“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” - Isaiah 41:10 (NIV).
Every now and then one could be gripped with fear because of certain events sweeping before one’s life journey. It could be the finances that are stretched and incomes are no longer certain. Perhaps it is one’s job under threat. Perhaps it is a dreaded health report card. There could be fear about outcome of a matter under judgment and what it might mean to one’s future.
Fear has been elsewhere described as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm.” Every life will experience fear at one point. Whenever we are faced with fear it is natural to look for something to grasp on. Sometimes we run for shelter wherever we can find. Perhaps we might seek out a friend for quiet confidence.
But there are those situations when there is no shelter in sight. There are also those cases where those we thought would understand our situation once we share our pain return only hurting and critical feedback. In such moments we might then turn and look within ourselves only to find the energy has all been sapped by this gnawing fear. We feel down and the urge to rise and move on gone.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10),” the word of God through prophet Isaiah assures us. But why? It is because the Lord has been there. He himself was faced with fear before his crucifixion but He looked to God.
Charles Spurgeon once wrote when faced with fear always remember, “Nothing is too hard for Him. He can find a way where there is no way. He can give us the idea that will make all the difference.” Psalm 91:2, says, “I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!” So, when faced with fear, look to God to strengthen you. By looking to Him, the Lord will encourage and lift up your spirit, and make a way out of nowhere!
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I surrender to you any fear that is in me for I know by looking up to you, you will always make a way out of nowhere, this I pray in Jesus’s name!
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“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” – ( 2 Timothy 4:7).
Fighting may be looked at as a non-desirable way of life, especially by those who are pacifists. In fact, throughout Christian history there are many who have literally taken Jesus’s admonition of “turn the other cheek” in Mathew 5:39, to mean nonresistance in the face of attack. The fact that Jesus rebuked the Apostle Peter for drawing a sword against his captors ( Mathew 26:52), means giving in to those who attack them, as a sign of humility.
Yes, of course there are moments where Christians must practice that humility and give in to those who attack them well remembering His word, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” ( Romans 12:19). However, that said, Believers in Christ would be mistaken to imagine that they must not fight for their faith, whenever under attack. For in reality, the faith of believers is under constant attack from Satan, who comes to “kill and destroy” ( John 10:1).
Faced with this, Paul went at great length to advise Christians to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” ( Ephesians 6:11). To ward of constant attacks by the enemy Paul challenged us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” ( vv 14-17).
Paul is telling us that if you think that ours is a walk over faith where you are not going to fight back against the attacks of the enemy you are very mistaken. Fight we must, and hold our ground. The devil respects that! And when all is done, we can then gladly say, “we have fought the good fight, finished the race” and thank God Almighty we are free at last!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise ready to resist the attacks of the enemy, by wearing the full of armor of God, and with the sword of the Spirit, fight back to victory, this I pray in Jesus’ name!