life itself. After all, circumstances in our world seem shaky. When will the financial situation crumble completely? Wars between countries and internal fighting in our own country will never cease. Earthquakes and floods and fires are reported every day. Life can be scary.

My question to you as a Christian is whether you truly believe in God. As Christians, fear is not to dominate our life and our decisions.

I see Christians who are living lives of deep fear. Will finances hold out? What if it is cancer? What if I lose my job? What if my spouse dies? What if I die?

God's Word and His answers are where we should look in good times and in what appear to be bad times. Here are some verses just to refresh our minds:

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 My righteous right hand."

Psalm 27: 1 "The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?"

Paul speaks to Timothy when Timothy could have been afraid to be known as a Christian. Paul writes in 2 Timothy 1:7, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."

John 6:20 is a story in the midst of a storm on the sea. We face storms and he says to us as well, "It is I; do not be afraid."

John 14:27 is just before someone dear was going to be taken away from the disciples. Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

In the midst of the death of a child (Mark 5: 36), Jesus said, "Do not be afraid; only believe."

Revelation was written by John, a faithful servant of Jesus Christ. When he looked at an uncertain future, I'm sure he had questions. Revelation 1: 17 & 18 says, "Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore."

Acts 16 is the story of Paul and Silas in prison. Most of us would agree that Paul and Silas had reason to be fearful. The next day could well bring horrible treatment and possibly death. Their Christianity was shown in how they faced their circumstances. Acts 16: 25 says, "But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them." What a testimony to their faith! Where was the fear?

If other people observe fear in us, often through our actions and preoccupation with bad circumstances, they might well question our relationship to Jesus Christ. He told us often enough to "fear not." If we are Christians, it should be evident by our faith. And, by definition, faith is believing without seeing – just when it is the easiest to fear.

Psalm 27 talks about fear and then follows up with verse 6: "Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord."

Praise! Worship! Celebrate God's goodness! To me that sounds like a way to tackle fear that can otherwise take hold of us. Meet with other Christians, praise the Lord, believe His promises and obey His commands to not fear. "Fear not, I am with you"...even to the end of the world.

- Shelia

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