Sometimes life throws us some interesting curve balls like finding out your company is down-sizing and you no longer have a job. Your teenage son comes home with a new piercing or worse yet, they call to tell you they are not coming home at all. Maybe for you it’s been an unexpected illness or tragedy that has really rocked your world. These things come at us in the least expected times and often catch us off guard. They leave us confused, dumbfounded and reeling in all kinds of emotions.
For me it was learning that a Satanic Ritual had been performed in the cemetery behind my house. Talk about catching someone off guard. All of my life has been spent in this small community just a few short miles inland from the famous “Grand Strand” of South Carolina. It has always been a quiet rural area where everyone knows their neighbor.
There has always been a sense of security here in my small section of the world, until lately. In the past years my way of life has changed. No doubt yours has to. Long gone are the days of sleeping with your windows open. I remember the days when you could leave your house unlocked, now we have at least two locks on the door, a dog, and a security alarm. We are bombarded with warnings of being out alone, leaving your car unlocked, even stopping for gas has become something to fear. Turn to any news channel and you will hear the warning of terrorism, war and illnesses and disease outbreaks.
Our lives are being overwhelmed with fear and we are allowing it to overtake us. Yet, in the midst of all those fears which are screaming at us, a still small voice can still be heard.
“Do not be afraid. I AM here.”
Please do not think I am making light of your fear, because I am not.
Fear is real.
Fear is overwhelming.
Fear is controlling.
Fear is paralyzing.
Fear is deadly.
But it doesn’t have to be.
You and I have a choice. We have a weapon to fight fear with. We have a source to draw strength from. We can stand up to fear. We can be victorious over it.
After finding what we found yesterday, a friend asked me what I was going to do last night. How would I be able to sleep? I responded to her with this….
YES, it scares me. YES, I am terrified. YES, I fear what may come tomorrow.
But, I also fear God and He said, “Do not be afraid.” As a matter of fact He said it 365 times. It wasn’t a suggestion. IT WAS A COMMAND.
DO NOT BE AFRAID!
When fear rages at us like a mighty lion about to devour us, we must call up everything we know to true. God is Sovereign. God is my Father. God is my Defender. God is my Protector. God is my Provision. God is my Deliverer. God is my Redeemer. God is my Salvation. God is my Strength and my Strong Tower.
As I laid my head on my pillow, I said the same prayer as I always do. “Father, I place myself and my family in your hands. Whatever happens to us through this night is your will. I trust You with our lives.” Surely, if God can save me from the pits of hell, He can keep me safe and protect me through the dark times of life.
I love how David began and ended the 31st Psalm.
Verse 1—In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.
Verse 24-Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.
God promises us that He will never allow us to be put to shame for trusting Him. No matter the source of our enemy or our fear, God will deliver us. So be of good courage. Your hope is in a God who will never fail you. Listen to that still small voice that says, “Do not be afraid. I AM here.” Look to Him in the midst of life’s curve balls and fearful moments and He will strengthen your heart.
You may find yourself like I was last night. In the moments of waking through the night, yes, the devil brought those fears back up, but in those times, we have to stand firm and say:
“I will trust the Lord, my God. I refuse to live in fear.”
Father, we thank You for speaking peace in the midst of our fears. We thank You for the 365 times You said “Do not be afraid”. We thank You for strengthening us when it seems that the very breath of life has been knock out of us. Thank You for hope! Not a hope of wishing, but a Hope of knowing that You are in control of it all. Thank You for being You! Thank You for being God! In Jesus Name, Amen.