My prayer for you this Thanksgiving is that you delight yourself in the Lord and that you receive from Him the desires of your heart. If you are His child no matter what has happened this year you have been blessed. If you're reading this He has blessed you even if you are sick, or broke, or lonely, or depressed. He has blessed you because you're able to read this post.
God loves you and will never leave or forsake you no matter what's going on in your life. He has promised to be with you through the good times and the bad times and since the creator of the universe has made that promise then you are more than a conqueror.
I pray that you will have a peaceful and happy holiday with your family and friends. There is so much to be thankful for, and it’s a blessing to have a special day to remember all the graces and gifts we have been given.
Psalm 118:1-29 (NKJV) 1 Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
2 Let Israel now say, "His mercy endures forever."3 Let the house of Aaron now say, "His mercy endures forever."4 Let those who fear the LORD now say, "His mercy endures forever."5 I called on the LORD in distress; The LORD answered me and set me in a broad place.6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?7 The LORD is for me among those who help me; Therefore I shall see my desire on those who hate me.8 It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man.9 It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in princes.10 All nations surrounded me, But in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.11 They surrounded me, Yes, they surrounded me; But in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.12 They surrounded me like bees; They were quenched like a fire of thorns; For in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.13 You pushed me violently, that I might fall, But the LORD helped me.14 The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.15 The voice of rejoicing and salvation Is in the tents of the righteous; The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.16 The right hand of the LORD is exalted; The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.17 I shall not die, but live, And declare the works of the LORD.18 The LORD has chastened me severely, But He has not given me over to death.19 Open to me the gates of righteousness; I will go through them, And I will praise the LORD.20 This is the gate of the LORD, Through which the righteous shall enter.21 I will praise You, For You have answered me, And have become my salvation.22 The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone.23 This was the LORD'S doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.24 This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.25 Save now, I pray, O LORD; O LORD, I pray, send now prosperity.26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.27 God is the LORD, And He has given us light; Bind the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.28 You are my God, and I will praise You; You are my God, I will exalt You.29 Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
Psalm 100:1-5 (NKJV)1 Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands!2 Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.3 Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.5 For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.
Besides sharing time with family and friends over food, the most important thing this Thanksgiving Day is you having an attitude of gratitude. You hear this all the time, and it’s certainly true, “you don’t need a turkey, dressing, greens, pumpkin and sweet potato pies to celebrate being thankful for the blessings of God”. Thanksgiving Day for people of faith represents more than an annual holiday, it serves as a reminder that giving thanks is part of who we are as believers because we demonstrate faith when we are grateful. All you need is a reason. God has given us plenty of reasons to be grateful; so why wait for Thanksgiving Day to express your gratitude to God? Develop an attitude of gratitude and everyday is Thanksgiving Day!
Thanksgiving is Important to Your Health
People who are thankful for what they have are better able to cope with stress, have more positive emotions, and are better able to reach their goals. Scientists have even noted that gratitude is associated with improved health.
More and more research is coming to the forefront, showing that gratitude and joyful laughter are connected with healthy living, while grumbling is connected with diseased living. Worry, fear, and anger are huge disease causers. Instead we should practice the healing therapy of “counting our blessings.” Remember the hymn “Count Your Blessings” it says, "Count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done."
An article in the Harvard Mental Health Letter, says that "expressing thanks may be one of the simplest ways to feel better:"
"The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness (depending on the context). In some ways gratitude encompasses all of these meanings. Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible.
With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves.
As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.
...People feel and express gratitude in multiple ways. They can apply it to the past (retrieving positive memories and being thankful for elements of childhood or past blessings), the present (not taking good fortune for granted as it comes), and the future (maintaining a hopeful and optimistic attitude).
Regardless of the inherent or current level of someone's gratitude, it's a quality that individuals can successfully cultivate further."
Be Careful of an Attitude of Ingratitude
As Christians here in the United States we have so much to be grateful for, more things than we can even imagine. So much that sometimes we can't see the magnitude of all God has given us. That is ingratitude.
Francis Schaeffer, who was an American theologian in the last century, said, "The beginning of man's rebellion against God was, and is, the lack of a thankful heart." Every read the poem “Invictus” the last stanza exhibit the attitude that many of us have, sometimes. It shows an attitude of us being the source of strength, happiness, and prosperity. It is an attitude that runs against scriptural teaching and is inconsistent with the Spirit-filled life.
"It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul."
We who have been born again, and given eternal life, through the blood that Jesus shed for us on the cross, have so much for which to be grateful. We should always have an attitude of gratitude.
How do we Exhibit an Attitude of Gratitude?
I started the post with Psalm 100 because it tells us to thank the Lord for who He is and what He has done. It tells us how to thank Him, and when and where to thank Him.
He is worthy of praise
Psalm 100:1 (NKJV) Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands!
The writer of the psalm is Hebrew and for the Hebrew God is the source of joy. For the Hebrew, (Israelite) thanking God was the ultimate joy of his/her life. God is both the object and source of joy.
Psalm 16:11 (NKJV)11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
The writer says that we are to express our gratitude in a “joyful noise”. That means in a manner in which you can be publically heard. The word "noise" means to break forth with, or to burst. It’s like somebody being so overwhelmed with emotion that they can’t contain themselves. You know the way you get when you go to, watch or listen to a sporting event and somebody on your team makes a great play. You get excited, and enthusiastic. The word “enthused” comes from the Greek word “ entheos, “possessed by a god”.
He is worthy of service
Psalm 100:2 (NKJV) Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.
To serve God you must be:
James 2:18-22 (NKJV)18 But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe--and tremble!20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?
He alone is God
Psalm 100:3 (NKJV) Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
God must be first in our lives. Yes, before your spouse, your children, your church, your career, your desires, before everything. Without God none of those things can bring peace. It is only by and through that your marriage, your family, your church, your ca1
Peter 1:3-9 (NKJV)3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,9 receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls.
Joy that is beyond measure. This is how we can live with an attitude of gratitude, because the Lord we serve is God.
He is worthy of our praise
Psalm 100:4 (NKJV)4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
We are so blessed today because unlike the Israelites who could only experience the presence of God through the Ark of the Covenant, but now, because of Jesus, the Holy Spirit lives inside of everybody who places their trust in Him for forgiveness of sins and for eternal salvation. For the believer, we are always in the presence of God. Our attitude should always be one of gratitude and praise.
When the Scripture tells us to bless the Lord, as this verse tells us it is saying that we must acknowledge, recognize, and confess with our words and actions that it is God who is the source of all true happiness and blessing in life. When we do this we have no choice but to give thanks.
It’s impossible to be in right relationship with God and not have an attitude of gratitude. want to know why He is worthy of our praise, look at verse 5.
God is good
Psalm 100:5 (NKJV) For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.
This is why we are to give praise to God He’s good. This is why we enter His gates with thanksgiving and serve Him with gladness. He has mercy on us. His truth is never ends. Do you know anybody about whom you can say these things?
There is no one else about whom these things can be said.
How Can You Maintain an Attitude of Gratitude?
Look around and you’ll realize how much you are blessed. If you have food in the refrigerator , if you are able to read this post, if you are clothed, if you have heat and lights, then you have more than most people in the world today. If you happen to live in the United States you have a life expectancy of 75 years. If you live in a country where the life expectancy of more than 40 years you are blessed to live longer than most of the people in the world. Most people in the world won’t have what we consider a balanced meal.
Take a good look around at the rest of the world. It may shock you but it will also cause you to be grateful.
Here are the words to the hymn I referenced earlier, "Count Blessings." by Johnson Oatman Jr
When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God has done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.
When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings—money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.
So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.
Have you stopped to count the blessings in your life lately?
If we focus on the bad things we will never see the good things.
Take inventory of the blessings.
Do something good for someone else. Share what God had given and done for you. He didn’t give it for you to hold on to. You are his ambassador which means you speak for Him you do for Him.
2 Corinthians 5:20 (NKJV) Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God.
Jesus said when we bless others it’s same as doing it to Him.
Matthew 25:34-40 (NKJV)34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'37 Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'40 And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'
Choosing an attitude of gratitude is not always easy. However it does give us a new outlook on life. So this Thanksgiving focus on the things that you have, not on what you don’t have. Most people in this world don’t even have that.
Does your life demonstrate a sense of gratitude to God? When others see you, are they aware that your live your life for Someone other than yourself? Is there joy in your life? Does it show? How have you demonstrated your gratitude to Christ lately?
Find some good to do and do it.
In a recent bible study I made the statement that we are not promised to be released or delivered from everything but we are promised help in the midst of everything.
After the study someone asked me to then help them understand Psalm 34:19.
Psalm 34:19 (KJV) Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
My quick answer was that the righteous are certainly not promised a life free of afflictions, or adversity, but God promises never to leave or forsake us.
Hebrews 13:5 (HCSB)5 Your life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you.
Meaning that Christians, the righteous, are to derive their comfort from God's own presence and provision, for he neither leaves them nor fails them.
However after thinking about that quick answer, I thought “well the psalmist, David, did say that the Lord “delivers him from them all”, so maybe I need give more of an more of an answer to the question.”
This post is that answer.
Let’s start with some definitions and then we’ll try to put them in the context that David wrote the psalm. Remember David wrote the Psalm in the Hebrew language.
Affliction - noun - something that causes pain or suffering.
Righteous - adjective - morally right or justifiable; virtuous.
Deliver - transitive verb - to set free
Affliction - Transliteration: raʿ - from <H7489> (ra`a`); bad or (as noun) evil (natural or moral) :- adversity, affliction, bad, calamity, + displease (-ure), distress, evil ([-favouredness], man, thing), + exceedingly, × great, grief (-vous), harm, heavy, hurt (-ful), ill (favoured), + mark, mischief (-vous), misery, naught (-ty), noisome, + not please, sad (-ly), sore, sorrow, trouble, vex, wicked (-ly, -ness, one), worse (-st), wretchedness, wrong. [Incling feminine ra`ah; as adjective or noun.]
English Words :evil, wickedness, wicked, mischief ,hurt, bad, trouble, sore, affliction, ill, adversity, favoured , harm ,naught, noisome, grievous, sad
Righteous - Transliteration: ṣaddîq - from <H6663> (tsadaq); just :- just, lawful, righteous (man).
English Words:righteous, just, righteous man, lawful - Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary.
Deliver - Transliteration: nāṣal - a primitive root; to snatch away, whether in a good or a bad sense :- × at all, defend, deliver (self), escape, × without fail, part, pluck, preserve, recover, rescue, rid, save, spoil, strip, × surely, take (out).
English Words :deliver, recover, rid, escape, rescue, spoil, at all, take out
Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary.
The Righteous are not Guaranteed an Affliction Free Life
First let’s look at the context of the statement in the Psalm. In the first six verses David praises God for His goodness, then in verses 7-10 he encourages people to seek God and trust Him. In verses 11-14 he counsels against sin. Beginning at verse 17 David discusses the way that God deals with the righteous in his adversities.
Back to our definitions. The righteous refers to those individuals who are in right standing with God. That right standing comes through God’s grace given by faith and Jesus’ work of salvation through His death on the cross. Those who acknowledge this sacrifice as payment for their sins are then declared righteous.
Romans 5:1-5 (KJV)1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Now that we know who the righteous are let’s look at the first part of the statement that is that the righteous have many afflictions. Jesus Himself said this;
Mark 8:34 (HCSB)34 Summoning the crowd along with His disciples, He said to them, “If anyone wants to be My follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.
John 16:31-33 (KJV)31 Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
All of Their Afflictions…... Really?
Now to the part of the statement that says that the Lord delivers the righteous from all their afflictions. What about the believer who dies of cancer without being healed; what about the believer who has financial difficulty after losing a job; what about David whose family was a catastrophe; what about Paul who was martyred; what about Peter who it is said was crucified upside down; what about you and me; what about Jesus?
Let’s take a look at Jesus. This is the next verse is Psalm 34.
Psalm 34:20 (KJV)20 He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.
This verse speaks directly about Jesus and is prophetic;
John 19:33-36 (KJV)33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.
Jesus was and is “the righteous”. Jesus certainly had many afflictions, certainly more than you or me, from men, from Satan, and even God.
Matthew 27:46 (KJV) And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
When was Jesus delivered from all His afflictions? He, in fact was killed. That, in my opinion was a big affliction. He was not delivered until after His death when He was resurrected and then ascended to sit at and God’s right hand.
We too face afflictions. Ours may be different from Jesus’. Ours may be sickness, loss of material things, friends, dishonor, and persecution. At times we don’t think that we will be able to bare them. But the Lord will give us the strength to handle them if we let Him. He never allows anything to come upon us greater than we can bear
1 Corinthians 10:13 (KJV)13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
He gives us the strength to do it all through Christ.
Philippians 4:11-13 (KJV)11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Yes the Lord does deliver the righteous from all their afflictions but, like our brother Jesus, that complete deliverance may not happen until we are with Him.
2 Corinthians 5:6-8 (KJV)6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
I now have to revise my earlier statement that we are not promised to be released or delivered from everything because God does ultimately deliver the righteous from all our adversities. We aren’t promised release but we are promised deliverance. Just maybe not how or when we want it, but it will come.
Revelation 21:1-4 (KJV)1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Just a few days ago I wrote a post “Fear Not Is A Command” . Little did I know at the time that on November 13th 2015, just 9 days after I published that post, that there would be a terrorist attack in Paris. That attack has caused people all over the world to become afraid. They are afraid of Muslims, afraid of other terrorist attacks, and quite frankly afraid of anything that is unknown.
The Holy Spirit woke me up again early this morning to write a follow-up post.
God tells us in His Word, the Bible, to be wise.
Proverbs 4:6 (HCSB)6 Don’t abandon wisdom, and she will watch over you; love her, and she will guard you.
Ecclesiastes 2:26 (HCSB)26 For to the man who is pleasing in His sight, He gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy, but to the sinner He gives the task of gathering and accumulating in order to give to the one who is pleasing in God’s sight. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind.
Matthew 10:16 (KJV)16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
James 1:5 (HCSB)5 Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.
Proverbs 9:10 (HCSB)10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Fear God Only
Fear - : to be afraid of (something or someone): to expect or worry about (something bad or unpleasant) : to be afraid and worried
The Bible tells us to fear only God. Do not be afraid of man, who can just kill the body, or Satan because he can’t do anything to the believer without God’s permission;
Matthew 10:28 (HCSB)28 Don’t fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul; rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Job 2:4-6 (HCSB)4 “Skin for skin!” Satan answered the LORD. “A man will give up everything he owns in exchange for his life.5 But stretch out Your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse You to Your face.”6 “Very well,” the LORD told Satan, “he is in your power; only spare his life.”
Satan doesn’t even have the power to destroy men in hell, in fact he will be punished there.
Revelation 20:10 (HCSB)10 The Devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet are, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Fear paralyzes and controls us, trying to hinder us or dictate every move and decision we make. Jesus gave His life to set us free from sin, but also from fear.
Galatians 5:1 (HCSB)1 Christ has liberated us to be free. Stand firm then and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.
2 Timothy 1:7 (HCSB)7 For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.
John 10:10 (HCSB)10 A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.
God Loves You, Fear Not
We know that God loves us.
1 John 4:8 (HCSB)8 The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
We are to love God back.
Luke 10:27 (HCSB)27 He answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.
1 John 5:3-5 (HCSB)3 For this is what love for God is: to keep His commands. Now His commands are not a burden,4 because whatever has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith.5 And who is the one who conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
We say that we believe that love drives away fear.
1 John 4:17-19 (HCSB)17 In this, love is perfected with us so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, for we are as He is in this world.18 There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love.19 We love because He first loved us.
Love becomes a force working in us. It causes us to have boldness in the day of judgment. 4:17.
Our love. The text literally reads the love with us. It is the love which God, who is love, has produced in us through begetting us and placing his spirit in us. Boldness in the day of judgment. The believer who has perfected God's love in his earthly life will be able to approach the judgment seat of Christ without any shame. Such assurance is not presumption, because as he is, so are we in this world. The ground of boldness is our present likeness to Christ in this life, and particularly, according to this context, our likeness in love. It casts out fear. 4:18.The thought of boldness brings to mind its opposite, fear. Since love seeks the highest good of another, fear, which is shrinking from another, cannot be a part of love. Torment. Better, punishment. - The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.
God Will Be Right Here
This post is not against Islamic extremism, it’s not about the struggle between Christians and Muslims. It’s about fear and the fact that we are not to fear. Yes we are told to be wise. This means that we should always be aware of our surroundings. If we are suspicious of anything or anybody (this doesn’t mean everything and everybody, use wisdom and pray for discernment) we should report it to the authorities. Trust in the promises of God to protect us. Don’t become a prisoner of fear. When you feel yourself becoming afraid remember these things from my earlier post;
God will help you
Isaiah 41:13 (HCSB)13 For I, Yahweh your God, hold your right hand and say to you: Do not fear, I will help you.
God knows you by name
Isaiah 41:13 (HCSB)13 For I, Yahweh your God, hold your right hand and say to you: Do not fear, I will help you.
God can do marvelous things
Joel 2:21 (HCSB)21 Don’t be afraid, land; rejoice and be glad, for the LORD has done great things.
God did give not you a spirit of fear
2 Timothy 1:7 (HCSB)7 For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.
God will give you peace
Philippians 4:6 (HCSB)6 Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
God is your refuge
Psalm 46:1-3 (HCSB)1 God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble.
2 Therefore we will not be afraid, though the earth trembles and the mountains topple into the depths of the seas,3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with its turmoil.Selah
Here are more reasons
No one can harm you beyond what God allows
Hebrews 13:6 (HCSB)6 Therefore, we may boldly say: The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
God is for you
Romans 8:31 (HCSB)31 What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
You have the Spirit of God in you
1 John 4:4 (HCSB)4 You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
Fear not and trust God
Psalm 91:1-16 (HCSB)1 The one who lives under the protection of the Most High dwells in the shadow of the Almighty.2 I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”3 He Himself will deliver you from the hunter’s net, from the destructive plague.
4 He will cover you with His feathers; you will take refuge under His wings. His faithfulness will be a protective shield.5 You will not fear the terror of the night, the arrow that flies by day,
6 the plague that stalks in darkness, or the pestilence that ravages at noon.7 Though a thousand fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, the pestilence will not reach you.8 You will only see it with your eyes and witness the punishment of the wicked.9 Because you have made the LORD—my refuge, the Most High—your dwelling place,10 no harm will come to you; no plague will come near your tent.11 For He will give His angels orders concerning you, to protect you in all your ways.12 They will support you with their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the young lion and the serpent.14 Because he is lovingly devoted to Me, I will deliver him; I will protect him because he knows My name.15 When he calls out to Me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble. I will rescue him and give him honor.16 I will satisfy him with a long life and show him My salvation.
We are living in tumultuous times where things are happen that cause us to be concerned, however, our concerns should not lead us to fear, but rather, our concerns should lead us back to our God.
A few weeks ago I wrote a post "What Does It Mean to Delight Yourself in the Lord?" In that post I wrote that delighting yourself in the Lord means that your thoughts are constant towards God and that everything you do is in obedience to Him.
Hebrews 5:8 (NLT) Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered.
We can’t just say we have faith; we must show our faith by doing what God tells us to do.
Deitrich Bonhoeffer, an influential theologian who was martyred under the Nazi regime, says, “For faith is only real when there is obedience, never without it, and faith only becomes faith in the act of obedience.”
Faith is the Key
God doesn't want us to obey Him because He's an overbearing Father it's because He loves us and wants the best for us.
You might say “well obeying really isn’t that hard”. It’s not when things are going great...no financial difficulties, no problems in your marriage, your children are doing well, your health is great, and God hasn’t told you to do anything but to live a simple life of faith. Nothing too stressful, nothing that requires you to do anything other than to go to church every Sunday, read your Bible everyday, or give your tithes.
What if God told you to leave your comfortable surroundings and to someplace you have never been like He did Abraham? Thine He wouldn't do that to you? Well how about obeying if God tells you to quit your job and go into full time ministry, or to trust Him when a loved one is seriously ill, or give your car to the sister whose car just broke down and now she can't get to work? Then obedience may not be that easy.
Is it Even Possible for Man to Obey God all the Time?
Obedience is a choice that you make to follow God regardless of the consequences. Seeing His will done in our lives is the most important thing. We give the consequences to God. Here’s a great Charles Stanley quote “Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.”
You already know that you can’t do that on your own. It’s impossible for man, or our own to obey God all the time. As human beings, although saved, we still have fleshly weaknesses plus we have to deal with all the negativity thrown at us by Satan and the world. In order to make the choice to leave the consequences to God every time you need to change your way of thinking.
Romans 12:2 (HCSB)2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
This transformation of our minds is through the work of the Holy Spirit, which is a gift of God by grace through faith.
John 14:26 (HCSB)26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit—the Father will send Him in My name—will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.
The Holy Spirit enables us to obey which is the key to our faith. When we decide that we are going to obey God we are stepping out in faith but we know we are not alone when we do.
Galatians 2:20 (HCSB)20 and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
While we have the help of Christ and the Holy Spirit we have a part to play too. He won’t force us to obey. We have to cooperate with Him.
Colossians 1:29 (HCSB)29 I labor for this, striving with His strength that works powerfully in me.
Everytime we obey in faith and we see the results of that obedience the more faith we’ll have to obey the next time.
Romans 1:17 (HCSB)17 For in it God’s righteousness is revealed from faith to faith, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.
When we make the choice to obey in faith it then that we really know what Paul meant when he wrote;
Romans 8:28 (HCSB)28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.
Examples of Faith and Obedience
Genesis 12:1, 4 (HCSB) 1 The LORD said to Abram: Go out from your land, your relatives, and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 4 So Abram went, as the LORD had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran.
He obeyed and left his home, his relatives, and his friends, not really knowing anything other than God told him to go. But that's not all.
Genesis 22:2, 9 (HCSB)2 “Take your son,” He said, “your only ⌊son⌋ Isaac, whom you love, go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” 9 When they arrived at the place that God had told him about, Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood. He bound his son Isaac and placed him on the altar on top of the wood.
Abram, now Abraham, obeyed because he had faith that God can do all things. He had experienced that God had done what He said He would do in every instance.
Hebrews 11:17-19 (HCSB)17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac. He received the promises and he was offering his unique son,18 the one it had been said about, Your seed will be traced through Isaac.19 He considered God to be able even to raise someone from the dead, and as an illustration, he received him back.
Genesis 6:13-14, 22 (HCSB)13 Then God said to Noah, “I have decided to put an end to every creature, for the earth is filled with wickedness because of them; therefore I am going to destroy them along with the earth.14 “Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it with pitch inside and outside. 22 And Noah did this. He did everything that God had commanded him.
Noah obeyed even though the people must have thought that he was crazy because it had never rained before, and in addition to that, there was no ocean or sea near the place he was building this boat, and it was a big one. It may have taken Noah 100 years to build the ark (The first time that Noah is mentioned in the Bible he is 500 years old Genesis 5:32, and he was 600 when God told him to enter the ark, Genesis 7:6) yet he continues to work and build following God’s instructions. Noah’s perseverance proved that he had faith in God as he obeyed Him. He waited a lot of years before he sees the results of what God told Him.
After a remarkable supernatural experience with Christ Paul willingly left his profession as a big time Pharisee to serve God.
Acts 22:3 (HCSB)3 He continued, “I am a Jewish man, born in Tarsus of Cilicia but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel and educated according to the strict view of our patriarchal law. Being zealous for God, just as all of you are today,
Acts 26:5-7 (HCSB)5 They had previously known me for quite some time, if they were willing to testify, that according to the strictest party of our religion I lived as a Pharisee.6 And now I stand on trial for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers,7 ⌊the promise⌋ our 12 tribes hope to attain as they earnestly serve Him night and day. King Agrippa, I am being accused by the Jews because of this hope.
Paul suffered big time after he obeyed.
Acts 14:19-21 (HCSB)19 Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and when they had won over the crowds and stoned Paul, they dragged him out of the city, thinking he was dead.20 After the disciples surrounded him, he got up and went into the town. The next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.21 After they had evangelized that town and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, to Iconium, and to Antioch,
Notice that after being stoned and and thought dead Paul went back to the same town. Paul was willing to suffer and even give his life because of his faith in God.
It was faith that caused him to obey becausemhe knew that he will receive a reward for his obedience.
2 Timothy 4:6-8 (HCSB)6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time for my departure is close.7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.8 There is reserved for me in the future the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me, but to all those who have loved His appearing.
Abraham, Noah and Paul, were examples of faith. They they fully trusted and then obeyed.
How Do We Demonstrate Faith and Obedience?
John 14:15 (HCSB) “If you love Me, you will keep My commands.
John 14:21 (HCSB) The one who has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me. And the one who loves Me will be loved by My Father. I also will love him and will reveal Myself to him.”
John 14:23-24 (HCSB)23 Jesus answered, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.24 The one who doesn’t love Me will not keep My words. The word that you hear is not Mine but is from the Father who sent Me.
The Rewards for Obedience Through Faith
From Word of Life Ministries, Bible Studies
Deuteronomy 32:46-47 (HCSB)46 he said to them, “Take to heart all these words I am giving as a warning to you today, so that you may command your children to carefully follow all the words of this law.47 For they are not meaningless words to you but they are your life, and by them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”
Proverbs 3:1-2 (HCSB) My son, don’t forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commands;2 for they will bring you many days, a full life, and well-being.
Ecclesiastes 8:5 (HCSB) The one who keeps a command will not experience anything harmful, and a wise heart knows the right time and procedure.
Acts 2:41, 46-47 (HCSB)41 So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about 3,000 people were added to them. 46 Every day they devoted themselves ⌊to meeting⌋ together in the temple complex, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with a joyful and humble attitude,47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to them those who were being saved.
Psalm 119:165 (HCSB) Abundant peace belongs to those who love Your instruction; nothing makes them stumble.
5. THE ASSURANCE OF SALVATION.
1 John 3:24 (HCSB) The one who keeps His commands remains in Him, and He in him. And the way we know that He remains in us is from the Spirit He has given us.
6. ANSWERS TO PRAYER.
1 John 3:21-22 (HCSB)21 Dear friends, if our conscience doesn’t condemn ⌊us⌋, we have confidence before God 22 and can receive whatever we ask from Him because we keep His commands and do what is pleasing in His sight.
7. THE PRESENCE OF CHRIST
John 14:21 (HCSB)21 The one who has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me. And the one who loves Me will be loved by My Father. I also will love him and will reveal Myself to him.”
Matthew 28:20 (HCSB)20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age”
By Faith We Obey and Obedience is the Most Secure Path to God’s Favor
According to Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology finding God’s favor means,
gaining approval, acceptance, or special benefits or blessings. Favor is often associated with grace and mercy. God’s favor is only available to those who by faith accept the gift of salvation through the finished work of Christ on the cross which is the ultimate gift of favor...eternal life.
Do you remember the widow of Zarephath when the prophet Elijah asked for bread and she told him that all she had was a little flour left and that she was going to bake it, make some bread for her son and herself, eat it and die because that was the last of everything? What we forget sometimes is what it says in verse 9 of 1 Kings 17;
1 Kings 17:9 (HCSB)9 “Get up, go to Zarephath that belongs to Sidon and stay there. Look, I have commanded a woman who is a widow to provide for you there.” (Bold mine)
She obeyed and what happened was God’s favor as a result of her obedience.
1 Kings 17:13-16 (HCSB)13 Then Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid; go and do as you have said. But first make me a small loaf from it and bring it out to me. Afterward, you may make some for yourself and your son,14 for this is what the LORD God of Israel says, ‘The flour jar will not become empty and the oil jug will not run dry until the day the LORD sends rain on the surface of the land.”15 So she proceeded to do according to the word of Elijah. Then the woman, Elijah, and her household ate for many days.16 The flour jar did not become empty, and the oil jug did not run dry, according to the word of the LORD He had spoken through Elijah.
You say that was then what about now?
Let me give you an example from my life.
Many years ago because a series of circumstances, some of them self inflicted, my wife and I were in a new city, I was out of work, and because I was an independent contractor there was no unemployment insurance compensation. My wife had been disabled for many years and although she received long term disability it was barely enough for us to pay our rent, let alone buy groceries, pay utilities, or buy gas for the car.
We had decided years before that we would at the very least tithe but to give more than a ththe when possible. Even during these times we gave. When we couldn’t tithe we would do what it said in scripture to do when you didn’t tithe and that was to add one-fifth. Well we were somehow able to survive and in the middle of this time I got a call from “out of the blue” from a man that I had worked for years before who wanted the retain me as a consultant. That retainer lasted until I retired and we were able to give much more that a tithe not only to our church but other ministries,and to help friends, family and others that were in need.
That’s the favor of God because of our obedience in giving. I could give you example after example from my life and others of God’s favor because we and they obeyed. It was our faith that enabled us to obey. We believed God when He said;
Hebrews 13:5 (HCSB)5 Your life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you.
FAITH IS THE KEY!!
Psalm 1:1-6 (NLT)1 Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.2 But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night.3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.4 But not the wicked! They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.5 They will be condemned at the time of judgment. Sinners will have no place among the godly.6 For the LORD watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.
Fear of God isn’t the emotion that usually comes to mind when we think of fear. That emotion is fright, which is a sudden intense feeling of fear. Synonyms of this type fear are fearfulness, terror, horror, alarm, panic, dread, trepidation, dismay, nervousness, apprehension, apprehensiveness, perturbation, and disquiet. The fear of God is a reverential respect of God’s power and glory. Fear of God is the result of His love for mankind and the grace that He has given to those who, in faith, believe on His Son, Jesus Christ.
Apart from this fear of God we are commanded to “fear not”. We are commanded to “fear not” because God has made promises to those who believe in Jesus. He’s promised to protect them, to provide for them, and to give them eternal life with Him.
Psalm 91:1-4 (NLT) 1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.2 This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.3 For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease.4 He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Matthew 6:31-33 (NLT) 31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
John 3:16 (NLT) “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
1 John 2:24-25 (NLT) 24 So you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will remain in fellowship with the Son and with the Father.
25 And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life he promised us.
There Is Fear In The Land
Here in the United States ever since the election of Donald Trump as President (who I will refer to as 45 until he shows that he really wants to be the leader of all those living in the US) fear has permeated the nation. His rhetoric during the Presidential campaign was designed, in my opinion, to create division between the nation’s diverse ethnic and racial groups. Many voted for him because they believed that he would bring employment back to areas that had lost manufacturing jobs. They ignored what was happening in the underbelly of the racist element in the country, who looked at what 45 said as endorsing their hate agenda. That's why they openly supported him, and in his desire to become President he gladly accepted that support. The day of reckoning was coming. It was almost like selling your soul to the devil.
The day of reckoning came on Tuesday, November 8, 2016.. It was time for the devil to collect. That night that it was apparent that 45 would win the Electoral College and become the 45th President of the United State(although he did lose the popular vote by more than 3 million votes). That night a wave of fear began to swell throughout the nation in the communities of color, and the Jewish community. Nothing that 45 has done since taking office in January has mitigated any of that fear. In fact many of the things 45’s administration has done or attempted to do has has emboldened the white supremacists, which include the Klu Klux Klan, Neo-Nazis and other groups of the so-called Alt-right or nationalists which, in my opinion is code for white supremacy. .
This became crystal clear this past weekend with 45’s response to the violence and murder instigated by the Alt-right. 45’s comments on Saturday and more so today August 15, 2017 in which he gave moral equivalency to racist as to those who oppose racism. Yes there was violence on both sides however racists and those opposing them are not morally equal. What this says to those who are targets of the Alt-right including; women, Jews, African-Americans, Hispanics, immigrants, Muslims, LBGT, and others they choose to hate, is that the President of your country is with those who hate you and want you gone. His attitude and vitreal, stoke the the fear that started on election night and has only worsened since.
In the last 18 months I’ve written and published 8 posts on fear. Solomon, the wisest man that has ever lived wrote that wisdom begins with the fear of God.
Proverbs 9:10 (NLT)10 Fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.
The rest of this post was originally written and published in November 2015. It is as applicable today as it was then..
Today there are many reasons to fear and doubt (which comes from fear); the economy, bad reports from the doctor, serious illness of a loved one, death of a loved one, global unrest, terrorist threats, and hopeless predictions from political prognosticators ….. I could go on and on.
Fear is one of the strongest weapons that Satan uses against us in spiritual warfare. Worry, anxiety, fear…can overwhelm us and either paralyze us or control every move and decision we make. (See The Mind is the Battlefield in Spiritual Warfare).
The first thing that I wanted to do in preparing to write this post was to see how many times “"fear not"” “do not be afraid”, or similar phrases are in the Bible. I saw a lot of references to “"fear not"” being in the bible 365 days, or one “"fear not"” for everyday in the year (that would be a problem in Leap Year) Upon more research I learned that’s not the case.
In conducting additional research I found that in the context of instructing us not to be afraid of circumstances, or to not fear following a command or instruction of God, the phrase is only used about 80 times. Other phrases that would be equal to “"fear not"” like; “do not be afraid, “do not fear”, or “be not afraid” appear about 30 times.
While there is disagreement on exactly how many times we are told to “"fear not"”, the fact that we are told to not fear anyone or any circumstance other than God Himself, so many times in does tell us that it’s important. God commands us to not fear.
Jesus specifically commands us to “"fear not"”.
Luke 12:7 (ASV) But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. fear not: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
Luke 12:32 (ASV) fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
The number one imperative statement (something that must be done and not put off) of Jesus was a variation of "Don't be afraid," ""fear not"," or "Have courage". It occurs 21 times. The next closest is is the “love your neighbor” theme and it occurred only eight times.
The Reasons To “Fear Not”
God will not fail you
Deuteronomy 31:6 (ASV)6 Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be affrighted at them: for Jehovah thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
God will not forsake you
1 Chronicles 28:20 (ASV)20 And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed; for Jehovah God, even my God, is with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until all the work for the service of the house of Jehovah be finished.
God will help you
Isaiah 41:13 (ASV)13 For I, Jehovah thy God, will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, fear not; I will help thee.
God knows you by name
Isaiah 43:1 (ASV)1 But now thus saith Jehovah that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel: fear not, for I have redeemed thee; I have called thee by thy name, thou art mine.
God can do marvelous things
Joel 2:21 (ASV)21 fear not, O land, be glad and rejoice; for Jehovah hath done great things.
God did give not us a spirit of fear
2 Timothy 1:7 (ASV)7 For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline.
God will give us peace
Philippians 4:6 (ASV) In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Christ is the First and the Last
Revelation 1:17 (ASV)17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as one dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying, fear not; I am the first and the last,
Why Did God Command Us To “Fear Not”?
There are reasons for commands. They aren’t there just to be there with no basis in reality. If God commands us to do something, there are good reasons to do it. Five reasons are found here;
Isaiah 41:10 (ASV)10 Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Read this commentary from Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
To not fear is a choice:
When God commands you to “"fear not"” as you face a serious illness, are unsure of how you will pay your bills, as you cope with the illness or death of a loved one, as you embark on a new life journey; remember that with the commandment comes His divine support.
Psalm 56:11 (ASV) In God have I put my trust, I will not be afraid; What can man do unto me?
Like David we can trust God because know the power of God. The key to our ability to obey the command to “"fear not"” is in total and complete trust in God. If we truly trust God we will refuse to give in to fear. We will turn our complete attention to God at the most difficult and darkest times because we remember the five reasons He told us to “"fear not"”.
“Fear Not” Because God Doesn’t Change
Numbers 23:19 (NLT)19 God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?
Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening - November 2
It is well for us that, amidst all the variableness of life, there is One whom change cannot affect; One whose heart can never alter, and on whose brow mutability can make no furrows. All things else have changed-all things are changing. The sun itself grows dim with age; the world is waxing old; the folding up of the worn-out vesture has commenced; the heavens and earth must soon pass away; they shall perish, they shall wax old as doth a garment; but there is One who only hath immortality, of whose years there is no end, and in whose person there is no change. The delight which the mariner feels, when, after having been tossed about for many a day, he steps again upon the solid shore, is the satisfaction of a Christian when, amidst all the changes of this troublous life, he rests the foot of his faith upon this truth-"I am the Lord, I change not." The stability which the anchor gives the ship when it has at last obtained a hold-fast, is like that which the Christian's hope affords him when it fixes itself upon this glorious truth. With God "is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." What ever His attributes were of old, they are now; His power, His wisdom, His justice, His truth, are alike unchanged. He has ever been the refuge of His people, their stronghold in the day of trouble, and He is their sure Helper still. He is unchanged in His love. He has loved His people with "an everlasting love"; He loves them now as much as ever He did, and when all earthly things shall have melted in the last conflagration, His love will still wear the dew of its youth. Precious is the assurance that He changes not! The wheel of providence revolves, but its axle is eternal love.
"Death and change are busy ever,
Man decays, and ages move;
But His mercy waneth never;
God is wisdom, God is love."
“Fear Not” Take Refuge
I’ll end this post with Psalm 46. Here is where I go when I start to doubt and disobey the commandment to “"fear not"”.
Psalm 46:1-11 (ASV)1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.2 Therefore will we not fear, though the earth do change, And though the mountains be shaken into the heart of the seas;3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, Though the mountains tremble with the swelling thereof. Selah
4 There is a river, the streams whereof make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High.5 God is in the midst of her; She shall not be moved: God will help her, and that right early.6 The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved: He uttered his voice, the earth melted.7 Jehovah of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
8 Come, behold the works of Jehovah, What desolations he hath made in the earth.
9 He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; He burneth the chariots in the fire.10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.11 Jehovah of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in November 2015 and has been modified to reflect current issues.
Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.