distinct

The Lord can help us rise above fear

Published 5:49pm Friday, July 25, 2014

Years ago as I was looking around the barnyard of my granddaddy’s farm, I made my way through the weeds and briers to take a closer look at an old abandoned truck.

That Dodge must have been impressive when it left the assembly plant, probably in the 1940s, but by the time I saw it it had been out of commission for many years and was badly deteriorated.

I knew that its operational days were long past, but I was curious about it anyway.  As I moved nearer and started to stick my head through the window to get an up-close look at what was left of the interior, a cat, hidden inside, emerged at lightning speed, exiting the same window that I was about to put my head through.

I do not know which of us–the cat or me–was the most startled during our brief encounter.

I am not ashamed to say that a great deal of fear moved over my person during that split second in which I was not sure what had happened or what else might follow.

Fear is real.

We can deny its existence or claim that we have no fears, but deep inside fear emerges from time to time.

Fear can be healthy in its proper context, but debilitating when it is out of control.

Healthy fear keeps us from foolishly placing ourselves in harm’s way; unhealthy fear cuts us off from the joy of the Lord.

We live in a world that gives many opportunities for us to allow fear to consume us.

If we dwell needlessly on the current world financial problems, the possibilities of terrorist attacks and the numerous diseases that can overtake our bodies at any time, little reason can be found to be anything other than people locked in the jaws of fear.

But there is reason not to waste our precious time focused on fear.  I trust that we will all find the words of I John 4:18 reassuring:  “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (New International Version).

We need not be afraid to face life, circumstances or death when we are confident in the love of God extended to us in Christ.

As one commentator wrote, “Love and fear are incompatible.  They cannot coexist.”

One of the surest ways to overcome fear is to replace it with something, but in order for this to be effective we must replace it with something greater than the thing that we fear.

God is bigger than anything that can come against us, so we can safely allow Him to take control of our fears.

The more that we focus on Him, the smaller our obstacles appear; the smaller they appear, the less they scare us; the less we are afraid, the more we can function in a healthy and God-honoring way.

Whether your fear is just during a momentary event or the result of an ongoing condition or circumstance, remember that the perfect love of God is your only reliable and lasting means of rising above fear.  Allow Him to be the Lord of your life through faith in Jesus Christ.

Give Him all your cares and concerns, and walk confidently in His protection and provision.

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