Facing Fear (Part 3)

Let’s be honest, if you have totally committed yourself to God’s hands and whatever He has in store for you, you won’t worry about anything that is happening in your life.  Do you know anyone who is totally committed to that extent?  I cannot think of one person I know of.  It is what we should strive for, but it will be an ongoing process that we will probably never fully achieve.  But we need to make a commitment to one thing at a time.

Even great men of the Bible feared.  When Moses died, Joshua was left in charge of the Israelites to lead them into the promised land.  It wasn’t just sitting there waiting for inhabitants.  They were going to have to claim the land God had given them with some pretty intense battles.  God had to tell Joshua to be “very courageous” (Joshua 1:7).  You know if God is telling someone they have to be very courageous that there is a reason to fear.  And life has those times when we need to be very courageous.  A devastating diagnosis, a battle of our own against an unseen enemy trying to destroy our body.

In the New Testament, Jesus had to tell His disciples over and over again not to be afraid.  He wouldn’t have to have told them if He knew they didn’t have any fear.  At Jesus’ transfiguration, He had to tell His disciples not to be afraid (Matthew 17:7).  In John 14:27 Jesus tells the disciples not to let their hearts be troubled or afraid.  When Jesus called Simon, James and John as disciples, He had to tell them not to be afraid (Luke 5).  In Matthew chapter 14 we see how the disciples were in a boat on the sea, and a terrible storm was tossing the boat around.  Jesus walked out to the boat and told them not to be afraid.  In fact, he said “be of good cheer,” because it was Him, their Saviour, their Protector, the Hero who could stop the waves and the storm!  He is still that same Protector and Hero to us, and He is telling us to “be of good cheer” also.

When we go back to Joshua chapter 1,  just a couple of verses after God told Joshua to be “very courageous” is one of my favorite verses in the whole Bible.  One I like to recite over and over again when I am afraid.  Joshua 1:9, “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”  You will face those times when you need great courage, but in those times you have to remember that your God, the most powerful God, the awesome Creator of the universe, is by your side, right there with you every step of the way to help you get through it.  He is on your side!

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