Archive for the ‘fear’ Category

The death of fear

“The fear of God is the death of every other fear; like a mighty lion, it chases all other fears before it.” —Charles Spurgeon

The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.” (Proverbs 14:27, ESV)

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                   Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. Ps. 20:7

     Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Prov. 3:5-6

     The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. Nahum 1:7

A prayer by Scotty Smith     

Dear heavenly Father, though it’s not a fun thing, it’s a good thing—it’s an essential thing, even afreeing thing to realize how little control we have over people, places and things.

For only by acknowledging the limits of our humanity will we rest in the beauty of your sovereignty; only by giving up trying to control our circumstances will we come to rejoice in your providences; only by accepting messes as a part of life will we turn to your mercies in the midst of strife; only by crying “Uncle!” will we learn to cry “Abba!”

Father, as this day begins, (and continues), settle our restless hearts and relax our desperate grip on stories, hearts and situations for which your grace alone is sufficient. We turn from our version of “horses and chariots,” and acknowledge that our trust is in you.

By the truth of the gospel, the pledge of your faithfulness and the power of your Spirit, we trust you with people, for whom we have great concerns—even fear and anger. May “faith expressing itself in love” (Gal. 5:6) trump our penchant for “worry expressing itself through meddling.”

We trust you with our unresolved conflicts and broken relational stories. In Jesus, you have commissioned us as ambassadors of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:20) and called us to be peacemakers (Matt. 5:9). Father, we need special grace, for sometimes the emotional toll and toil of messy relationships makes us want to join Jonah on a ship to Tarshish.

Lastly, Father, we trust you with our health (it often feels so fragile); our wealth (because it’s so fleeting and deceptive), our plans (for you alone know the future); and our heart (for it is yours, though we often pawn it off).

It’s because of your great and grace-full love for us in Jesus that we make our prayer, acknowledge our fears, and surrender our trust. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ safe and strong name.

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Still my soul be still
And do not fear
Though winds of change may rage tomorrow
God is at your side
No longer dread
The fires of unexpected sorrow

God You are my God
And I will trust in You and not be shaken
Lord of peace renew
A steadfast spirit within me
To rest in You alone

Still my soul be still
Do not be moved
By lesser lights and fleeting shadows
Hold onto His ways
With shield of faith
Against temptations flaming arrows

Still my soul be still
Do not forsake
The Truth you learned in the beginning
Wait upon the Lord
And hope will rise
As stars appear when day is dimming.

Words and Music by Keith & Kristyn Getty & Stuart Townend. Hear it sung here.

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Jon Bloom offers some timely words when we are battling fear in our lives (full article here):

“You “by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5, emphasis mine). You are guarded through faith by believing promises like these:

  • God forgives all your sins (1 John 1:9)
  • God has removed condemnation from you (Romans 8:1)
  • Your heart need not be troubled (John 14:1) by the demonic tribulations in the world for Jesus has overcome them for you (John 16:33).
  • God will provide you sufficient food for your needs (Luke 12:24).
  • God will provide you sufficient clothes for your needs (Matthew 6:30).
  • In fact, every need you will ever have will be provided for you (Luke 12:31Philippians 4:19).
  • You can sell your possessions and give to the needy (Luke 12:33) because your Father will gladly give you the kingdom (Luke 12:32).
  • Nothing will be impossible for you (Matthew 17:20).
  • You can have peace in any storm of life (Luke 8:25).
  • Even if you’re persecuted, hated, and even killed for Jesus’s sake, not a hair of your head will perish (Luke 21:16–18)
  • You will never really die (John 11:26)
  • You will receive eternal life (John 3:16).
  • Nothing will ever separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:38–39).
  • Every promise God has ever made to his people he will fulfill for you (2 Corinthians 1:20).
  • If you abide in Jesus and his word abides in you, whatever you ask will be done for you (John 15:7Matthew 21:22).
  • The Holy Spirit will flow out of your heart like rivers of living water (John 7:38–39).
  • You will never suffer soul starvation or soul dehydration again (John 6:35).
  • Others will believe in Jesus through your witness (John 17:20).
  • God will cause ALL THINGS to work together for good for you (Romans 8:28).

Believing these (and many more) will guard you as you run. And through these promises Jesus says to you:

“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.” (John 14:27)

So lay aside the weights of your fears (Hebrews 12:1) and believe in Jesus. Jesus is running with you (Hebrews 13:5) and he’s stronger than Satan (1 John 4:4).

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Romans 15:13).”

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13 Reasons Not to Be Afraid by John Piper

  1. We will not die apart from God’s gracious decree for his children.

    James 4:14-15Matthew 10:29-30Deuteronomy 32:39

  2. Curses and divination do not hold sway against God’s people.

    Numbers 23:23

  3. The plans of terrorists and hostile nations do not succeed apart from our gracious God.

    Psalm 33:10Isaiah 8:9-10

  4. Man cannot harm us beyond God’s gracious will for us.

    Psalm 118:6Psalm 56:11

  5. God promises to protect his own from all that is not finally good for them.

    Psalm 91:14

  6. God promises to give us all we need to obey, enjoy, and honor him forever.

    Matthew 6:31Philippians 4:19

  7. God is never taken off guard.

    Psalm 121:4

  8. God will be with us, help us, and uphold us in trouble.

    Isaiah 41:1013

  9. Terrors will come, some of us will die, but not a hair of our heads will perish.

    Luke 21:10–1118

  10. Nothing befalls God’s own but in its appointed hour.

    John 7:30

  11. When God Almighty is your helper, none can harm you beyond what he decrees.

    Hebrews 13:6Romans 8:31

  12. God’s faithfulness is based on the firm value of his name, not the fickle measure of our obedience.

    1 Samuel 12:20–22

  13. The Lord, our protector, is great and awesome.

    Nehemiah 4:14

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A great freedom: freedom from fear

Jon Bloom shares an OT story that ranks among my favorite ones.  It is a story about how one man responded to circumstances that would have lead most of us over the edge in fear.  Yet this man trusted in God against all odds.  Read “Do Not Be Afraid” and learn how “real freedom is not liberty to do what we want or the absence of distress. Real freedom is the deep-seated confidence that no matter what, God really will provideeverything we need (Philippians 4:19). The person who believes this is the freest of all persons on earth, because no matter what situation they find themselves in, they have nothing to fear (Philippians 4:11).”

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Struggling with fear?

By  Darryl Dash at Z:

Fear takes over when we’re afraid to do what’s required because of the cost, real or perceived. When you look carefully, fear reveals our idols.

If you’re like me and find that you struggle with fear, Paul Tripp’s article is a great help. His main points:

  1. Humbly own your fears.
  2. Confess to those places where fear has produced bad decisions and wrong responses.
  3. Pay attention to your meditation.
  4. Preach the gospel to yourself.

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No one understands like Jesus,
He’s a friend beyond compare;
Meet Him at the throne of mercy,
He is waiting for you there.

No one understands like Jesus,
Every woe He sees and feels;
Tenderly He whispers comfort,
And the broken heart He heals.

No one understands like Jesus,
When the foes of life assail;
You should never be discouraged,
Jesus cares and will not fail.

No one understands like Jesus,
When you falter on the way;
Tho’ you fail Him, sadly fail Him
He will pardon you today.

No one understands like Jesus,
When the days are dark and grim;
No one is so near, so dear as Jesus,
Cast your every care on Him.

–John W. Peterson,  made well known by George Beverly Shea

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14–16, ESV)


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Heath Lambert:

Do you feel the pressure? I do. Everywhere you look there is a new diet and exercise regimen being hailed: Weight Watchers, Weigh Down (remember?), Jenny Craig, Atkins, South Beach, Cross Fit, Curves, your best friend’s unique method. Everyone—everyone—has a different take on the best way to lose weight, but they all have one thing in common: we must get skinny.

As I listen to the cacophony of voices impressing thinness on us, I hear two dominate concerns. The first concern is the one for health. Many look at the diet of most western Christians high in fat and sugar, and are concerned that we are hastening to a death by caloric intake.

The other concern is appearance. The wealth of Western culture affords a unique opportunity to consider aesthetics, and everything here is beautiful. Our cultural role models are beautiful. The people on television, in movies, and splashed on the cover of magazines are all beautiful. This beauty is usually measured in inches. I am convinced that many Christians concerned about weight are more concentrated on their appearance than anything else.

There is some value in these concerns. I am all for stewardship of your body in health and appearance. There’s no virtue in not bathing or in constantly eating deep-fried double-decker bacon burgers (a real menu item in the restaurant I am sitting in as I write). Though there is some value, I am absolutely persuaded that what drives most of these concerns is fear. Concern for health and appearance is one thing; fear is another.

Heath addresses our fears in what we eat and then he reminds us of some virtues we should keep in mind as we eat (and have a cheeseburger every once in a while).  He discusses the following guidelines.  Eat. . .

  1. in a spirit of discipline and self-control
  2. in a spirit of thankfulness
  3. in a spirit of service
  4. in faith

Read  “Weight-Loss, Fear, and Eating Cheeseburgers to the Glory of God.”

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