July 2, 2023
Wouldn’t it be great to be free from all fear? We know that fear of any sort cripples us as it holds us captive from doing or experiencing what we desire. Stop and think about the hold fear has on you and how you would love to be free from that fear, albeit the fear of dying, fear of others, or fear of the future, etc. Now that I have your attention, consider what God’s word has to say:
Psalm 34:4 (ESV) — 4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
Does that sound too good to be true? It is true but it’s experienced by what seems to be very few people today. Why? Consider the origin of fear.
When God created Adam and Eve they lived without fear, even spending time with God in fellowship every day, but when they sinned by eating of the forbidden fruit in the garden, things changed. Notice how the conversation pointed to fear which caused Adam and Eve to hide from the presence of God.
Genesis 3:10 (ESV) — 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”
That is the first evidence of fear. Thankfully, God does not leave us in the state of fear. Rather, He through the work of His Son the Lord Jesus Christ, gives us hope as He does away with fear in overcoming death, the ultimate consequence to Adam’s transgression, which is passed along to all of us.
Hebrews 2:14–15 (ESV) — 14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
The second reference to fear in the Bible is in the promise to Abraham, which pointed to his relationship with God and God’s promise to be with him, therefore he had nothing to fear.
Genesis 15:1 (ESV) — 1 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”
It doesn’t stop there. Like Abraham, followers of the Lord Jesus Christ today are given great promises to help them overcome their fears, especially when it comes to the fear of man. How many people are held in captivity to the fear of what people will do to them, whether governments or terrorists, the fear of man can be really crippling. Notice the cure in the following verses. It’s not in building up an arsenal of protection, rather it’s in staying close to and trusting in God, His word, particularly His promises, and being ready in the certainty of what you believe.
Hebrews 13:5–6 (ESV) — 5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
1 Peter 3:13–15 (ESV) — 13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
Notice how a close relationship with God is described in the beloved Psalm 23.
Psalm 23:1–2 (ESV) — 1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
Notice particularly how abiding in the closeness of the Shepherd gives us great boldness against fear, even in the midst of the valley of the shadow of death:
Psalm 23:4 (ESV) — 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
The bottom line to overcoming fear is to be familiar with the “Captain of our salvation” which is the Lord Jesus Christ. Too often we try to go at life alone, but we do not need to do that. As a matter of fact, we should not because the key to succeeding in life is in abiding in and clinging to the “Captain of our salvation,” the Lord Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 2:9–10 (ESV) — 9 But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. 10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.
Please notice how John, who was banished to the island called Patmos to die, was worshipping on the Lord’s Day when the glorified Savior appeared to him and brought him (and us) comfort and instruction when facing any fear.
Revelation 1:17–18 (ESV) — 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.
If He, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is “King of kings and Lord of lords” has conquered all of His and our enemies including the enemy named death, what need we fear? Nothing! And that confidence is applied as we stay close to Him as our Shepherd, Lord, and Savior, the only hope for overcoming all fear.
Bob Brubaker, Pastor