OVERCOMING WORLDLY FEAR
The churches of Christ Greet You (Romans )
The dictionary says fear is the state of anxiety or dread; uneasiness or concern; to be afraid. A Christian should also be aware that FEAR is one of the great sins used by the evil one to devour the child of God (1 Peter 5:8) - i.e., to keep the penitent, baptized believer from doing the work of our Father. Fear is one of the flaming darts thrown by the scheming devil (cf. Ephesians 6:11, 16). The spirit of worldly fear is not given to us by God (2 Timothy 1:7); however, it is among the trials used by God to test the disciple’s faith (James 1:2-3; 1 Peter 1:6-7).
How does one overcome Satan’s use of fear and pass the test of God? By the grace of God saints have been given a protective armor to wear. Part of that armor consists of the shield and breastplate of faith (Ephesians 6:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:8). Therefore, FAITH in Jesus is the victory that overcomes worldly fear (1 John 5:4-5). The righteous shall walk by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7) and live by faith (Romans 1:17; Galatians 2:20; Hebrews 10:38). Faith comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17).
The Christian is commanded to take the Gospel to the people of the world (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16). Many of us do not obey that command because people are the ones we fear the most. David knew the glory of the Lord, and thus he could say: “I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who set themselves against me all around” (Psalm 3:6). Loved ones, our struggle is not against people – i.e., flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12). In fact, we are told not to fear those who can kill the body but not the soul (Matthew 10:28).
Children of the King have the privilege to ask God for wisdom to help in overcoming our fear (cf. Matthew 7:7-8). But we must ask in faith, never doubting (James 1:5-8). If you have been hoping in prayer for more courage to face the trials and fears of each day, then remember, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for” (Hebrews 11:1). If you are ready to remove fear from your life, then it will happen to you “according to your faith” (Matthew 9:29).
Please take heed to these two closing thoughts:
(a) “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:14-26). You must allow your faith to move you to obedient action in overcoming fear. God has never been pleased with the do-nothing, cowardly, or fearful servant (Matthew 25:24-30; Revelation 21:8). A faith that obeys is necessary if you ever expect to please God and live without fear (Hebrew 11:6ff).
(b) “There is no fear in love” (1 John 4:18). You may have great faith, but if you do not have love, you still are nothing (1 Corinthians 13:2, 13). Love for God and your neighbor are the two greatest commands found in Holy Writ (Matthew 22:36-40). God is love (1 John 4:7-8).
May your heart continue to be cleansed by faith (Acts 15:9)...then you will obtain the outcome of your faith – the salvation of your soul (1 Peter 1:9), along with fearlessness in your walk with the Lord.