Monday, July 14, 2008

Do Not Fear

The New International Version of the Bible commands believers, "Do not be afraid," some sixty-six times. These days, though, many of us are paying more attention to the voices of this world telling us all the reasons we should be afraid. Terrorism. War. Crime. Disease. Natural disasters. Many Christians say the devil uses the media to promote immorality and secularism; I wonder if he doesn't make even better use of it to promote anxiety and lack of faith.

A clue to why this approach is so effective lies in the old proverb, "The soul who fears God need fear nothing else." Many of us are eaten up with worry because we take God for granted and put all our emotional stock in lesser things, when we should be loving God with all our hearts and considering everything else dispensable. If we truly appreciated that God's only reason for allowing "misfortune" to touch us was to draw us closer to Him, we wouldn't be so afraid of losing our material possessions, our health, or even our lives--none of which we can hope to keep forever anyway. "For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (2 Cor. 4:18, NIV).

If we must fear something, let us fear falling short of the best we might achieve for God. And let us keep in constant touch with Him to make sure that doesn't happen.

Do not fear the rocky pathway;
Do not fear oppressive pain;
Trust the Lord Who walks beside you,
Who will make His purpose plain.

Do not fear the world's rejection;
Do not fear if friends seem few;
Trust the One True Friend of sinners,
He Who gave His life for you.

Do not fear the devil's taunting;
Do not fear temptation's lures;
Trust your God, the Strong and Mighty,
Who a fast escape assures.

Do not fear your hope will weaken;
Do not fear your faith will break;
Trust the One Whose grasp still holds you--
He will keep you for His sake.

It is not your strength that matters;
You will never walk alone.
Trust the Shepherd still to lead you;
He will never lose His own.

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