Overcoming Fear

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Satan’s Strategy
– Fear – keeps us in bondage, paralyzes
– Programmed for fear- to accept as normal human response
– Suspense/ horror media, books, movies, video games…
– “Alone is unsafe.”
– Need for self-protection, self-defense

God’s Good Plan
– Fear replaced with confident trust, freedom
– rejoicing and singing (Isaiah 12:12)
– rest in God for deliverance (Psalm 27:3)
– even when we are alone, we are never truly alone; He is present (Psalm 23:4)

What is your worst fear?
War- army camped against you
Feeling close to death- dying
Earth literally falling apart- catastrophic destruction
Food shortages due to crop failure and disease of the animals
God doesn’t say these things won’t happen. He says that even in these most dire circumstances- we can rest in Him for deliverance. He will be present with us.
In an abiding relationship with God, He becomes so much to us: my light, my salvation, the strength of my life, my song, refuge, and a very present help in trouble.

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God’s word instructs us to handle fear the same way it instructs us to respond to every other dart of the evil one. The good plan of God is that we rest secure and confident in Him. Here is the plan I found when I searched God’s word:

1. Remember the name of the Lord.
Psalm 20:6, 7  “Now know I that the LORD saves his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.  Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.”

Psalms tells us that the Lord is able and interested in delivering his children. He does hear our prayers. We can be confident in who God is and His loving intentions.
Hebrews 11:6   “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

The starting place is our belief in God. Hebrews tells us that to please God we must have faith that He is, He exists and is real, and that He is able to respond to those that seek Him with sincerity and zeal. Out of that confidence in who God is and what He is about comes our action of faith in response His faithfulness to us. Our action is that we “remember the name of the Lord our God.” Calling on the name of God is another ways of describing prayer. It reminds me of Proverbs 3:5, 6 which admonishes us to “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding, in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.” Remember the Lord in all your ways. The action we need to take is to acknowledge God in prayer during all our ways, be they moments of contentment or of fearfulness.

2. Trust- God is present.
Psalm 46:1, 2  “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed and thought the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.”

Even if the earth is literally falling to pieces, God is our tower of safety and the resource of our ability to endure. He is right there, very present with us in trouble. This is the reason for not giving in to fear.

Psalm 118:6  “The Lord is on my side, I will not fear: what can man do unto me?”

How can we be so sure the Lord is on our side? When we are in that abiding relationship with Him, we are His children and when we obey the Spirit we are loved by God. When we are following God and walking with Him by His Spirit, communing with Him, we can be confident that we are His and He is ours. When we have that confidence we will not fear anything any man can do to us. We will be unshakable.

Psalm 27:3  “Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.”

What is the “this” that David is confident in?  The answer is found in verse 1: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”  The Lord God is his all in all. He has no reason to fear any man.

What if the fear is more nondescript than being a person?  What if the fear is a feeling or a premonition of some evil to come?  Psalm 23:4  “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff thy comfort me.” We do not need to fear any evil, be it a person, a place, a thing, or an idea. The reasoning is the same- The Lord is with us. We are comforted by His rod and staff. The rod and staff were tools of the shepherd for guiding and correcting the sheep. We can be confident and assured of His presence with us when we see evidence of His either correction of us or guidance of us. These are both ultimately for our comfort. Can you identify God either correcting you or guiding you? Be confident by these evidences; He is with you, you need not be afraid.

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3. Sing- Rejoice in the Lord.
Isaiah 12:2  “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.”

The Lord is my song. He is my reason for joy, for singing. In Him I will trust and not be afraid. He is my salvation. That freedom from bondage allows us to sing.
Habakkuk 3:18  “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”

“Yet” shows that despite what is going on around me that asks my natural feelings to fear, even though whatever is happening I will rejoice in the Lord. I will enjoy God, my Savior. The context of this verse is the failure of the food supply. Despite the failure of basic provisions, I choose to sing and rejoice, confident in my God to save.
Moses is first mentioned as singing. His song was out of thanksgiving to the Lord, praising Him for saving Israel from the Egyptian army as they crossed the Red Sea by God’s miracle. There are many texts of Scripture that connect singing with praising God. We give God thanks by singing our praise to Him. Singing unto the Lord is worship. David explained it this way, Psalm 27:6, “And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.”  Other texts tell of doing this singing and praising daily, and forever.  In fact Psalm 104:33 says, “I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.”

Both the Old and New Testaments have verses explicitly admonishing us to sing.
Psalm 100: 1, 2  “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before His presence with singing.”
Colossians 3:16  “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”
Ephesians 5:19  “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”
This is the context for the verse that follows (vs.20) which declares, “Giving thanks always for all things unto God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Singing and making melody in our heart to the Lord is the way we go about giving thanks to God always for all things. When it is a struggle to be thankful for what is going on in our lives, singing is a way we can surrender to God and confirm our trust in His goodness. We can confirm our confidence in His loving care, by singing. Acts 16: 19-40 tells of Paul and Silas, who though beaten and imprisoned unjustly, made the choice to live by faith and act against natural feelings to (vs. 25) pray and sing at midnight. The miracles of God were poured out in abundance that night as well. An earthquake freed the prisoners, and the jailer and his whole family were baptized, and also the wounds of Paul and Silas were washed and they were fed.

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So what to do with fear, or any other emotion that we may be struggling with, R.T.S. – remember, trust and sing. Remember the name of the Lord; call out to God in prayer. Trust in God, that He is present with you in the situation. Sing and rejoice in the Lord.
May the Lord bless you.

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