But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” — Isaiah 43:1-3a
So far we have looked at bitterness, pride, and apathy. All these may “fill” you because they take up space in your life, but they leave you unfulfilled.
Today we are talking about fear. Almost exactly two years ago, Session moved worship online for thirteen weeks because of a world-wide health crisis. About that time, the fear level of this nation exploded. Fear of disease. Fear of death. Fear of the unknown. Fear of leaving the house. Fear of rights being taken away. And so on.
When is your fear justified and when is it a sin? God created everyone with a fight or flight response. There are times fear shows up as adrenaline, fueling you to run faster and fight harder to get out of a scary situation. But it is meant to be temporary. When it fills your plate and runs your life, when it becomes bigger than God, then it turns into sin.
The Bible says “do not fear” 365 times—a reminder for every day of the year. How do you respond when fear rises up in you? You may need to remind yourself why you need not fear. God says in Isaiah, “You are mine.” No matter what you go through, you belong to God. God does not promise a life of sunshine and roses—you will pass through the river and walk through the fire—but He does promise you will not be overcome. Why? Because He is the Lord. He is in charge.
How big is fear on your plate? Does it run your life, or do you believe God will take care of you no matter what? Trusting God is hard. In a few days we will talk more about why.
To Think/Pray About Today
Prayer: Lord God, I repent of letting fear become too big in my life. Forgive me for not trusting you. Show me how to trust you more. Show me how you are with me even when I pass through the waters and walk through the fire. Amen.
Prayer Focus: Cedarville Volunteer Fire Department