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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro

Fear Not

"They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly." - Psalm 112:7-8 NLT

Almost every time I have taken a stand on these verses when I've been fearful, I've experienced an indescribable strengthening in my spirit, and a holy determination to rise above my circumstances. I believe that our response in times of crisis can significantly affect the outcome of our situation. Think of it this way - when we respond to a crisis with fear, doubt, and unbelief, we may be opening the door for Satan and his evil cohorts to come in and "steal, kill and destroy" (John 10:10). But when we call out to the Lord and take our stand in faith, we open the door for God and His angels to come to our rescue. If we think of having to choose sides - God's or Satan's - each time we're in a trial, we may be more likely to choose the faith and confidence response, instead of the doubt and fear response. In Mark 4:40 (NIV), Jesus asked His disciples: "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" Jesus equated fear with a lack of faith, and it's obvious that He wasn't pleased about it. The fact is, we can't be in faith and in fear at the same time. And just as faith has its rewards, fear carries a heavy price tag. In Psalm 91 (NKJV), we are told that "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." And this person "will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust." (v. 1-2) This is a picture of the believer taking his stand in faith, putting his confidence in God, and looking to Him for protection. This psalm is filled with promises of deliverance for the believer, as well as for angelic protection.

Psalm 56:3-4 (NIV) says: "When I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid." Here, David talks about making a conscious decision to put his trust in God when he is fearful. He also reveals the basis for his trust in God - his faith in God's Word. The Living Bible brings this out best when it says: "When I am afraid, I will put my confidence in You. Yes, I will trust the promises of God." David knew his God, and he knew God's promises to him. That's why his faith was so rock solid. If we want to boost our faith and get to know God intimately, we've got to be committed to getting to know His Word. No matter what the basis of our fear is, there are promises from God we can apply. For instance, if we are afraid of hearing bad news, we can stand on the verses above from Psalm 112, and declare, "I shall not fear bad news; my trust is in my God!" If it's a fear of failure that's assailing us, we can claim Hebrews 13:6 (NIV): "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid." If we are dreading having to do something, we can stand on Philippians 4:13 (NKJV): "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." If our safety is being threatened, we can lay hold of God's promise in Psalm 23:4 (TLB): "Even when walking through the dark valley of death I will not be afraid, for You are close beside me, guarding, guiding all the way."

One promise we need to claim every time fear comes against us is Second Timothy 1:7 (NKJV): "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." The truth is that God has given us Holy Spirit power to conquer all the fear we'll ever encounter in this life. And if the Lord didn't think we were capable of standing against fear, He would never command us to "fear not". God hates fear because He knows how destructive it is. It can steal our peace, our joy, and even our health. Doubt, dread, and worry are all forms of fear, so we need to resist them just like we resist sin. Refusing to live in fear can be difficult, but it's doable. The next time fear comes against you, take your stand like David did when he declared - "With God on my side, I'm fearless, afraid of no one and nothing"! (Psalm 27:1 MSG)

Prayer: Lord, teach me how to take a stand against fear the moment it comes against me. Make me as bold as a lion, according to Your promise. (Proverbs 28:1) Give me a love for Your Word, so that I can arm myself with Your Truth in every battle. Thank You for leaving me Your peace, so that I need never be troubled or afraid! (John 14:27)

- J. M. Farro


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