Create an Anti-Fear File
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6
Did you hear about the little boy with two lines in a play? He was supposed to say, “It is I. Be not afraid.” But when he got on stage, he blurted out, “It’s me. And I’m scared!”
God doesn’t want us to go through life scared. He gives us tools for living confidently in the world. He gives His Word. The Bible is filled with verses designed to assist us in combating personal fear and worry.
If your mind is anxious and fearful, try something like this. Grab a stack of 3” x 5” cards and search God’s Word for verses of assurance. Create your own Anti-Fear File. Write down the words of Scripture that speak most to you and keep them close. Read them aloud. Choose a fresh verse each day and keep it where you can see it. Begin memorizing the verses one by one, sharing them with others.
Oh, yes—you might include this one: “But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid’” (Matthew 14:27).
If fear dominates your life, ultimately it destroys everything God wants to do for you. David Jeremiah
God Is With Us In Tough Times – Deuteronomy 31:6
They will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God. Isaiah 35:2
The Mojave Desert includes the expected sand dunes, dry canyons, mesas, and mountains of most deserts. But American biologist Edmund Jaeger observed that every few years an abundance of rain results in “such a wealth of blossoms that almost every foot of sand or gravelly soil is hidden beneath a blanket of flowers.” The Mojave wildflower show isn’t a yearly phenomenon, though. Researchers confirm the dry earth needs to be soaked by storms and warmed by the sun, at just the right times, before blooms will cover the desert with vibrant colors.
This image of God bringing forth life despite the arid terrain reminds me of the prophet Isaiah. He shared an encouraging vison of hope after delivering God’s message of judgment on all nations (Isaiah 35). Describing a future time when God will make all things right, the prophet said, “The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom” (v. 1). He declared God’s rescued people will enter His kingdom “with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away” (v. 10).
With our eternal future secured by God’s promises, we can trust Him through life’s seasons of drought and drenching storms. Deeply rooted in His love, we can grow, blooming into His likeness until, at just the right time, Jesus returns and sets all things right.
Reflect & Pray
What storms of life have you been facing? How is God showing you His presence? Look! He’s there.
Loving Father, thank You for assuring us You’re with us and working to grow us through every stormy moment of our lives.
What three goals would you set for your life if you knew that you could achieve them? Would any of them be spiritual in nature? The apostle Paul was a goal-oriented person (even before he became a Christian), and he understood which pursuits were the most important. His chief ambition was to know Christ and His resurrection power, along with the fellowship of His suffering (Phil. 3:10).
We’d all do well to adopt these goals, but they sound so broad. How do we put them into practice? First, it’s important to comprehend that a goal is a purpose or direction toward which we work. This concept is fairly easy to understand when we’re talking about specific objectives like going to bed earlier or washing dishes every day, but what steps would you need to take in order to achieve spiritual goals like Paul’s?
Success requires choosing steps that are specific, reasonable, and measurable. For example, if you want to know Christ more intimately, you might start by spending 15 minutes each day praying and reading His Word. After developing your plan and the steps to accomplish it, put your desire into action. If you don’t take the necessary steps, it will simply remain a wish. No one develops intimacy with Christ through good intentions; it takes commitment, diligence, and perseverance.
If you feel as if your faith is lacking vitality, it may be that you’ve lost sight of your goal. No one intends to slip into complacency. But unless you set some specific goals and work to achieve them, you’ll drift through life and miss the reward—knowing Christ intimately.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.” (Psalm 46:1-3)
The modifier “very” in this verse is a strong word. God is an intensively present helper in time of trouble. “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). Those who hold a deistic philosophy argue that God is far away, leaving the earth and its inhabitants to work out their own evolutionary salvation after He first started it going billions of years ago. But they are wrong, for God is right here, right now! “The LORD of hosts is with us” (Psalm 46:11).
There had, indeed, been a time when the earth was removed (literally, “the ground was changed”), and even the mountains had been eroded away and washed into the oceans. The waters swelled higher and the mountains quaked until finally, in the words of the apostle Peter, “the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished” (2 Peter 3:6).
This was the great Flood in the days of Noah—the greatest “trouble” in the world’s history. Even then, God had provided a refuge for His people—the Ark that He instructed Noah to build. When the Flood came, “the LORD shut him in,” and throughout the height of the cataclysm, “God remembered Noah, and every living thing” (Genesis 7:16; 8:1). There are great judgments coming on the earth in future days as well (Psalm 46:6-9), when the earth itself will be melted (literally “dissolved,” 2 Peter 3:10).
Again, the Lord’s people in that day can still say: “The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge” (Psalm 46:7). From the beginning of creation to the end of the age, God is a very present help to His people. HMM
Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
When we come into this sweet relationship, we are beginning to learn astonished reverence, breathless adoration, awesome fascination, lofty admiration of the attributes of God and something of the breathless silence that we know when God is near.
You may never have realized it before, but all of those elements in our perception and consciousness of the divine Presence add up to what the Bible calls “the fear of God.”…
There are very few unqualified things in our lives, but I believe that the reverential fear of God mixed with love and fascination and astonishment and admiration and devotion is the most enjoyable state and the most purifying emotion the human soul can know. WHT030-031
Oh Lord, let me reach these heights in my worship today—astonished reverence, breathless adoration, awesome fascination, lofty admiration, breathless silence—let me experience that “reverential fear of God” this morning. Amen.
I will run the way of Thy commandments, when Thou shalt enlarge my heart.—Psalm 119; 32.
My hands also will I lift up unto Thy commandments which I have loved.—Psalm 119:48.
love is higher than duty. But the reason is that love in reality contains duty in itself. Love without a sense of duty is a mere delusion, from which we cannot too soon set ourselves free. Love is duty and something more.
Think not anything little, wherein we may fulfill His commandments. It is in the midst of common and ordinary duties that our life is placed; common occupations make up our lives. By faith and love we obey—but by obedience are the faith and love, which God gives us, strengthened. Then shall we indeed love our Lord, when we seek to please Him in all things, speak or are silent, sleep or wake, labor or rest, do or suffer, with a single eye to His service. God give us grace so to love Him, that we may in all things see Him; in all, obey; and, obeying, see Him more clearly and love Him less unworthily; and so, in that blissful harmony of obedience and of love, be prepared to see Him “face to face.”
Edward B. Pusey.
“The Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer.” Ps. 6:9
The experience here recorded is mine. I can set to my seal that God is true. In very wonderful ways He has answered the prayers of His servant many and many a time. Yes, and He is hearing my present supplication, and He is not turning away His ear from me. Blessed be His holy name!
What then? Why, for certain the promise which lies sleeping in the Psalmist’s believing confidence is also mine. Let me grasp it by the hand of faith: “The Lord will receive my prayer.” He will accept it, think of it, and grant it in the way and time which His loving wisdom judges to be best. I bring my poor prayer in my hand to the great King, and He gives me audience, and graciously receives my petition. My enemies will not listen to me, but my Lord will. They ridicule my tearful prayers, but my Lord does not; He receives my prayer into His ear and His heart.
What a reception this is for a poor sinner! We receive Jesus, and then the Lord receives us and our prayers for His Son’s sake. Blessed be that dear name which franks our prayers so that they freely pass even within the golden gates. Lord, teach me to pray, since thou hearest my prayers.