THE LOVE OF GOD IN OVERCOMING FEAR
I ran this series on my blog two years ago but felt led by the Lord to re- run it for a very simple reason: there’s a pandemic in the land. However, it may not be the one you’re thinking of. This pandemic is worse than a simple disease. Ever since COVID began I believe that we as a nation have been caught up in a pandemic of fear. At the onset we feared a scarcity of water and groceries and toilet paper. This week we panicked over a gasoline shortage. We have lived through repeated episodes of violence. Fear is all around us. Because of all this fear we are in danger of losing the most important stronghold in our lives – the peace of our mighty God. I am writing this to remind you – and me – that He is still here and has never, and will never, leave us. I hope that this study will be a help to you to bring you peace (Mark 4:39)
Even when I was very young I was tormented by fear. When I got saved, I had to find a means to overcome it because it was crippling me and causing physical and spiritual problems. I started out all those years ago by going through the Bible and uncovering all these verses below and dwelling on them, praying on them. They helped enormously. . . yet you will see as we progress, the verses were only the beginning. Come with me along my journey as the Lord dealt with fear and helped me find peace in my life.
2 Cor 1: 3-4 What a wonderful God we have – He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, and the One Who so wonderfully comforts and strengthens us in our hardships and trials. And why does He do this? So that when others are troubled, needing our sympathy and encouragement, we can pass on to them this same help and comfort God has given us.
My husband’s pain threshold, both physically and emotionally, was always phenomenal; mine has always been at the other end of the spectrum. I started out on the tolerance scale down at the bottom. That makes me the perfect person for God to use as a specimen (thank you Lord). One of the reasons why we go through times of trial is so that we may pass on to others what we have learned. The knowledge of God is a lifeline we extend to others. Learning to deal with fear was a step by step process for me because fear used to cause not only my body to tense up but also my mind to be a jumble. Therefore, I’m going to present this to you in a rather step by step way.
2 Timothy 1: 7 – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of (His) love, (His) power and (His) sound mind.”
This verse formed the basis of my research. It is the understanding of all that this verse means that is delivering me from fear and worry:
IF God ONLY has all love but no power, His love would not suffice to deliver us from fear.
IF God ONLY has all power but does not love us – we would be afraid of Him.
BUT God not only loves us, all His power is towards us.
Therefore, whatever God, in His love, wants to do for us – He absolutely can. And because He does indeed “Love us with an everlasting love and with loving kindness has drawn us unto Him ” (Jeremiah 31:3) we can trust Him and rely upon Him to ALWAYS act in our very best interests.
IN ADDITION, 2 Timothy1:7 says that He always acts out of the soundness of His mind. Therefore, no matter what He does, in His love and His power, is never done on a whim. It is ALWAYS done with a well – thought – out purpose and plan.
“The word confidence,” according to Webster’s dictionary, means: “the belief in the reliability and trustworthiness of a Person – although Webster didn’t capitalize Person” I found that the following verses made me have confidence in my God. Remember that old game of “trust” where you’re supposed to stand in front of someone and then fall backwards “trusting” the other person will catch you because you have confidence in him? By the time I finished praying and dwelling on all these verses I found I could safely trust that the arms of God would catch me and hold me tight in all situations and my fear slowly but surely drifted away.
Isaiah 40:11 “He shall feed His flock like a shepherd; He shall gather the lambs in His arms, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those who are with young.”
This verse shows the tenderness of His love for us. He doesn’t drive His lambs when they’re tired or frightened; He picks them up into His arms and holds them next to His heart, safe and secure from all alarm. Phillip Keller wrote the best-selling “A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23” out of his real-life experiences. It’s a great read to discover the relationship between a shepherd and his care for his beloved sheep.
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that He gave His Son, that whosoever would believe in Him, shall not perish but have everlasting life. ”
God would not allow Abraham to sacrifice his own son. He absolutely forbad the sacrificing of children to idols. Yet He Himself did the unthinkable – He gave what He did not have to give – His Son, the Lamb that He had already planned to be slain before the foundation of the world – because from time eternal He so desired to love with an everlasting love that He planned a way to do just that, not even caring what it would cost Him.
Romans 8:32 “He Who did not spare even His Own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also freely give us all other things?”
One day when we were down to 99 cents in our checkbook I “accidentally” came upon this verse. He got us through that financial crisis and provided enough money to build our log cabin.
Romans 8: 34-35, 38-39 ” Who is there to condemn us? Will Christ Jesus, the Messiah, Who died, or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us? Who shall ever separate us from Christ’s love? Shall suffering and affliction? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution, or hunger, or destitution, or peril or sword?” …For I am persuaded beyond doubt that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities (of hell), nor things threatening nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Think and pray on this verse thoroughly until you can finally say beyond doubt that nothing can separate you from the love of God which is in Jesus Christ our Lord. Start a list – and keep it going – of everything He has blessed you with and everything He has done. On that list write down every prayer you’ve ever prayed – and every answer He’s given. Keep it as a diary of His love for you. His love will overcome your fear.
1 John 3:1 – Behold what (an incredible) quality of love the Father has given unto us, that we should be called the children of God!
The Father calls Jesus His Son; and so, too, does God call you His child. It’s almost too much to believe, but believe it. Rest in it. Find peace in it.
Psalm 34:4,6,19 I sought the Lord and He heard me and delivered me out of ALL my fears…This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of ALL his troubles…Many evils confront the righteous; but the Lord delivers him out of them ALL.
Also read Psalms: 16,18,23,25,27,46,56,57,62,71,84,86,121,130,139 and find some of your own.
Did you happen to notice how excessively I used italics in those verses? Obviously, I wanted to make a point. I believe God thinks in the extraordinary, in exclamations, when He thinks of us. He doesn’t just love, He so loves. He didn’t send Jesus, He gave Him. He wanted to so reassure us that He would never in any way forsake us that He listed everything imaginable that might stand against us and stated so firmly that it wouldn’t that we are without doubt that He is telling the truth. Finally, lest there be one little bitty doubt that maybe someplace lurking in the corner there is some minute particle of fear that thinks it can stand up to this incredible quality of love with which He loves us, He says to each poor man who cries out to Him – I will deliver you from ALL your fears. In our family we have seen each other through 104 degree fevers, numerous life-threatening heart problems, near-fatal car accidents…I could go on and on. Each one of these incidents has only added to the list of stories we share with others about our glorious God.
A PERSONAL GOD
Isaiah 43: 1-2 (God says) …Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name, you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame kindle upon you.
He knows me personally enough that He knows my name. I am not an object to Him. In fact, I came to know that no matter how many sheep there are in His flock, a shepherd knows each of them by his pet name (Revelation 3:12) for that particular sheep. He tells me that there are waters, rivers and fires (see Daniel 3) that I will encounter, but I will pass through each one of them and have Him as a companion. Have you ever noticed during a power outage how much more peaceful it is to sit in a dark room when someone who loves you is holding your hand? When the storms of life seem to be ready to overwhelm you, remember Who is with you. He knows your name – your pet name.
I love to tell stories that glorify The Lord and this one additionally changed my life. Our family was once more stationed in Hawaii and we went on a short vacation to the North Shore of the island where the monster waves and horrific undertows are. For the sake of this story it is important to know that not only can I not swim but I also almost drowned as a child so I was terribly frightened of large waves. My husband and I had gone on a walk along what we thought was a safe trail only to surprisingly discover that the trail very abruptly ended. At this particular time it ended – as trails will on the North Shore – when the tide all of a sudden became very high and ferocious and completely cut off our trying to turn back. Neither could we go forward. There was only one way to go and that was up. However, “up” meant climbing a high, very steep hill filled with sharply pointed rocks. I stood there petrified as the waves got higher and closer, knowing there was no way out. But God. . . . Don’t you love those words! But God had a plan! My husband took my hand and said to me: don’t look at the waves, look only at me and put your foot exactly where I put mine and keep walking. There is a verse in 1Peter 3:7 (Amplified) that says basically – “ Sarah obeyed Abraham following his guidance – calling him lord – not giving way to hysterical fears or letting anxieties unnerve her.” Hysterical fears and unnerving anxieties were my initial reactions but I knew that God was speaking through my husband so I did what he said. I walked to the top of the hill, step by step, not looking back, just like my husband said and I was not afraid. When we got to the top, I looked back at the waves – and, wonder of wonders – we now stood higher than the threatening waves and we were safe!
In the decades since, the Lord has brought that picture back to my mind often to remind me of how I am to walk, substituting my Heavenly Protector for my earthly one, placing my feet exactly where His have already been, holding tight onto His hand – so that I will not need to be afraid. My husband died over a year ago but I still have a Heavenly Husband and He still guides me step by step.