Fear not, for I am with You.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,it will not burn youd; the flames will not set you ablaze.
We all, even Christians, experience fears of various kinds. We may have fears about our finances, our future, our children’s future, our relationships or our health. Some of us may even fear that we will fall away from Christ, or that maybe we were never truly saved at all.
Our biggest threat is how we respond to our fears.
Yes, we will all experience fear. But what we often fail to grasp is that our biggest threat is in how that we respond to those fears.
The temptation to fear is not a sin. The threat of sin comes from how we choose to respond to that temptation. Do we allow our fears to consume our thoughts? Do we become so stressed out by our fears that we begin to take it out on those around us? Do we seek distraction from fears by repeating patterns of behavior that are not serving us?
The question we need to ask ourselves is where do my fears cause my focus to go?
After the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua, son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites.
In Joshua 1:2 God tells the Israelites, “My servant Moses is dead”, before He tells them to go and take the land, He promised them.
Notice that God reminds the Israelites of their greatest fear, which is to step out in faith into a foreign land, and face massive armies, without their leader, Moses. God does not try to minimize their fears, or distract them from their fears, but instead He honestly and straightforwardly addresses their fears. God does not give us His promises in an attempt to minimize, cover or hide our reality, but rather to assure us that our hope through Christ far surpasses any threat we may face today.
Regardless of the circumstances of this world, God is still God, and just like the Lord promised the land to the Israelites in Joshua, He has promised us a hope in Him that is greater than any fears we will face in this world. But so often, we find ourselves afraid to trust Him. We become frozen in our fear and the idea of stepping forward in faith begins to feel impossible.
Have we allowed our fears to become our focus?
When we allow the voice of our fears to drown out the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit we forget Gods promise in Isaiah 43:1-2
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
God promises us that He will always be with us. When we truly believe that the Lord of the universe is with us in everything, we will allow ourselves the freedom to say:
The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid?
God promises to put power behind our faith.
We should also remember that the Lord gives not only hope to His people when they are afraid, but He also tells them to step forward despite their fears. Never does the Lord tell us it’s OK to stay frozen and focused on our fears, but tells us to focus on Him and to follow Him forward. God tells His people to be strong and courageous. God is telling us, you and me to be strong and courageous.
Is it possible for us to force our hearts to stop being afraid and instead be strong and courageous? For most of us that is not possible. So how do we become strong and courageous when we feel weak and afraid? Through obeying God’s words. We must live by His words that tell us to take faith-driven action.
Remember, courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to move forward despite our fear. We must stand up in faith and then move forward in faith. When we follow God’s word in faith, He promises to put power behind that faith through the Holy Spirit.
Let’s take that step forward in faith, today.
Today I challenge you to take the Lord at His word. Let us stand up in the face of our fears, focus on His word, lean into the Lord and take that step forward in faith. Let’s get up from our mats of fear and doubt and walk, or maybe even run forward by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We must not allow our fears to consume us any longer. When the temptation to fear enters our minds, let us capture those thoughts at the door and replace them with God’s truths.
And let us not forget to praise the Lord that He is leading us away from fear and into the land of freedom He has promised us.