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To Fear or Not to Fear?
Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

Cecil Thompson

Isaiah 41:10-11

"Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness. Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish."

When I look at today's title, I have to laugh at myself. I never consider myself as being brave, but at the same time I do not spend much time worrying about things. Let me give you a humorous illustration of my free-wheeling sense of humor and lack of fear.

I was in a supermarket to pick up a bottle of liquid smoke to use in preparing a barbeque sauce. I had just found my item when I saw two women I had never seen before looking intently on the shelf. One mentioned to the woman with her; "Where is the honey? I need to find the honey." There was no way this clown could keep quiet. Spontaneously I smiled and said, "I'm right here!" I thought they were going to die laughing.

I had no fear in doing such a silly thing, but I wonder what I would do in the face of real danger? I hope I would face it with the same resolve. I have officiated the funeral services for two World War II veterans in the past month. In going through their records, each family made an unexpected discovery. Each had been awarded high medals for their actions in combat. Neither had mentioned it to their family while they were still alive.

Today my mind is drawn to consider the things we fear. Most like to act brave and unflinchable, but there are always those things that go bump in the night of our emotions and scare the living daylights out of us. The things that we fear are as many and varied as we can possibly imagine.

Some fears that are more observable are things like: spiders, snakes, geckos (that's for Joyce), bats, birds, heights, airplanes--- you get the point. But others are equally afraid of such things as growing old, moving to a new house, getting married, not getting married, financial reversals, being alone, facing the unknown, and the biggest of all, many are afraid of dying.

While our fears may be different, the answer is always the same. It is found in today's Scripture: All of the situations of life that we discuss day by day have a common answer---the strength and presence of the Lord. "Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness."

It is important to note why the Scripture tells us we do not need to fear---God is with us. That promise is just for those who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. In place of fear we are told to trust in the trustworthiness of the God who knows all that lies before us.

One of the most devastating aspects of fear is being frozen into inactivity. We have all seen movies of prey animals being so filled with fear of the predator that they become like statues and are easy targets. The enemy of our souls loves to fill us with fear for he knows if we are consumed with fear, we are incapable of doing the things the Lord desires for us to do.

God delights in bringing His power into the impossible situations of life and showing that His power is sufficient for our need. Your marriage, your job, your health, your future---whatever it may be, God is sufficient. When the Scripture above mentions: "The right hand of My righteousness", it speaks of God's strength. Anytime we read of God's right hand in scripture, it always refers His strength that is above all other forces.

Those who have not been born again and do not have a personal relationship with God had better be afraid, for their fate is graphically described. This is the place for fear in our life---the fear of the Lord! Psalm 111:10 "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His precepts have good understanding. To Him belongs eternal praise."

I have no idea who this teaching is intended for. If it is for you - - - just thank the Lord that right where you are at this time of your life, He wants you to let go and let God.

Blessings dear hearts. Walk with God today. Trust Him completely and be a blessing.

--- Pastor Cecil


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