|by Henry T. Blackaby
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In this day of a great many fears, God reaches deep within our hearts and our minds and says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
He is really assuring each of us that the “I AM” of the universe is present among us, just as He was with Moses and the people of Israel. And His presence is sufficient for all occasions and all circumstances.
How do you respond in painful or fearful moments? When you know that God has assured you of His presence, do you worry anyway? Do you panic or turn instinctively to Him? Do you wait patiently for Him and let His peace rule in your heart? Do you believe Him?
Fear for many is a common experience, even a habit, in real life. So, we should ask, “Where does fear come from? What gives rise to fear?
I sense that fear comes from several sources. It often comes from suddenly facing the unknown. When we do not know, we often fear the worst. The future is unknown. Therefore, we may assume it will be out of control and we get afraid. Fear can also arise out of ignorance. This could be the type of ignorance from not knowing the answer to a question or the solution to one of life’s problems. This is the fear of being wrong. Or, it could be the type of ignorance whereby one fears because that fear is based on a false premise. We simply do not understand our circumstances. And, of course, fear may arise when our circumstances seem out of control: a child’s behavior, anger in a marriage, loss of a job or sense of insecurity.
But as Christians we should learn how to release our fears -– especially when we know of God’s presence, His love and His provisions. In the words of Paul:
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword…? Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35, 37-39).
God has assured us that He will always be present with us in our trials. Therefore, the ways in which we handle our difficult circumstances will ultimately determine what we believe about God and His promises. Those who believe little will respond in worry and fear.
“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
And this is God’s personal invitation to you today -– in your home, in your workplace, and in your life. Respond to Him with, “Thank You Lord!” Receive Him into all of your life -– right now!