"Nothing To Fear"
"Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."
Matthew 14: 27
Is there something happening in my life right now that is making me afraid?
Have I told God about my fears?
"Jesus came treading the waves, and so he puts all the swelling tumults of life under His feet. Christians – why afraid?"
"Be strong, do not fear."
Isaiah 35: 4
If there is one thing in life that makes me afraid, it is flying in an airplane in bad weather.
I'll never forget flying over the Rocky Mountains into Denver a number of years ago when the winds were 50-60 miles per hour. Let me just say that I had never seen so many of those air sickness bags used on a plane before. The turbulence was awful and by the time our airplane taxied into the gate, I was literally shaking all over – when I stood up to walk off the plane, my knees were knocking together and it took me nearly an hour to get calmed down.
Several weeks after this terrifying ordeal, I was telling my dad about my harrowing experience and he smiled and said, "Dorothy, when I get on a plane, I just tell God I'm in His hands and then I put my seat back and go to sleep knowing that God is holding me in His arms."
I loved my dad's courageous belief and faith in God for several reasons. First, it wasn't a blind trust. My dad had repeated proof through the years as he watched God take care of him and his family. God's previous acts of compassion were, to my father, better than money in God's bank of remembrance. Second, my dad really believed what he told me. This wasn't some tacky little pep-talk meant to calm me down during a time of crisis. Instead, this was God talk – a reminder that our God in heaven has this world under control.
This is exactly the kind of encouragement given from God, directly to Joshua and the children of Israel. Even after all God's daughters and sons, including their earthly leader Joshua, forgot who gave them the victory in Jericho; and even after their stunning defeat in Ai when, instead of going to God for advice they headed into battle on their own; and even after their fall into the Valley of Achor – God still, in His immense loving-kindness, came to Joshua and said, "Now that I've brought you through Achor and led you through the door of hope, you don't have to be afraid or fear anything."
The Psalmist, David, understood completely the capacity of God to take us through the valley and lead us forth with hope when he penned the well-known words of Psalm 23 (Amplified Bible) – "Yes, though I walk through the deep, sunless valley, I will fear no evil." Why did David say he had nothing to fear? "Because Thou art with me!" This is the same promise God gave to Joshua, "As I was with Moses, so I will be with you: I will not fail you or forsake you" (Joshua 1: 5, Amplified Bible).
I'm so thankful the God who told Joshua, long ago, "Don't be afraid, I am with you," has promised all of His children, and this includes you and me, "I am the Lord I do not change" (Malachi 3:6, Amplified Bible). This means the words spoken to Joshua are spoken to you and me today, "I've brought you through the Valley of Achor and opened the door to a hopeful life. You have nothing to be afraid of!" What a promise! What assurance!
In days like these, when the entire world is watching money slip away and possessions become meaningless, our God says, "Fear not!"
And to all of you who have requested prayers for marital problems, financial challenges, crippling illness, and unsaved children, our Father's message today, as it was to Joshua is, "Fear not!"
These are words I need to hear today. For when trials confront us and the future is dark and we can't see what's ahead, having a Father who comes to me and says, "Fear not I am with you," gives me all the hope, encouragement, and love I need to keep my hand in His as I walk with Him every moment of every day.
"Our hearts, our hopes, are all with Thee,
Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,
Our faith triumphant o'er our fears,
Are all with Thee – are all with Thee!"
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"Have you ever taken your fears to God, got the horizons of Eternity about them, looked at them in the light of His love and grace?"
Robert J. McCracken
"O Lord, we beseech You to deliver us from the fear of the unknown future, from the fear of failure, from fear of poverty, from fear of sickness and pain, from fear of age, and from fear of death. Help us, O Father, by Your grace to love and fear You only. Fill our hearts with cheerful courage and loving trust in You; through our Lord Jesus Christ."