17 September 2014

We Are Not Afraid

We are not afraid. 1

As such, we feel no need to fight 2 , shout, quarrel, raise a ruckus 3 , belittle our adversary 4 ... or pretend that danger does not exist 5.

We stand firm. 6  We trust in "a higher power". 7  We have peace of mind. 8

We have no need to approach others in order to stir up fear or anger or a desire to wipe out our adversaries. 9  We have no need to ridicule or belittle 10 , because we know we are on the winning side. 11

We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses to the power of a faith of unconditional love and self discipline.  Unfortunately, we are also surrounded by shouts of fear and anger and calls to war and vengeance. And we are sad, disappointed, hurt, and misunderstood.

Because we do not fight, we are assumed to be fleeing, or hiding our heads in the sand.

Because we do not shout, it is assumed that we must be pretending to be at peace.

Because we do not agree with making fun of our enemies, or exaggerating the sins of our adversaries in order to stir up war and distrust, we are assumed to be on their side.

We are called doormats, wimps, cowards. Sometimes even "holier than thou."

And yet, here we stand. We have hope. We are at peace, as much as depends on us. We are able to weigh what is Truly Important, and let go that which merely Seems Important.

And We Are Not Afraid.

We are not afraid of the snow for our households; for all our household is clothed in scarlet. - Proverb 31:21

Even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we will fear no evil; for the Lord God is with us; his rod and staff comfort us. - Psalm 23

The LORD is our light and our salvation-- whom shall we fear? The LORD is the stronghold of our life-- of whom shall we be afraid? - Psalm 27:1

Jehovah God is with us. We shall not be afraid. What can man do to us? - Psalm 56:11

We are not afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, we are afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. - Matthew 10:28  Luke 12:4-5

God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 1 Timothy 1:7

We are on guard; standing firm in the faith. We are men and women of courage. We are strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13

We believe the writing of the Apostle Peter, who asked, "Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened." " - 1 Peter 3:13-14

We have heard the Word of God, and in God we truly trust. These are not mere words to us. - Psalm 143:8

The Apostle John wrote: "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." - 1 John 4:18

Do you really believe this? Can you really place all your trust in Jehovah God? Have you died to yourself and placed your entire life and world in His hands? Or do you still struggle and fight and shout and try to hold on to your stuff? Do you still resort to put downs and pointing out others' sins and railing out against that which you do not trust? Do you surround yourself with those who spout angry words and hate for their fellow man? Have you ever considered putting everything on the line of trust - even your family, your children, "your" church, "your" earthly country? - Galatians 2:20

Throughout the ancient scriptures we read:  "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." - Deuteronomy 31:6-7  Joshua 1:5-7, 9, 18  Joshua 10:25   1 Chronicles 22:13   2 Chronicles 32:7

Does this mean that we don't sometimes doubt, or tremble, or feel afraid? Of course not. That's why we need the constant reminders. We also understand that "do not be afraid" does not mean that we are blindly oblivious to the dangers of life.

The woman who is not afraid of the snow for her household, is not afraid because she knows her family is already prepared for the time to come.

The man who is on guard is watchful for those who will come, but he does not cower, for he is strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

We may not know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future. We know "the rest of the story", when there will be no more fear, or sickness, or dying, or war any more. - Revelation 21  Isaiah 2:4   Micah 4:3

Our great cloud of witnesses? Hebrews 12:1 "These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city." Hebrews 11:13-16

Now, this world is beautiful, magnificent, complex, awesome. We are sad to see it mistreated and ruined. And we do see it happening. We are not blind.

The people of this world are wonder-full, complicated, lovely, awesome. We are disappointed and hurt to see so many like sheep without shepherds, everyone doing whatever is right in their own eyes, hurting each other, making each other cry. We are sad to see mankind mistreated and ruined. And we do see it happening. Our heads are not in the sand.

We are not blind, nor cowards, nor faithless. We are hopeful, and look for light in the storms, for good in the midst of evil. We are not merely optimists, we are realists. We see the evil. We may admit that worse things may come. But we will not resort to murder, to detestable actions, to lies, nor to any "idol" that comes before our Sonship to God. (see Revelation 21:5-8)

Fear may approach us, but we do not live or abide in fear, in hate, in worry, in dread. That is not the spirit we were given. When these feelings come, we turn to those of like faith and trust for encouragement, to the Word of God, like the scriptures referenced above, to God Himself in prayer and supplication, presenting our requests to Him, thinking on the good things and not the fearful things. Philippians 4:4-8

And the peace of God 
that passes all understanding
guards our hearts 
and minds 
in Christ Jesus.

--------------------

Below is a listing some of the Bible scriptures on which I have based my writing. In scripture, there is also a fear of God taught - a healthy respect, reverence, and awe for the Creator of the Universe, Who has made us and Who will judge righteously. But there is a weakening, doubting fear - of the wind and the waves within our view - to which Jesus said: "O you of little faith; why did you doubt?" It is that kind of crippling fear which shows a distrust in God.

Psalm 56:4
Deuteronomy 3:22
2 Timothy 2:22-24
Titus 3:2
2 Corinthians 4:8-10
Ephesians 6:12-13
1 John 4:4
Philippians 4:6-7
Ephesians 4:29
Ephesians 4:31
Job 19:25


Remember, I do not claim to be perfect. I do experience fear and frustration. It's just that I know I don't have to live that way. Peace be with you. 


For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ""Abba," Father."


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