With all the talk about #ebola, I know fear is running pretty rampant in the good ole’ USA as of late. I guess seeing a picture of my husband attending hasmat suit training yesterday got me to thinking a bit too. I know the fear of a worldwide ebola epidemic is on a lot of people’s minds. I mean, why else would a hasmat suit become the most viral Halloween costumes this year?
There are many things we can be afraid of besides ebola. Fear of death. Fear of sickness. Fear of flying. Fear of being alone. One of my favorite acronyms for FEAR is:
The Webster dictionary says fear is “to..expect with alarm.” Now, as Christians, we are supposed to have a sense of expectancy, but a person who is experiencing fear lays in wait for what seems to be an unfavorable catastrophe. I have a strange feeling this is NOT the kind of expectancy that God has in mind.
“Fear not” is the most frequent command in Scripture (365x to be exact). When the message of salvation is taught, most of the time it’s in reference to eternal life in heaven. I’m thankful we have heaven to look forward to, but salvation isn’t just about the sweet by and by. Salvation is about our lives today! God doesn’t just want to forgive our sins; He wants to save us from our sins and give us the strength and courage to live day by day.
Fear can quickly overwhelm you. Fear can overtake you. Fear can send chills up and down your spine. But you will never find a verse in Scripture which tells us to live in fear. There’s no verse which says, “Fear death. Fear terror. Fear disaster. Fear sickness.” However, there are many verses which tell us to put our trust in God when facing unforeseen and difficult circumstances.
Psalm 27:1, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Jeremiah 1:8, “Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the LORD.”
John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
In the gospel of Mark there’s a story about a man who came to Jesus asking Him to heal his dying daughter. While Jesus was on His way to the man’s house, messengers came and said, “It’s too late. She’s dead.” Jesus turned to the man and said…
“Don’t be afraid. Just believe.” Mark 5:36
In this man’s weakest moment…when his worst fears seemed to becoming a reality…Jesus told him,
“Don’t fear. Just believe.”
It wasn’t long before this man saw the power of God demonstrated in a miraculous way.
God is our salvation; we don’t have to give in to fear. He has promised to give His people the strength we need to face whatever comes our way. We can count on Him, even in times of despair. And when God gets the final victory, we will certainly be overfilled with joy. Because we know when we are weak, He is strong.