Hope Discovery of the Day:
Victory over fear is all in the mind.
Scripture of the Day:
18 “All the people were seeing the thundering and the lightning, and heard the sound of the horn, and saw the mountain smoking–and when the people saw it they trembled with fear and kept their distance. 19 They said to Moses, ‘You speak to us and we will listen, but do not let God speak with us, lest we die.’ 20 Moses said to the people, ‘Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you so that you do not sin.’ 21 The people kept their distance, but Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was.
This morning I was thinking about the grip that fear has on me as well as the one fear that saved my soul. Disappointing others. Failing. Harm. Future. Debt. Abuse. Sickness. Death. Oh yeah, the fear of speaking, too, to name a few. What fear has you boxed in today? Fear, like many other trials in this life, is a test. Are you ready to take yours on?
There are many tests in life and most probably induce a little anxiety. I would venture to say many of us do not like tests. From tests in school to the tests of life, tests are a lot of pressure and depending on the severity or length of a test, we can be in fear of the test itself and our ability to surpass or pass it.
This fear of tests is not the real fear, though. Fear itself is. Afraid of fear? Yep. Many of us live in fear of the what if’s or being afraid, in general. The uncertainty and sheer panic that consumes us when we are placed in a fearsome situation can cause us to live in a state of anguish or to be paralyzed by fear.
There is a fear that can guide us to avoid the pitfalls of this life, though. It can also help us to overcome fear itself. It is a hidden fear in our post-Christian culture, but for those who seek truth, it can be found again. It is the fear of God.
It was this kind of extreme fear that the Israelites must have felt when staring up at Mount Sinai. The ten commandments were just given to Moses, and for added effect, the skies boomed with thunder, the mountains shook and smoke and fire was covering Mount Sinai. Such a fearsome sight to behold prevented the people from drawing near – they couldn’t – in their sinful condition.
Modern day movies display such power typically from a force of evil, but in this case, our loving God was protecting His people, for He knew they would die if they came into His presence.
The people of God also knew that could not approach a Holy God lest they would be consumed. Afraid to speak with God themselves, God’s people asked Moses to tell them what all the thundering on the mountain meant. God had gotten their attention. Finally. He did not cause such a commotion to make them afraid with no cause. They needed to see His power to understand Who they were dealing with and the consequences for their sin.
Our perfect God, whose perfect love casts out all fear, also wants us to know that there is a fear that is desirable – an awe of a Holy God. This fear keeps us from sin, causes us to recognize our need of Him, to follow His perfect law and to receive His beautiful grace.
Knowing the purpose of tests in this life helps us to not just pass them, but surpass them with our perspective. God is sovereignly in control and using every fear, every test, to draw us nearer to Himself. He who brings us to troubles will surely make a way out, too.
Knowing the root of our fear also gives us great victory over our fears. Victory over fear is all in the mind.
The fear of being “stuck” in a painful situation with no way out is focusing on the situation rather than on the One who allowed the situation into your life. He can be trusted, even though this fallen world tries to cause our heart to accuse Him.
Fear of failure? Failure just means we aren’t there yet. Don’t give up.
Fear of sickness or harm, pain? Not fun to walk through, but persevering and relying on God in the midst makes these fears become a great gift. Imagining the possibility of such suffering apart from God’s presence is futile. He is our ever-present help in time of need and will be in the future in whatever we face.
When we face our fears with God’s truth, fear vanishes and we surpass the tests of fear in our lives and turn them into moments of triumph.
The fear of God looks different today than it did thousands of years ago. When we have accepted Jesus as our Savior, we come before a God Who sees His Son when He sees us. Extravagant mercy. Having a fear of God means we do not take this lavish grace for granted. It considers the great cost and seeks to be faithful because we, too, will answer to God for this grace given.
When fear visits us, whether by our own imagination, concern for the future or life’s circumstances, we have a choice to bring it to the One Who is in control over everything. Jesus understood fear and faced it with prayer and the knowledge of Who His Father was. Instead of fearing what is large in our eyes, we can choose to fear God by responding with trust in His character even when our hearts are very afraid.
Lord, help us to bring our fears to You and to have Your perspective on fear.You have already overcome. So can we through Your grace and power.