Part III of our Spirit of Fear series
Jesus Himself states in John 17:17 that His Word is Truth. Having proven by His Word that God is all love and power, we can now examine the third concept of 2Timothy 1:7 – the idea that He promises us a sound, peaceful mind, free of fear.
God promises to be our refuge no matter what the situation, big or small.
Psalm 94:19 (Amp) “In the multitude of my anxious thoughts, Your comforts cheer and delight my soul.”
Is 26:3-4 (LB) ” He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in Him, Whose thoughts turn often to the Lord. Trust in the Lord God always, for in the Lord Jehovah is your everlasting strength.”
Pr 1:33 ” But all who listen to Me shall live in peace and safety, unafraid.
All of Psalms 46 describes the worldly and natural calamities at work to bring us into a state of worry, anxiety and fear. Yet it constantly reminds us of He Who is our “refuge and strength, a tested help in time of trouble.” For now let’s concentrate on verse ten. It reads:
Be still and know that I am God. The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Remember how we learned in the previous blog that the host of Heaven is so huge. That it is alternately translated as 100 million or infinity? The sheer number of our Lord’s army coming to your aid should give you infinite peace. I looked up the “refuge” in the KJV dictionary. Even the definition was heart-warming. It means: “Shelter or protection from danger or distress.” At definition covered the gamut of fear: distress at the low end, danger at the high end. Yet God promises to be our refuge no matter what the situation, big or small.
Many years ago I did a study on the word “still.” The word comes from the root word “rapha” in the original language. In the Old Testament there were many different names for God that revealed His true character. One of these names is Jehovah Rapha.
Jehovah Rapha means “The Lord Who Heals Us”. From this verse I have discovered the way the Lord would have me be when I am in physical or emotional difficulties. I am to be still: to cease from “spinning my wheels” in my head with worry and anxiety. I am to be still and to remember and think on only one thing: that He is the God Who loves me, Whose power is towards me always, Who does everything for my utmost good. He has never failed me; and He can never fail you – for God can never fail. We simply have to trust Him that what He is doing is for good in our lives and from His love. There is a classic hymn which has a very simple chorus: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the cares of this world will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” Listening to other hymns and praise songs will envelop us in His peace also and stay our mind on Him.
https://youtu.be/AAIHWfYNkMg Big Daddy Weave: “I Know”
https://youtu.be/n0FBb6hnwTo Jenn Johnson: “The Goodness of God”
https://youtu.be/FkRiYsTN7KY Chris Tomlin: “Is He Worthy?”
https://youtu.be/tiIMtID54K8 Voices of Lee: “What a Beautiful Name”
As soon as you feel the anxiety, tension and fear beginning to build inside you, stop. Be still. Remember the verses you have hopefully memorized, prayed on and reflected on. If you can, go to the place you use as a prayer closet and pray. If you do not have that luxury because both the dogs are barking and all three kids under the age of three are crying, just cry out to the Lord. The important thing is to stop so that you don’t let the anxiety build. Remember and pray those comforting verses He has given you, lean on Him. He will hear; He will answer; He will comfort; He will be forever faithful. Now when fear tries to invade – and of course it will – you have a hiding place, a place to rest. It begins with knowing His Word. Yet there is a next step…knowing Him more deeply.
SOMETHING I LEARNED AS TIME WENT BY
Please do not misunderstand what I will share with you next. I began a blog over two years and named this blog very carefully –– holdinghiswordhigher—because I highly esteem the Word of God. Jesus prayed to the Father:
John 17: 17: Sanctify them by the Truth. Your Word is Truth.
John 1: 1: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself.
Looking at these two verses side by side we learn a vital truth: the Word in the Bible – the printed Word – and the Living Word, Jesus, go together. They complete and complement each other. You cannot have one without the other. Both Jesus and His Word speak Truth. That means I can trust them and put my whole confidence in them.
As the years went by and more and more troubles came along, I discovered something even more interesting: the words themselves on a printed page were not completely sufficient. What I needed was to know deeper the Jesus His Word spoke about. I don’t know if I can make the distinction but I’ll try.
To simply repeat the words in the Bible seemed like applying a formula, even a mantra. I realized that the written Word was only valid if it led me to the Living Word, Jesus. If I only relied on proclaiming the written Word, it seemed like I had power. Resting, on the other hand, acknowledged that Jesus had all power. I learned that I needed to spend more quiet time with His Word and Him. I needed to learn how to rest in Him. It was the resting not the proclaiming the victory that brought me peace. Why do I have to proclaim a victory He has already won? I finally realized that. Praising Him, resting in His love, His care over me, knowing I was in His Hands always – that brought me peace.
Now when fear tries to invade – and of course it still does – I will look at the accompanying verses as a reminder of His great care and think of Him and His great love and power…and rest.
I will tell you a story. About two and a half years ago I got the flu ( the vaccine wasn’t effective). I got it so bad that I became physically violent. I had to be admitted to the hospital where we discovered I had lost my memory. To every question the doctors asked me, my answer was – “I don’t know.” What’s your last name? “I don’t know.” What holiday was last week? “ I don’t know.” ( It was Christmas ). They asked a few more questions and every time I answered the same. I became frightened because I had no memory. They admitted me but the room wasn’t big enough for my husband to stay with me. I was so upset I couldn’t sleep and of course they couldn’t give me any medicine for that. I laid there, frightened, with no memory…and the strangest, most wonderful thing happened. Almost 40 years ago the Lord had prompted me to memorize the 23rd Psalm. As I was laying there that night in the hospital with no memory, the Lord brought back to me the entire 23rd Psalm!😌 When I got to this verse something totally joyous happened: “yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for Thou art with me.” I stopped and said it again and again. I need not fear. He was with me. I wasn’t alone. I fell asleep totally at peace. The next morning I was so completely better, they released me and couldn’t believe I had recovered so fast. But it wasn’t the healing that was so marvelous to me. It was the one more proof that I need not ever fear – for He, the Living Word, my Precious Loving Savior is with me at all times.
Please do not mistake this for a mystical experience. I see it as the Word of God having become so much “imprinted on my mind and engraved in my heart” (Hebrews 8:10) that it was now a part of me. So deep had the words become over the years – decades – that when I most needed them, they were there within me. How then can I fear? His Word and He are with me always.