Psalm 56:3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
Many people live with fear. They pillow their heads at night with fear. They drive to work in fear. They attend family functions in fear. They go to work and they perform their daily functions in life but have a nagging fear.
And that fear can penetrate any and every area of life from the most minute thing you could think of to the most overwhelming possibility.
Fear grips and paralyzes an individual even to the extent in some cases of not being able to function normally in life.
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
Fear is a tormentor (as seen here it has to do with punishment).
To some extent I think we all have and face some fears and anxieties—health, job security, children, financial issues, etc. And we should remember that there are differing fears among different age groups. Children and adults have fears. And we should not dismiss the fears of children as unreal. They are just as real and perhaps more so to children than adults.
Is there an answer to all our fears? Yes.
The love of God answers our fears, it casts out our fears. When you fully understand the love of God you do not have to be afraid. You can be confident in your Father in Heaven who loves you and will never leave or forsake you and will never overlook anything that is going on in your life. And the fact that He is totally in control brings great assurance to the tumultuous life that we go through as pilgrims in this world.
I have heard it said that, “The fear of God is the one fear that overcomes all fears.” Fearing God means: to serve and be faithful to Him; to obey His laws; to respond to His holiness; to reverence Him.
So, there is no need to fear—when you are afraid, put your trust in Him. He is completely trustworthy. He is faithful. He loves you.
And yet you can have the right kind of fear along with having no fear—you can and should fear the Lord.
“Fear not.” Put your trust in the Lord.
There is an idiom or phrase that goes, “left to their own devices.” It essentially means that someone is in a position where they do as they want without any supervision. There can be a positive or a negative side to that.
But I want to restate that phrase for your consideration and think about when we are “left to our own thoughts.” That can be positive or negative as well.
Our thoughts are private. Now, we do know that out of the abundance of our hearts our mouth will speak. What we think, we do say. But no one knows for sure what anyone is thinking unless and until they speak or act on it.
And, should there be any supervision over our thoughts? Yes! Should there be “thought police?" Yes!
It is easy for our minds to drift toward things which are false. Some of you have heard me refer to the book, “Lies Women Believe” by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. It is very insightful and a book that Vickie has taught through which was a blessing to her and those in the study. As I have read the book I realized that most [not all because some parts are specific for women] of the book is applicable to everyone and it could almost be titled, “Lies We All Believe.”
Here are a few “thoughts” from that book:
1. THE LIE: God is not really good.
1. God is good, and everything He does is good.
2. God never makes mistakes.
2. THE LIE: God doesn’t love me.
1. God’s love for me is infinite and unconditional.
2. I don’t have to perform to earn God’s love or favor.
3. God always has my best interests at heart.
3. THE LIE: God is just like my father.
1. God is exactly what He has revealed Himself to be in His Word.
2. God is infinitely more wise and loving than any earthly father could ever be.
4. THE LIE: God is not really enough.
1. God is enough. If I have Him, I have all I need.
5. THE LIE: God’s ways are too restrictive.
1. God’s ways are best.
2. God’s restrictions are always for my good.
3. Resisting or rebelling against God’s ways brings conflict and heartache.
6. THE LIE: God should fix my problems.
1. Life is hard.
2. God is more concerned about glorifying Himself and changing me than about solving my problems.
3. God has an eternal purpose He is fulfilling in the midst of my problems.
4. God wants to use my problems as part of His sanctifying process in my life.
5. No matter what problem I am facing, God’s grace is sufficient for me.
Those are a few lies and the truth that counters those lies. We have to be careful that we are not left to our own thoughts because sometimes it will lead us to believe lies.
Should we have a thought police check our thoughts? We should and it should be the Word of God.
Psalm 119:11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Let the Word of God be the guardian of your mind.
At the close of each of my weekly emails I ask you to pray for me. I am thankful to each of you who do pray for me. I appreciate it and need it.
Following my email last week someone from our church wrote me a gracious note and told me that their family prays for me. That was encouraging!
But also included was a copy of a page from the well-known devotional “Morning And Evening” by Charles Spurgeon. It was Spurgeon’s admonition to his church as to praying for him. I think it is appropriate and so I will share it with you.
“Brethren, pray for us.”
—1 Thessalonians 5:25
This one morning in the year we reserved to refresh the reader’s memory upon the subject of prayer for ministers, and we do most earnestly implore every Christian household to grant the fervent request of the text first uttered by an apostle and now repeated by us.
Brethren, our work is solemnly momentous, involving weal or woe to thousands; we treat with souls for God on eternal business, and our word is either a savour of life unto life, or of death unto death. A very heavy responsibility rests upon us, and it will be no small mercy if at the last we be found clear of the blood of all men. As officers in Christ’s army, we are the especial mark of the enmity of men and devils; they watch for our halting, and labour to take us by the heels. Our sacred calling involves us in temptations from which you are exempt, above all it too often draws us away from our personal enjoyment of truth into a ministerial and official consideration of it.
We meet with many knotty cases, and our wits are at a non plus; we observe very sad backslidings, and our hearts are wounded; we see millions perishing, and our spirits sink. We wish to profit you by our preaching; we desire to be blest to your children; we long to be useful both to saints and sinners; therefore, dear friends, intercede for us with our God. Miserable men are we if we miss the aid of your prayers, but happy are we if we live in your supplications.
You do not look to us but to our Master for spiritual blessings, and yet how many times has He given those blessings through His ministers; ask then, again and again, that we may be the earthen vessels into which the Lord may put the treasure of the gospel. We, the whole company of missionaries, ministers, city missionaries, and students, do in the name of Jesus beseech you
“Brethren, pray for us.”
Spurgeon, C. H. Morning and Evening: Daily Readings. London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1896. Print.
So again, would you take a few minutes between now and Sunday to pray for our church services and for me as well. Thank you so much.
What brings you joy in life? There are going to be many responses to that question. Family brings joy, friends and relationships are a source of joy, work can be joyful, a hobby is often an opportunity to do something that is joyful. The list goes on.
Joy can be found in small things—a letter from a friend, a thank you note, an invitation to join someone for an event.
Joy can be found in achievement and accomplishment—graduating from High School or College, getting a promotion, finishing a project that has been ongoing for weeks or months.
There can be joy in quietness and solitude—a time to get away and think and evaluate.
That which brings joy is highly individualized. What I might really enjoy could be a source of boredom or irritation to someone else.
I think we would agree that everyone desires joy in their lives. People will strive for and spend a lifetime trying to get the elusive feeling or euphoria that they believe will satisfy and bring joy.
As believers we do not need to be on a relentless and endless pursuit of joy. We have that which brings joy. Many years ago there was a christian song that had this phrase, “only Jesus can satisfy your soul.” Jesus brings joy, He is our joy.
Have we drifted from that in our Christian lives? Jesus satisfies. But not really…not for many believers. It is easy to look to entertainment or some of the things that were previously mentioned instead of Jesus.
Sometimes Jesus is relegated to Sunday worship or to some lower status than we profess. It is subtle but we can become satisfied with that which does not satisfy!
Over 40 years ago Warren Wiersbe published a short commentary on the book of Philippians. It was entitled “Be Joyful”….it beats being happy. On the cover of my very old copy it said, “Happiness depends on right happenings, but even when things go wrong, you can have joy.” The apostle Paul understood what it meant to be joyful in the worst of circumstances as he wrote the book of Philippians. [You might even want to read Wiersbe’s commentary, part of his “Be” series.]
Regardless of your circumstances, you can be a joyful christian. There is no reason not to be. But too often we look for what only Jesus can give somewhere outside of Himself.
John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Take inventory of your life. Are you truly joyful and satisfied with Jesus only? Are you trying to find joy in something or someone else. It will never happen. That which satisfies the soul of man is only the eternal Son of God.
I would encourage you to read Paul’s letter to the Philippians. He had joy in Jesus in very difficult circumstances. So can you and I!!
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
Dr. Wynne Kimbrough is the editor of this resource.
Some of the articles are written by him while others are found and shared with permission from the original authors. Some of of these authors wish to remain anonymous.