Today’s Bible readings are Genesis 31:17-32:12, Matthew 10:24-11:6, Psalm 13:1-6, & Proverbs 3:16-18
Fear is such a paralyzing force. Just as faith, hope, & love are forces that produce actions in our lives; fear is a force that produces action as well. The difference between these forces is where they come from.
For instance, faith, hope, & love come from God. They produce in our lives the things that God would desire for us. They move us to act in ways that bring glory to His name. Fear, on the other hand, comes from satan. It produces in our lives the things he desires.
The force of fear can cause us to do wrong things & keep us from doing right things. Fear is simply perverted faith. Many times it is produced through worry. Worry stems from meditating on a lie from satan. As we meditate on his lie it produces fear.
The exact opposite is true when it comes to God. Hope is meditating on a promise from God. This produces faith. As we meditate of God’s promise we begin to see it happening in our lives. Faith takes that picture in our minds eye & runs with it. The same holds true with worry & fear.
Some people are so convinced that bad things are going to happen. They do irrational things, respond in irrational panic, liv with great anxiety, never attempt new things, or even give up on things they sincerely desire.
31 Jacob answered Laban, “I was afraid, because I thought you would take your daughters away from me by force.
We see in our bible reading today the effect that fear had on Jacob. He had a relationship problem between him & his father-in-law. As he spent time meditating on the wrong things, fear gripped his heart. It became such a strong force that he could not stand it. It caused him to run away. He didn’t want to face his problems.
This is what a lot of people experience in life. They don’t want to face the things that come up in life. As they meditate on all the bad things that could happen, they give birth to fear inside. I have found that most of the things that people spend so much time obsessively worrying about NEVER occur.
I want to point out that no matter how fast he ran his problems caught up with him.
22 On the third day Laban was told that Jacob had fled. 23 Taking his relatives with him, he pursued Jacob for seven days and caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead.
It seems that fear is a pattern in this family. Abraham dealt with fear, Isaac dealt with fear, & now Jacob too. That is the worst things about leaving things undone in our lives. The things we don’t find victory over will tend to come up in our children’s lives as well. They see certain things modeled in us & then pick those behaviors up themselves.
1. Fill our minds with the right thoughts.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
We are told exactly what to fill our minds with. What we fill our minds with will determine what comes out of our lives.
I will be the first to admit, things could go bad. BUT WHAT IF IT DOESN’T? Things could just as easily go great. In fact, if we worked as hard filling our minds with thoughts that things would turn out well, instead of, with thoughts that things are going to turn out horrible, then we may easily see more of the things we would like to see happening in our lives.
Why sit around & think thoughts like these:
1. My kids are never going to serve Jesus.
2. My husband is never going to change.
3. Things will never go that way in my life.
4. I am not going to find healing.
5. I can’t forgive that person.
6. I will never be able to do that.
7. I can’t get out of debt.
These thoughts are lies from satan. God tells us the exact opposite in His Word. We can choose to meditate on God’s promises or we can choose to meditate on satan’s lie. Either way we will meditate on something. But the outcome will be very different depending on what we choose to focus on.
2. Don’t worry—PRAY.
Philippians 4:6-76 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
There is an alternative to worry. It is called prayer. Many Christians fail to pray that is why there is so much worry. Prayer eliminates worry. As we cast our cares on God we really find release. We have confidence that God can do anything. This leads to peace. His peace guards our heart & mind as we wait on Him.
3. Simply trust in God’s goodness.
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. 2 Give thanks to the God of gods. His faithful love endures forever. 3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords. His faithful love endures forever.
This whole psalm is one that encourages us to give thanks because of God’s great mercy, love, compassion, power. God has always been good. His goodness will still outshine the morning sun. God never changes. He was good yesterday. He will be good today. He will be good tomorrow.
Make the decision to put an end to fear in your life. God’s plan for you is far too great to allow fear & worry to rob you it. Be strong & full of courage in Jesus name!!!