I John 4:17-19 (NKJV)
Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.
There is no fear in love. There is fear in life. Everyone experiences different levels according to experience and exposure. Born and raised in the city and suburbs, I am a bit leery of walking outside beyond where the light stretches. I am not interested in meeting with any other living creature or anything that goes bump in the night. We love Him because He first loved us is good but is it enough to conquer our fears in life. It can be.
Through many experiences in life, I thought that I was a brave person. Childhood troubles, adult traumas and life experience afforded many opportunities to grow in this area. However, nothing would ever prepare me for the fear faced when our child was diagnosed with cancer. It seemed that my whole life came crashing down around me in a single moment with just one sentence. I couldn’t breathe anymore. I couldn’t feel anything. The world still moving around me stood still in my mind. When everyone was finally settled, I retreated to a dirty restroom to dissolve before my Lord. It was the moment that I realized I didn’t have enough strength to go on. Completely overtaken by emotion, weakness and despair, I crashed boldly into the Throne Room of my God and demanded immediate attention. As I have shared many times, He met me right there. He did not change the circumstances. He did not settle the situation. He did not provide a way out just a way through it. In that room, God gave me His Word. “Your son will live and not die.” The rest of the journey would be based on just seven words.
People say all the time, “I don’t know how you did it, I couldn’t.” Yes you can. When faced with life’s troubles, trials and tragedies, there is no place to opt out. As we signed countless forms for insurance, consents and releases to begin treatment, nowhere could I find a box allowing us to pass on this opportunity. God does not cause the problems in our life but simply offers us solutions. Sin started this mess. It will continue to wreak havoc until Jesus comes again. The promise that we have is that we can know “that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His Purpose.” The Lord perfects that which concerns us. (Psalm 138:8) Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. (John 14:6) If only we believed enough to hang on to these promises until the end, we would see time and time again that we have nothing to fear and everything to gain when we live courageously in His Love. There is no fear in love. Perfect love casts out all fear. We are to be courageous today.
Psalm 23:4-6 (NKJV)
Yea, 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. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Before you decide you cannot relate because you have never experienced anything like this before, don’t do that. Do not invalidate your journey in life as we are all headed in the same direction. There is but one destination for everyone. We can only choose to enter through Jesus Christ to avoid judgment and hell one day. His Grace is sufficient for us. But in that same verse, it reminds us that His Power works best in our weakness. Life will make you weak. The prevailing sin and darkness in the world will wear you down. The more your passion in pursing Jesus Christ the more powerful the attacks against your life. The battle is real. Your soul counts to God and is the target of the enemy. Each engagement escalates. When you do not give up and gain a victory, the next one will be just a little bit (or a lot tougher). You are God’s Masterpiece. You are His Treasure. The enemy seeks to steal, kill and destroy that which is precious to God. We must never lose sight of our value and worth to the Kingdom and the plight against us at the enemy’s hands.
Though you have not faced a burden too big for you to bear, do not let down your guard. This is not a call to fear but a directive to live strong and courageous every single day. It says that perfect love drives away fear from our life. David said, “I will fear no evil.” Why? “You are with me.” It doesn’t say that there will be no battles but that in the midst of opposition that God prepares a table for us. He anoints us with His Power as a product of His Love. Our cup runs over. We have everything we need to win. We just have to remain obedient. Where in the world did that come from? Well, it says the Lord is my Shepherd. It goes on to say that “Your Rod and Your Staff, they comfort me.” The rod is representative of discipline. God’s Word guides us through life from victory to victory. It is the Truth that dictates the outcomes for those who choose to live in it and obey it. The staff could be representative of many things but I think it is His Spirit. The staff is that which the shepherd uses to guide and direct his sheep. Pull them out of the messes they fall into. Point the way. The Holy Spirit teaches us everything we need to know about living a godly life and securing our place in forever. Jesus told the woman at the well that there was coming a day when people would worship the Lord in Spirit and Truth. Well, today is that day.
Psalm 56:10-13 (NKJV)
In God (I will praise His Word), in the Lord (I will praise His Word), In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? Vows made to You are binding upon me, O God; I will render praises to You, for You have delivered my soul from death. Have You not kept my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?
I will praise His Word. When everything falls apart, we must cling to God’s Word for us. When the storm comes upon us, the waters rise, or the wind becomes a tornado, it is very difficult to seek shelter if you do not know where it is. Everyone needs an emergency plan. God has given us His Word. He has given us light for the darkness ahead of time. Courage is a heart condition. It is built on a foundation of faith in something whether natural strength, ability or Jesus Christ. We must decide before tragedy strikes or trouble comes where to place our faith and trust. We have a house. When a thunderstorm comes, I continue to live in the shelter of my house unaffected by the weather all around me. I trust that my house will keep me safe in a storm. What about the Refuge of my life? Do I have confidence that God is with me? Am I certain that He will never leave me or forsake me? Do I know without any doubt that His Love will keep me in all things from falling? We don’t wait until the storm is upon us to seek shelter and supplies. We clear the grocery store of all the nonperishables, water and batteries that we can find. We head for home locking the doors and closing the windows. When it does come, we can watch from the safety of our home living on the supplies fully stocked. This is how our life in Jesus must be to respond courageously when trouble comes. It will come. No one is exempt. The Lord did promise that He could stop the assaults in our life but that in each one we could be more than conquerors for this world He did overcome.
2 Timothy 1:6-7 (NKJV)
Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Our faith must be in Christ alone. Our confidence in the hope that is forever. We cannot build a successful life on the things of this world or the outcomes it promises. This world is dying. The Gift of God is eternal life. His Spirit inside of us is His Guarantee that it is coming. But ultimately the Greatest that we have been given is God’s Love. That is the very subject of our hope and faith in the Lord is that His Love provides enough grace and mercy to get from here to eternity. We can only take Him at His Word for now. This must be enough. It must be the credibility of our life.
When our son was diagnosed, his cancer was advanced and spreading. The doctor indicated that they would do the best they could and “try” to save him. Well friend, that was not good enough for me. This world is not my home. I had given my life and family into God’s Hands long before this. The circumstance we were facing did not line up to what I had read and had been told about the Lord. So we discussed it, and sure enough what the doctor had to say was not what God had planned. We must stir up the Gift of God in us. We must have faith in His Love, Compassion, Goodness, Kindness, Grace and Mercy. It is the very thing that keeps us when the world discards us to fate. God did not give us the spirit of fear and it is high time that God’s People stopped accepting everything the enemy hands them as truth and consequence. God did not give you the spirit of fear but rather the Holy Spirit that leads to all truth. God’s desire is to see all of His People saved, healed and delivered. We must believe that is true enough to be courageous in our confident hope and His Faithful Love.
Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV)
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
A friendly reminder today – God has not left you. He has not forgotten about you. He is with you. God loves you. Jesus has provided every bit of His Power to you when He imparted you with His Spirit – the Holy Spirit. You do not have to be afraid about anything you are facing no matter how great and overwhelming down to the small and insignificant. The Lord is working on your behalf. When the enemy offers us fear, we must be ready to reject it and fall back into God’s Love. The trust falls in life are hard. However, the confidence found in each successful pass is worth it. God is filling you with faith and confident hope. Courage is a heart condition. It will never be manifested until one’s heart and mind are made up that God truly loves them, Jesus really did die for them, and the Holy Spirit with all God’s Power is in them. This is how we overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of our testimony. We will never be successful overcomers until we are able to take God at His Word. Jesus was the Word wrapped in flesh. Be strong. Be of good courage. God is with you today right where you are in whatever you are going thorough. Why not just turn around and fall into His Waiting Arms?