Things happening, things that have happened, things yet to happen, have the tendency to fill us with fear. If you have been scheduled for surgery and you know someone or have heard about someone who went through a similar surgery and didn’t make it, worry, stress, anxiety, tension and the fear of death can come over you. The surgery hasn’t taken place, but there’s great fear. If you are travelling and your plane starts making strange noises or your plane is having trouble landing, in such a situation, your heart can start beating faster than normal. Fear usually surfaces in the face of danger. Sometimes, even when there’s no danger in sight, fear can paint pictures of danger in your mind. For instance you have been promoted to start a new job. Before you resume in your new office and position, you start imagining that on the day you are to resume, you would be involved in an accident or fall ill and be rushed to the hospital. This can get you worked up, fearful and agitated about things that may never even happen.
Fear is referred to as a spirit in the Bible (2 Timothy 1:7). A spirit can’t be seen, but you can see its effect and influence on a person or in a place. The spirit of fear can influence a person to make rash or wrong decisions. In 1 Samuel 15:24, when Saul was explaining to Samuel why he spared Agag and the best of the sheep, cattle, calves and lambs, and didn’t totally destroy the Amalaekites as God commanded, Saul said he was afraid of the people and so gave in to them. The fear of what will people say, how will people see me, what will people do to me is a terrible place to be. This kind of fear can turn you into a person who is busy pleasing people but seriously offending God.
The spirit of fear keeps people from venturing out to do great things. Once ‘what if’ finds a way into our hearts; what if it doesn’t work out, what if people don’t buy the product, what if she says no, what if they don’t select me, what if it fails, then we are limited from stepping out in faith to do, say and achieve great things. David was able to face Goliath because he didn’t waste time asking himself what if Goliath runs after me with his sword, what if Goliath throws his javelin at me, what if Goliath knocks my head with his helmet, what if he crushes my fingers. If David had done this, he wouldn’t have had the courage to face Goliath. Rather than dwell on all the unpleasant and unfavorable things that could happen, David focused on the goodness, greatness and power of God. He remembered and recounted the goodness of God in his life. David put the God he had seen deliver him from the lion and the bear in front of Goliath, and he was strengthened to come up against the person everyone was running away from, he was empowered to do the humanly impossible (1 Samuel 17).
The spirit of fear destroys hope. In Lamentations 3:19 the prophet said when he focused on his afflictions and problems, his soul was sinking; he was fearful, weighed down and discouraged. But as soon as he began to recall the mercies of God, he had hope (Lamentations 3:20-23). There’s more than enough bad news, sad news and breaking news to pomp fear into our hearts. Today we are faced with corruption at its highest level, unemployment, economic crisis, political unrest, kidnappers, terrorists, and other forms of insecurity that can fill us with fear. In Job 13:15, Job said “Though He slay me, yet will I trust him.” In other words, though I am going through the worst kind of situation anyone can find himself in, I won’t lose hope, I will continue to put my trust in God.
In the midst of all the turbulence, trials and troubles going on right now in our personal lives and in our nation, God wants us not to lose hope but anchor our soul on Him (Hebrews 6:19, Psalm 62:5-6). We must not allow fear drive hope away and make us give up.
God is saying to us fear not what you hear on the news, fear not what your doctor has diagnosed, fear not the bills that have to be paid, fear not all the speculations and negative prophecies about your nation, fear not the waters and rivers you have to pass through or the fire you have to walk through to get to where I have prepared for you. Fear not even when there’s so much to fear, for I am with you, I am your God, I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you and you will overcome any situation before you (Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 43:2). God’s message is simply if you have God with you and on your side, you have nothing to fear. He will handle everything that concerns you, everything threatening you, everything that comes your way. With these words of assurance from our God, let’s not be dismayed, afraid and run away from our ‘Goliath’, but let’s courageously go and face him knowing that God is with us, God is backing us up, and God will surely bring every ‘Goliath’ in our lives and nation down!
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