Instead of fear

Isaiah 41:10-13. The dictionary has many words similar in meaning to fear. Words such as anxiety, panic, terror, apprehension, concern, fright, dread, alarm, etc. In the Bible fear is mentioned 500 times, while ‘fear not’ is 365 times an indication of fear as a real factor in life. Fear is an emotion wired into the being of every living thing male and female, young and old affecting everybody irrespective of one’s position or status. When there is perceived danger fear arises as a defence mechanism. It all started soon after the fall of man in the Garden of Eden when it gripped Adam and Eve after their disobedience, hiding themselves from God (Genesis 3:1-10). Cain committed murder because fear that his younger brother Abel was highly favoured became the source of anger leading to killing him. Despite Abraham’s closeness to God he had some fears. He lied on two occasions to save his life thinking he will be killed because of his beautiful wife Sarah (Genesis 12:12-13; 20:11). Guard against fear because it is engrained in the heart of everybody to avoid being weighed down by a sudden or prolonged incidence in life. Emotions of fear have ruined many lives because the trust and confidence in God a Christian should display to overcome a challenge is overtaken by anxiety, panic, fear and trembling. “But whenever I am afraid I will trust in you. In God ….In God I have put my trust. I will not fear. What can flesh do to me? (Psalm 56:3-4).
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. An unfortunate incidence in the life of a pastor who became afraid of losing his power, authority and influence over his assembly/community went to an occultist but instead became insane. Prayers and all efforts to restore him failed. The fear of man brings a snare but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe (Prov. 29:25). Fear wanders around every sinful lifestyle and disobedience to God even in the secret. Reason armed robbers, those in wicked activities, etc, also fear in during their business operations. The word of God says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding” (Prov. 3:5). Fear limits the ability of a Christian to trust God and have confidence in his promises, but Satan manipulates the mind to focus on the problem rather than trust God. Nip it in the bud to avoid a vicious circle of evil because fearfulness can produce evil, lying, deceit, hypocrisy and involvement with the dark world. But we are required to demonstrate in all situations that our confidence is in God’s word.
God has given believers a spirit and mindset of ‘power, of love and self-control not of fear or timidity’ (2 Timothy 1:7). Be encouraged by this promise. The righteousness of Christ in the life of those who are born again will overcome every kind of fear making the believer to be as bold as a lion (Proverbs 28:1). Any boldness devoid of righteousness is not from the Lord. Jesus was never afraid to suffer and die for the sins of the world. Don’t allow fear to restrict the power you have to witness and win souls for Christ nor should it weaken your power to speak out against evil and corruption in the society or even to doubt the goodness of God. But trust God’s promises “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…Fear not, I will help you” (Isaiah 41:10, 13). The global socio-economic difficulties affecting our nation is called by Apostle Paul as perilous times that will come in the last days are bound to create fear (2 Timothy 3:1-5). But our trust is in Jesus “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). Maranatha!

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