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Faith Conquors Fear

FAITH CONQUERS FEAR     Top

By James L. Thornton

Fear is the first human emotion that the Bible records. Adam hid himself from God because he was afraid. Since that time fear has griped the hearts of untold millions of people. Satan would like to use this human emotion to keep people in the bondage of fear. This is an unhealthy fear. We would like to use this article to help free people from this bondage. I feel the Bible holds the answer to all our fears and gives us the way to free ourselves; it is through faith, faith in God, and faith in God's Word.

1 John 4:18. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. (KJV)

2 Timothy 1:7 God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind"

       — Contents —

1. Introduction

2.  Fear Disregards God’s Plan

3.  Fear Disregards God’s Purpose

4.  Fear Discourages God’s People

5.  Fear Disbelieves God’s Promise

6. Fear Disobeys God’s Principles

7. Facing The Giant Of Fear

8. Confront Your Fears Honestly

9. Confess Your Fear As Sin

10. Claim God’s Promise Of Protection

11. Cultivate A Closer Relationship With God

12. Commit Your Life To Jesus Christ

  

1. Introduction

But what about Christians? One would think fear to be excess baggage for those who live in the presence of an almighty God. It should be—but it usually doesn't work out that way.

The Bible, as a matter of fact, doesn’t paint a picture of the fear free life. Judging from the Scripture, God’s people seem to be tormented by the same fears as everyone else. The disciples, who had Jesus beside them, seemed constantly fearful of storms, of crowds, of poverty, of armies, of the loss of their leader.

We think immediately of the day Jesus told them to cross over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. The night closed in like a blanket, a storm came from nowhere, and the disciples found themselves in a fight for their lives as the ship was tossed on the waves. Even when they saw Jesus approaching on the water, they were terrified: They thought He was a ghost! (See Matthew 14:22–33) They let fear get the better of them.

The proud Israelite army lived in fear of one man. Of course, the tape measure on that man reads nine feet, six inches. Goliath played mercilessly on their fear, taunting them with challenges he knew they wouldn’t dare accept. King Saul was ruled by fear of the giant, then of the boy who slew the giant. David himself wasn’t free of fear before the big battle. But he took his slingshot and his five stones and stood tall anyway.

As Mark Twain once said, courage isn’t the absence of fear, but the mastery of it; it’s the place where fear and faith meet. In David we have a story of the power of courage.

But we also have stories of the power of fear. Perhaps most notable of all is the one about the delegation of spies who were sent into Canaan(Numbers 13). They were commissioned to go on a fact finding expedition into the unknown territory that lay ahead. This was the Promised Land—home at last, after generations of slavery in Egypt. It was the land of Abraham, the homeland of their dreams.

But they had been away for generations. The land held as much mystery as promise. No doubt about it, Canaan was the end of the road of the Exodus, and the Israelites couldn’t see what loomed ahead. So they assembled in Kadesh Barnea and decided to send out the spies.

The experience of these men had an impact on Israel that lasted forty years. It cost them years of heartbreak and tragedy. Should they have rushed right in, without the tentative act of sending the spies? We can’t say that, for God allowed and encouraged the mission. We can say the men should have come to a different decision. The majority failed to see the lay of the land with the perspective God wanted them to have. He didn’t ordain the spirit of fear that drove the committee’s recommendation.

As we study this narrative carefully, we find key principles about the tyranny of fear and the freedom of faith.

2. Fear Disregards God’s Plan

Deuteronomy1:19. And when we departed from Horeb, we went through all that great and terrible wilderness, which ye saw by the way of the mountain of the Amorites, as the LORD our God commanded us; and we came to Ka-desh-bar-nea.
20. And I said unto you, Ye are come unto the mountain of the Amorites, which the LORD our God doth give unto us.
21. Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged. (KJV)

God’s mandate was clear: Here is your land. Here is My gift to you. Now go grab it!

With their greatest hopes and dreams laid out before them, they should have surged forward with joy. They should have claimed all the abundance and fulfillment God wanted them to have. Yet having come so far, having made it through the wilderness with its despair, its hunger and thirst—they couldn’t cross the finish line.

They had prevailed over Pharaoh’s army, over the high tide of the Red Sea, over the challenge of the journey, but they couldn’t take a stand against this final obstacle: Fear.

You may stand at the threshold of God’s greatest promise for you, but you’ll never claim His blessings if you let fear dominate your life. He wants so much richness for you in His perfect plan, and only your shortsighted fear can withhold it from you. Listen carefully to the words of Paul on this subject: "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7).

Power doesn’t shrink back in uncertainty; love isn’t conquered; a sound mind doesn’t deal in irrational speculation. God has a rich territory, a promised land with your name on it, and He wants you to charge toward it with a cry of victory, not a wail of fear. The Bible even tells you what that cry of victory should sound like:

Romans 8:15. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (KJV)

Call out His name. This verse assures us we can claim the intimacy with Him of a small child calling out to Daddy. He has adopted us as His own, and we have all the rights of the children of the King. We don’t have to face anything alone.

The truth is that He has a plan and that we can claim it with joyful assurance. Fear disregards that plan. Have you ever seen a timid, cowering prince? Stop living as a helpless street orphan when you bear the credentials of the royal palace.

3. Fear Distorts God’s Purpose

Fear does one very predictable thing: It distorts our view. Fear robs us of our perspective. Listen to Moses as he summarizes the attitudes of his people:

Deuteronomy 1:27. And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because the LORD hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us.
28. Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there. (KJV)

Fear brings out our worst. It ushers in complaining, distrust, finger pointing, and despair. You can see them all in these verses. God had provided victory over the Egyptian oppressors. He had given deliverance through the wilderness. He had offered a new plan for living through the commandments on Mount Sinai. And now He was offering real estate—the gift of a new land for building a nation. But in fear, the people were cowering in their tents to gripe about God’s intentions. "God brought us all this way just to deliver us to the Amorites."

Fear does that to us, doesn’t it? When you talk to a terrified friend or family member, you find yourself wanting to say, "But that’s silly!" For it’s easy for us to see the irrationality and absence of perspective of other people ruled by fear. The spies brought back a distorted picture, and they infected the whole nation with it.

"There are giants in the land! Anakim!" That word held terror for the Israelites. It was synonymous with monstrous, marauding giants. But of course, while they did see a giant or two, the only formidable one was the giant inside their heads—and that giant’s name was Fear.

It’s worth reading the parallel account in Numbers 13:32–33, where we find the fears of the spies painted in even darker tones. The land "devours its inhabitants," they said. "We were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight."

Fear is an army of giants, for it multiplies one into many. At the same time it does that, it also makes us grasshoppers in our own eyes. We lose sight of the promise that we can do all things through Him who strengthens us.

We lose the ability to see anything in its true perspective. Fear, not the object of the fear, devours its inhabitants. Fear distorts our perception of God’s purposes for us.

In the imaginations of the spies there were massive, fortified cities teeming with giants. So great was their distorted perspective that they even made an evil giant out of God. "Why, He brought us all this way to make us food for the heathen," they said.

I defy anyone to find any logic at all behind their conclusion. But haven’t we all said such a thing? "God is out to get me! He’s brought me all this way to make me miserable!" The greater the fear, the weaker our reasoning.

4. Fear Discourages God’s People

The fourth effect of fear is that it reaches its tendrils out to everyone around us.
Discouragement is contagious.

When you give in to your fears, you make the world around you an environment of discouragement. That word, discourage, means to take away courage. Fear causes us to drain away the vitality of people we care for. This is a devastating principle, isn’t it? Fear is catching; eventually it breeds and those ten infected an entire nation—not just for a week or a month, but for a generation.

Ten men out of twelve came back with what the Bible calls a "bad report." The golden hopes and dreams of the Israelites—for land, for security, for a new beginning—were ruined for forty years because of the fear of ten men. When the spies returned from their journey, they brought a giant back with them—one much more terrible than the mere men they had seen. This Giant Of Fearprowled through their camp and devoured the faith and courage of a nation.

If you don’t think fear is contagious, stand in the hallway at work and call out one word: "Fire!" You’ll be successful in changing the moods and plans of hundreds of people in an instant. You’ll also endanger everyone around you. Fear is more infectious than any disease you can name. It roams the landscape and discourages God’s people.

5. Fear Disbelieves God’s Promise

Deuteronomy 1:29. Then I said unto you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them.
30. The LORD your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egyptbefore your eyes;
31. And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the LORD thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place.
32. Yet in this thing ye did not believe the LORD your God,
33. Who went in the way before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tents in, in fire by night, to shew you by what way ye should go, and in a cloud by day. (KJV)

The challenge before the Israelites wasn’t something that came out of nowhere and demanded that they trust some mysterious, untested providence. This was the invitation of the God who had gone with them throughout their journey. This was the loving Father who had remained so steadfast by their sides, and who had provided every need. This was One worthy of the same trust a tiny child would place in his loving parents—and so much more worthy.

Indeed, God called them the children of Israel, and the Bible tells us that He carried them along as you would carry an infant. He had watched over them as you would guard your newborn baby. He had led their steps, provided their food, seen to their protection, and done everything possible to nurture a loving and fully trusting relationship. The point of the wilderness experience was for the people to bond with their Father.

After generations of slavery under their tyrannical masters in Egypt, God wanted His children to learn something of the wonderful journey that transpires when we follow Him. But learning always involves testing. And that’s what happened when the spies were appointed—the people were given a test to reveal whether they really trusted God or not.

The children of Israel had everything they needed to pass this test. But I believe they experienced a principle that seems more true and clear to me with every passing day. It seems to me that every defining moment of faith is just like starting over. Yes, we have the past to build on; just like the Israelites, we should be able to look back and say, "God has brought us this far; He will bring us home."

Memory and experience should empower us. But we struggle to do that very thing; the moment's crisis seems to magnify itself. The rearview mirror should give us perspective, but we don’t look at the mirror at all—our eyes are frozen by what’s in the headlights.

The Israelites certainly are a testimony to that. There were giants in their headlights. And those giants seemed so fantastically massive that they blocked out what God had done in the past, what He was doing in the present, and His Word on the future. Fear disbelieves God’s promises.

6. Fear Disobeys God’s Principles

Deuteronomy 1:26. Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God: (KJV)

It’s a harsh truth but an insistent one: Fear is disobedience, plain and simple. How can fear be anything other than disobedience to God, when He has given us everything we need to walk in faith?

There’s a little phrase in the Bible—such a simple phrase, and one that God sees fit to repeat so often, all throughout the Scriptures. It goes like this: Fear not. That phrase, if you’ll notice, is stated in the imperative tense—which simply means it is a command. How many times must God command us not to fear?

James 4:17.  Therefore, to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

The next time you find yourself overcome by fear, remember—along with all of God’s other promises and assurances—to dwell in fear is to live in sin.

But doesn’t that seem a bit strict and inflexible? Your first response might be, "But I can’t help it! I don’t want to be fearful, but it’s out of my control." And if that’s how you feel, you’ve forgotten that God has given us everything we need to deal with fear. He has provided us with principles of faith that help us live courageously.

And when all is said and done, any alternative to His way boils down to simple disobedience—something that is always costly. For the nation ofIsrael, it meant a lost generation.

The adult group of that time was forbidden from finding their journey’s end for forty years. They were sentenced to a restless, nomadic life of wandering homeless in the desert, waiting for the last of that forsaken group to finally die. Only two of them were permitted entry into Canaan: Joshua and Caleb, who had stood firm in their faith. Courage earned them their home, yet they, too, wandered beyond the borders during those forty years, attending the funerals of their friends. When the last body was laid to rest, the nation could finally claim its true home.

7. Facing The Giant Of Fear

God longs for you and me to simply accept the gifts from His hand. He has a more wonderful and fulfilling home for someone, a life partner for someone else, a thrilling new opportunity for ministry, or career direction for still someone else. But fear cuts us off from accepting these prizes. He has something special for them to do, and they can look forward to blessings in abundance if they’ll only be obedient and trusting.

They want to accept the call—but fear holds them back, always some new fear. What if I’m making the wrong decision? What if this isn’t the right partner for me? What if my business venture fails? What if I get homesick on the mission field? What if, what if? Somehow they can’t hold to a simple assurance of God’s trustworthy and loving nature.

It doesn’t seem to register that God never calls His children only to desert them. (Would He lead us this far only to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites?) And I’ve seen where this failure of trust leads—right to the doorstep of heartbreak. Those who shrink back from accepting God’s gift condemn themselves to lives of fitful, restless wandering through the wildernesses of their jobs and their communities and their broken dreams. Fields of milk and honey stood in wait, but they settled for less.

My question to you is: Isn’t that kind of disappointment in life far more to be feared than the risk of taking God at His word? Of course it is. The question, then, is what to do about it. How can we face our fears?

8. Confront Your Fears Honestly

You may long for your fear to simply vanish or wear off, but it isn’t going anywhere—not on its own. If you want to defeat it, you must be like David: Gather up your stones and advance boldly!

First, understand what is at the root of your fears. Often people say, "I don’t know what I’m afraid of; I just have a spirit of fear." Is that your experience? Look a little deeper and get a specific reading on what is causing your feelings. Ask God to search your heart for you. He knows where the problem lies, but you need to let Him show you.

Otherwise, you’re going to simply run away—and like Jonah, you’ll find that you can run, but you can’t hide. There’s nowhere to run. Better to take a stand and face the truth of the fear. What is it that really concerns you? And, Why?

9. Confess Your Fear As Sin

We’ve already seen that fear boils down to disobedience. God says, "Fear not." But we fear; we’re therefore in sin. The only thing to do is to come to God for honest confession.

Again, some may feel this stance is harsh or unrealistic. After all, we can’t help what we feel, can we? Up to a point, that’s very true. Emotions come to us on their own. But it’s also true that we have the power to act on our feelings. We can choose by our will to obey God’s voice. We can make it our daily, serious intention to fill our lives and thoughts and plans with His Word and His truth. David said, "I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears" (Psalm 34:4). To walk with God is to walk fearlessly.

So we identify the fear, then we confess it. As we bring our fear before God and own up to it, we do one other thing. We repent. That means to disavow the sin completely, to turn and walk the other way. Then we can look toward the steps that lead us to victory over our fears.

10. Claim God’s Promise Of Protection

The next step is all about taking advantage of wonderful, untapped resources. Most people simply don’t realize the treasure that lies at their fingertips. The Bible is filled with practical promises. Any one of them, if we choose to take hold of it, leads to liberation from some tough problem of life. God’s word has the answers to all of our fears.

If I were a person with a fearful spirit, I’d go to the store and buy a package of three-by-five index cards. Then I would turn to certain verses in my Bible and copy them onto the cards. I’d place one on the visor of my car. I’d tape one to the wall of my rest room. One would be slid under the glass of my desk. Another would find a home in my wallet, and I might even tape one to the television remote! I’d type the text in colorful letters on my computer screen so that I’d see it there whenever I walk through the room.

I would then be well prepared for the first tingle of oppression from a spirit of fear. I could reach for that Bible verse, read it out loud, repeat it again, and ask God to demonstrate its truth in the battlefield of my heart and spirit.

Are you interested in tapping into that wealth of promises? I’ll give you several, and I suggest you read them out loud and reflect on their vital significance for you.

Deuteronomy 31:6. Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them; for the Lord thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Psalm 27:1. The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 118:6. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?

Proverbs 3:25. Do not be afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked when it cometh.
26. For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.

Proverbs 29:25. The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.

The next one is a personal favorite. I suggest you put a big star beside it.

Isaiah 41:10. Fear thou not; for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Those verses are the best fear insurance you can invest in. Memorize them. Write them out, or print them on cards, and place them in locations where you might be attacked. Let the Word of God fortify your spirit.

And of course, those verses are only the beginning. Read through God’s Word, and you’ll find so many more assurances for times of fear. The inspired writers knew what it was like to be afraid in the ancient world; they had fears we can’t even imagine.

Peter and Paul had to face fear. Jesus prayed in Gethsemane, knowing exactly what lay ahead for Him in the hours to come. All of these found their strength in God, and you can benefit richly from their spiritual wisdom. Look up fear in your Bible’s concordance, and then look up afraid.

Take in all these passages, soak in their power, and the next time the devil comes to get a response out of you, you’ll be ready. Pull five verses from the living water just like five smooth stones in David’s pouch, and let them fly! Don’t worry about that fearsome giant; the bigger they come, the harder they fall.

The next step may sound so simple, so basic, that you may shrug it aside. I hope you won’t do that!

11. Cultivate A Closer Relationship With God

Yes, you can confront your fears by drawing near to God. Think back to those spies who entered Canaan. Up to now, we haven’t mentioned that there were two dissenters in the group. They went on the same trip, saw the same walled cities and the same giants, and they brought back a minority opinion. Joshua and Caleb listened patiently to all the worst-case scenarios and calmly said, "We can do this."

As I’ve read this narrative over the years, I’ve always felt the difference between the ten and the two was that they used different measuring-sticks. The negative group measured the giants by their own stature, while Joshua and Caleb measured them by God’s stature. These two were the only ones who finally measured up to the privilege of entering the Promised Land. The others fell short.

What made the difference for Joshua and Caleb? The Scriptures state it clearly.

 Numbers 32:12 we read: "For they have wholly followed the Lord." You’ll find the same message in Deuteronomy 1:36 and Joshua 14:9. Joshua and Caleb were simply different creatures from the rest.

The Bible makes it clear that they were absolutely filled with the Spirit of God, and they walked with Him in every way. It caused them to think differently, act differently, decide differently. In Other Words, They Had Faith In God’s Promise.

And when the time of crisis came—the time when we find out what people are made of—Joshua and Caleb were living proof of what it means to have godly courage. These two looked at a land that "devoured its inhabitants" and said, "This is God’s will for us. Let’s do it!"

Your fear level is ultimately a referendum on the closeness of your fellowship with God. It’s a spiritual yardstick. Do you see things in human dimensions or godly ones? After you spend time with your Creator, you’re simply incapable of shrinking in fear at the appearance of every human anxiety. You’ve seen His power. You’ve seen His love and faithfulness. You’ve seen that His purposes are the best for us. If you have "the fear of God," as we used to say, you won’t fear the things of this world. If you don’t have the fear of God, then everything else is to be feared.

There’s one other verse that in my judgment is the essential New Testament verse on this subject. Think about it carefully; I’d suggest memorizing it:

1 John 4:18. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love" (K.J.V.)

The opposite of fear, you see, is not courage. It’s not trust. The opposite of fear is love. This verse captures that beautiful and powerful truth. As we’ve already seen near the beginning of this chapter, "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7).

There it is again—fear versus love. I think parents understand this principle, for they know that little children often wake up in the dark of night. And they’re afraid of the darkness. They’ll wake up in that bedroom in the middle of the night, and he’ll begin to cry. It’s not just any kind of crying, but an "I’m afraid" kind of crying. You parents know what I mean.

So what do we do? I doubt any of us would rush into the room and say, "Come on, David—be courageous!" No, you and I are much more tenderthan that. You lift the little boy in your arms, nestle him tightly to you, and speak softly with assurance. We tell him you love him, and that everything is all right. You help him realize he’s in a safe place, and that you’re very near as he sleeps, even if it’s dark; you will always protect him. And you pour in all the love you can until the fear is cast out, and your little child sleeps in peace. That’s what God does for us when we call on Him.

Harry Ironside, a great preacher from years ago, told the story of playing a game called Bears with his young son. The grownup would be the bear, and he’d chase the boy all over the house. But one day the game got a bit too intense. The boy was cornered by the "bear," and he suddenly became truly frightened—it wasn’t a game anymore. He hid his face, trembling, and then turned around quickly and threw himself into his father’s arms with the words, "I’m not afraid of you! You’re my daddy!"

Our Father wants us to leap into His arms that way when we’re afraid. He wants us to realize who He really is, and that we need never fear. And the key to that assurance is love, the opposite of fear.

To experience in full the love of God is to feel the deepest security in heart, soul, mind, and strength. It is to understand, down to the depth of our being, that God loves us so much He will always fold us in His arms; that He’ll always be near, even when it’s dark; that He is our "Daddy" and that we need not be afraid.

And we realize all of this as His incomprehensible love washes through us and cleanses us from fear and anger and selfishness. Then and only then do we find ourselves capable of returning love—for remember, "We love Him because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19).

And that’s when it happens: Love begins to dispel fear. Yes, we’ll be visited by fears again, because they’re part of living. But they’ll never have the same hold on us. They’ll be the reasonable fears of touching the hot stove or crossing the busy street. The irrational, controlling fears will not be allowed to dominate the heart, for the heart is home to the Holy Spirit now. He will not allow it.

As a matter of fact, we won’t have time to nurture some deep fear and build it up to become a giant, because the Spirit will see that our hands are active in ministry. It’s an amazing principle: The more you reach out to other people with needs, the smaller your fears become. Again, this is love casting out fear. It’s one more good reason to become active in ministry.

Be an encourager. Be an ambassador of the love of God. I know of no better prescription for misery of any kind. As you can see, there’s nothing trite about my advising you to cultivate a closer relationship with God. That’s the ultimate fear strategy. Children who are afraid call on their parents. It’s no different for adults who are afraid, but the Parent whose name we call is so much more powerful, so much more loving, so much more responsive.

If your life is filled with anxiety and irrational fears, draw near to God, starting today. Increase your time in His Word. Devote more time to prayer, and keep a prayer journal of how He comforts you in times of fear.

12. Commit Your Life To Jesus Christ

My final point calls on you to be certain you’re able to draw near to Him. There is one ultimate fear every human being must face—one fear that stands taller than all the others. The ultimate giant is Death itself.

The fear of death causes people to do strange things. I read about a man who kept a canister of oxygen in every room in his home. His cars had those little tanks. The bathrooms, the bedrooms, the kitchen, garage—everywhere there were oxygen canisters. One day someone asked him the meaning of this obsession. He explained, "Well, I have a little bit of a heart problem. I’m afraid that one of these days I might have a heart attack, and I won’t be able to get the oxygen I need—then I’ll die."

He concluded, "I’ll do everything in my power to hedge my bet." And so, to smother his life in security, he made it into a life that was all about oxygen canisters.

Caution is a good thing; phobias are unhealthy. When the appointed day arrives when God has called you home, all the oxygen canisters in the world will not buy you another second of life. The real question is, are you desperate for another second, another hour, another day? If so, why does death hold so much terror for you? Are you so eager to avoid the beautiful gates of heaven and the open arms of God?

I know that I’m not afraid of death. I’m willing to move on to my next destination—though I’m not eager to get a head start. I happen to love life. I’m devoted to my ministry and my family, and I have no desire to die. But it’s a wonderful thing to come to a sense of peace about the finality of this life. It’s good to be able to say, "I’m not afraid to die."

Paul understood that it’s a win-win situation for God’s people. He wrote, "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21). We can stay on earth and experience the joy of Christ, or we can move on to the next life and occupy those mansions He’s gone to prepare. Either way, we’ve got it made. Why fear for things in this life? Why fear the doorway that leads to the next one?

Yet you and I both know people who move through this life wearing the shackles of a lifelong fear of death. The chains hold them back from any enjoyment or fulfillment in life. But there’s an interesting passage in Hebrews that tells us how we ought to think about death:

Hebrews 2:14. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
15. And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (KJV)

There it is in a nutshell—the most important truth of history. Death had dominion over this world. All people had to live in its tyranny, and life was dominated by death. Then God came into the world in the guise of human flesh, in order to share everything we experience. He stretched out His arms on that great wooden cross, and He gave Himself up. As the sky darkened and the earth shook and history turned upside down, Jesus hung between heaven and earth, bridging the ultimate gulf that could not be closed in any other way.

That changed everything. He brought eternity back to you and me, and He brought us home again to God. The power of death was totally broken. Death has no power at all outside of the lies and distortions of the deceiver. The devil wants you to believe that death is still a giant. He wants you to believe your sins still give death the final word, and that you must therefore live in terror. But the truth is that Jesus paid the debt. Your sins will not be held against you now if you’ll accept the gift that Jesus purchased with His life.

Faith Conquers Fear. Call out God’s name, seek Him through the Scriptures, and cling to your faith with desperation. God draws near. The victory will come, as you take your thoughts captive, pray, read the Bible, recall verses you’ve memorized, and sing potent praise songs. With each conquest, the fearful thoughts will grow weaker.

Yes, God is victorious. So are we, when we take the counsel of these wise, wise friends. Fear not! There are giants in the land, but next to our Lord they’re little more than grasshoppers.

I hope this will be a blessing to everyone who reads it. It is our sincere desire that everyone can be free of the tyranny of fear by putting your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

We invite you to read the other articles on this web site. We would like for you to write to us and share your comments.

E-Mail Address, Godsgrazingfield@att.net

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James L. Thornton

 

 

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