Sunday, July 1, 2018

Why We Should Not Fear

We are in a world full of dangers. Perils throng around us on every side. We are in peril from disease germs, from poison, from accidents, from evil people, from the forces of nature. There are so many things around us calculated, when circumstances are favorable, to destroy our life, our health, our happiness. A thousand dangers surround us on every hand!

In the spiritual realm there is a continued conflict. It is useless to cry "Peace, peace," for we are surrounded by the forces of evil.  In the midst of this evil, is it any wonder that we should fear? Why should we not be afraid? What assurance have we of the safety of body or soul? What wonder if we shrink back from the conflicts, the trials, and the dangers of life? But God calmly looks down upon it all, sees it all, and yet says again and again to us, "Fear not!" "Be not afraid!" "Let not your hearts be troubled!" Paul says, "In nothing terrified by your adversaries." How can we help being afraid? Why should not terror take hold upon us? Why should we not shrink in dismay?

Well, there are plenty of reasons why we should not. God enumerates in Isaiah 43 some of these reasons why we should not fear. There he says to his people, "Do not be afraid." He does not say this merely to make them overlook the dangers around them, or to give them a false sense of security. He says this because they really have no reason to be afraid. 

In summing up the reasons why they should not be afraid, he gives the following: he calls himself "the Lord who created you." God created us as we are. He put us in the midst of all these dangers. We are weak because we are finite humans. God created us thus, and the fact that he created us, thus places upon him a responsibility with regard to us. If he places us in the midst of these temptations, trials, difficulties, and dangers, then will he not be responsible for the outcome? And if he is responsible for the outcome, then is he not responsible to see that conditions are such that we can meet these difficulties victoriously?  Is he not under obligation to provide for our safety?  Certainly he is.  More than that, he will not shrink from the obligation that rests upon him to provide for us.

[Charles Naylor]

Isaiah 43:1-7 …  But now thus saith the Lord 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.   When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.  For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.  Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.  Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;  Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.