Tag Archives: Fear

He is waiting to meet our needs

Job 11: 17-19a

Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning.  You will be secure, because there is hope, you will look about you and take your rest in safety.  You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid.  NIV

Again, these verse follow on from Job 11: 13, which says, “If you will devote your heart to him and stretch out your hands to him …”

… life will be brighter … darkness  won’t be as dark … you will be secure in you hope of the Lord … you will rest easily because you are not afraid … you’ll sleep peacefully, free from worry and fear.

Change, any change, isn’t easy.  While some change is for the better and some for the worse, it can’t help but feel … different.

When things are different, it isn’t immediately obvious, in my experience, that they are better.  Difference invites comparison, and comparison can kill optimism.

There is quite a bit of change in my little world at the moment.  As near as I can tell, it is all for the good, but, I needed this reminder today.

Today, and all days, I will devote my heart to the Lord.  I will stretch out my hands — full of things that I’m experiencing and thinking about — to Him.

Recently, I was talking with a set of new parents about the challenges of caring for their young son.  They are thrilled with him, but, they cannot escape the obvious realities that he needs absolutely everything done for him.  Their world — for this precious, precious time — revolves around meeting his most basic needs, moment by moment.  It’s an exhausting task.

But, then, we thought about this question, “What is it like for him?”  His every need is met as soon as he makes it known.  He is warm and dry and cuddled and safe and cared for.

In our lives as children of God, we are the baby.  As we grow in Christ, just like the child of my friends, we will be able to accomplish much.  But, no matter how old we are or how mature we are, we are always, always God’s children.

If we will stretch out our hands to him … He is waiting to meet our needs.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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Filed under Fear, Hope, Job, Old Testament

He’s in charge

Jeremiah 46: 28a

“Do not fear, O Jacob my servant, for I am with you,” declares the Lord. NIV

This morning, I came to the end of the listings of the word, “fear” in my King James concordance.  The word appears hundreds of times in various forms, but, as I went through the list, I was mostly focusing on times that it was paired with “not.”

This particular “fear not” is one that I found months ago, but, didn’t catalog.  The remainder of this verse is a bit … sobering.  God says, “I will not completely destroy you.  I will discipline you but only with justice;  I will not let you go unpunished.”

The Biblical reminders not to worry that I’m finding are not just platitudes.  They aren’t like that song, “Don’t worry … be happy.”  Candidly, I’m not a big fan of that song … when you’re worried, it is very challenging to flip that switch to happiness on your own.

But, the Bible tells us, over and over, that we don’t have to face worry alone.  This verse says, “Do not fear … I am with you.”

And, the verses that I’m finding are showing me that worry over things to come is really not my responsibility — more than that, it’s above my pecking order.  “Do not fear … my servant.”

God reminds us that we needn’t worry because we’re not in charge … He is.

That’s what I’ll think about today.


Filed under Fear, Jeremiah, Old Testament, Worry

Don’t quit!

Revelation 2:10

Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer.  I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you and you will suffer persecution for ten days.  Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.  NIV

Be faithful.

The Message paraphrases this part of the verse, “Don’t quit, even if it costs you your life.  Stay there believing.” MSG

Whatever comes, whatever trials you must endure, whatever or whomever tries to rob you of your joy … be faithful!

That’s what I’ll think about today.


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Filed under Faith, Fear, New Testament, Revelation, Worry

First, Last, Everything!

Revelation 1: 17-18

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.  Then he placed his right hand on me and said, “Do not be afraid.  I am the First and the Last.  I am the Living One;  I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever!  And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” NIV

John is understandably terrified.  This is the first chapter of Revelation, and he has just come face to face with the presence of God.

The words here were an encouragement to John in the midst of his fear.

But, how much more encouraging they are to us in 2010!

We don’t have to be afraid.  God, our God, is both the first and the last.  He was here before there was anything else, and he will be here long after everything has ceased to be.

Christ came to live among us, he died, was buried and rose again … to live forever and ever.

He has overcome death.

If the Lord is with us, who can be against us?

That’s an awesome reminder not to worry, and that’s what I’ll think about today.


Filed under New Testament, Revelation

Don’t let “worry” creep onto your to do list

I Peter 3:14

But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed.  “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.” NIV

Do not fear what they fear.  There’s a footnote in my NIV Bible there that says, “Do not fear their threats.”

This verse echoes Psalm 118:6 – The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid, what can man do to me? NIV

Sometimes, though, these verses are easier contemplated than lived.  Earthly threats can seem quite real when they’re staring you in the eye.  It takes a lot of prayer and preparation to meet them head on with a triumphant spirit.

But, today’s reminder says, “even if you suffer for what is right, you are blessed.”

That’s what I’ll think about today.


Filed under Fear, I Peter, New Testament

Love from the inside out

2 Timothy 1:7

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.  NIV

In the King James translation, this verse reads, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” KJV

The Greek word for “fear” used here means “timidity or fear.”

It is interesting to me that Timothy contrasts “fear” with “love.”

The word for “love” used here is the same as that used throughout 1 Corinthians 13.

When we are in-dwelt with the Holy Spirit, we are given the gift of love from the inside out … not from the outside in as we so often think of it.  As the recipients of divine love, we are uniquely enabled to give love to others here on earth.

When we have this gift of love inside us, we are empowered to be patient and kind.  We are called, in 1 Corinthians 13, to rejoice in the truth and to always trust, always hope, always preserve.

There are also things that these verses tell us love is not.  From that list, I think we can derive other things that we are called to be:

  • Love does not envy, does not boast and is not proud.  Therefore, I think we are called to be genuinely glad for others and to rejoice with them in their accomplishments.
  • Love does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs.  Therefore, I think we are called to look for the good in others, to encourage their efforts and to acknowledge their progress toward the truth.
  • Love does not delight in evil.  Therefore, I think we are called to be a help to others when bad things befall them.

So, if we are busy being patient, kind, rejoicing in the truth, trusting, hoping, preserving, being glad for others and rejoicing in their accomplishments, looking for the good in others, encouraging others’ efforts, acknowledging others’ progress and helping others when bad things befall them, we will never be described as timid or fearful.

And, I submit we won’t feel timid or fearful or worried.

We will be turning ourselves outward … sharing the love that is inside of us with God’s people around us.  We will be doing the work that we are called to do here.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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Filed under Fear, II Timothy, New Testament

Speak up!

Philippians 1:14

Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly. NIV

At first glance, this reminder seems counter-intuitive.  Because the writer of Philippians, Paul, is in chains, other believers have been emboldened.

Paul addresses this in the verses that precede this reminder.  In The Message, this section of the chapter is entitled, “They Can’t Imprison the Message,” and verses 12-14 read:

I want to report to you, friends, that my imprisonment here has had the opposite of its intended effect.  Instead of being squelched, the Message has actually prospered.  All the soldiers here, and everyone else too, found out that I’m in jail because of the Messiah.  That piqued their curiousity, and now they’ve learned all about him.  Not only that, but most of the Christians here have become far more sure of themselves in the faith than ever.  Sepaking out fearlessly about God, about the Messiah. The Message

Paul was placed in jail for his faith.  Instead of abandoning his beliefs to win his freedom, he becomes all the more bold about delivering his message … the message cannot be imprisoned.

Our faith, our assurance in Jesus Christ, shouldn’t be quietly contained within us.  It should burst out … it should overflow from us … it should be wholly evident to everyone we come in contact with.

The message cannot be imprisoned.

It can’t be bound by chains, or by circumstances.  I can choose not to pass it on, because God gave me the free will to make that choice, but, if I don’t do as I am called to do, I won’t stop the progression of the Message.  I will merely be an unproductive vine.

Because of Paul’s example, because of the example of countless others that have come before me, I am encouraged … I can and should speak courageously and fearlessly about the Messiah.

It would seem as though this season of Advent would provide a ready-made opportunity for sharing Christ with our world.

I’ll have to think about that today.


Filed under Fear, New Testament, Philippians

What’s next?

Romans 8:15

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.  And, by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” NIV


I am blown away by this reminder.  This is exactly what I needed to hear this morning.  I woke up feeling a bit overwhelmed and worried about the things this day will hold.  But, God says, I don’t have to feel that way.

“You did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear.”

Don’t go back to living that fearful, worried life!  You don’t have to.  You are a child of God.

Listen to how The Message paraphrases it:  The resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life.  It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a child-like, “What’s next, Papa?”


When I was a kid, my dad had a full-time job, and he was in graduate school.  I didn’t get to spend tons of time with him.  But once, right after my little sister was born, my father took me, all by myself, to a big amusement park.  All day.  Just me and him.

The whole family went on the trip, even the baby.   We had to drive a day to get there, and we got to stay two nights in a hotel.

It was one of the most memorable days of my life.  I still remember what I wore, even the bauble my mom put in my hair.

That day was a true adventure.  We rode roller coasters over and over and over, and log flumes … I had never done either of these things.  I was thrilled.  After each ride, I couldn’t imagine what adventure might be next.

This verse calls me to live that life each day, with God, an adventurous, expectant life.

That’s an amazing thing to think about today.

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Filed under Fear, New Testament, Romans

He rules the wind, and the waves, and my current circumstances

Acts 27:23

Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me and said, “Do not be afraid, Paul.  You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.” NIV

This is one of the stories in the life of Paul that I don’t remember reading or studying previously.  At this point, Paul is on a boat with a bunch of sailors and a centurion, and they get caught in a massive storm that goes on for days … a couple of weeks, actually.

The sailors are so worried that they stop eating, and everyone is fearing for their lives.

It strikes me that this storm, which torments Paul’s boat, is a good metaphor for any long trial.  As difficult circumstances persist day after day, with no hope of resolution and no light at the end of the tunnel, it is easy to become discouraged — if you’re living a life of fear.

But Paul isn’t bound by fear.  He is living a life of love, and through it he keeps everything in perspective.  The phrase “God whose I am and whom I serve,” sums it up perfectly.

I belong to God.  I serve God.  He rules the wind, and the waves, and my current circumstances — good or bad.

That’s what I’ll think about today.

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Filed under Acts, Fear, New Testament, Worry

My Redeemer lives!

John 12:15

Do not be afraid, O Daugther of Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt. NIV

After a long break, I’m back to searching my King James concordance for listings of the word fear.  The fear pages are filled with check marks next to reminders that I’ve already found.  And, there’s a coffee stain where I had an unfortunate spill one morning.

I was so pleased that this verse was next.  It comes from the story of Palm Sunday, and the verse before it sets it in context, “Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written,” NIV

As it is written …

Such a beautiful, comforting phrase.  Jesus fulfilled all of the prophesies that were made about him.  In this case, Palm Sunday fulfills Zechariah 9:9, which says, “Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!  Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!  See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” NIV

But, the text of the verse holds today’s reminder:  Do not be afraid, see, your king is coming.

My king has come.  He fulfilled everything that was foretold about Him.  He was crucified.  He died.  He was buried.  And, on the third day, He conquered death and arose.

My king lives.

One Easter, right after I had accepted Christ, my parents and I went to church, as usual.  The sanctuary was small.  It seated maybe 150 people, and every seat was taken.  The building was built of concrete block, and there was no carpet on the floor.  Because sound echoed through the room, talking in the sanctuary was pretty much frowned upon.  If I needed something, I could whisper to one of my parents.

As we were all sitting quietly waiting for the service to begin, one of the youth stood from the back row and announced very loudly, “HE is alive!”  I nearly jumped out of my nine-year-old skin, I was so frightened by the sudden noise.  Then a girl stood, and said the same thing, “He is ALIVE.”  And, then immediately, someone else said, “He IS alive.”  All of a sudden, all of the youth burst from the back of the sanctuary, shouting and singing.  As they made their way up the aisle, I was so excited.  I wanted to jump up and go with them.

It was amazing.  I remember thinking, “This is what heaven will be like.”

HE is alive. He is ALIVE.  He IS alive.

My Redeemer lives … ultimately, there are no worries.

That’s what I’ll think about today.


Filed under Fear, Hope, John, New Testament, Worry