JUST A REMINDER
Reading through the Old Testament we find God often reminding Israel repeatedly of who they are and what He has done for them. It’s clear they needed the reminders because they frequently forgot. I’m convinced that today we also need to be reminded of all that God has done for us. Don’t we tend to forget?
Some have said, “Fear not!” is found 365 times in the Bible. One for every day of the year. However, the command in various forms is actually found many more times. Do not be afraid, for I am with you, the Lord declares.
To Israel, by way of the prophet Isaiah, God said, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…” (Isa. 43:1-3).
King David understood this truth. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” (Psalm 56:3-4). Again, in Psalm 118:6: “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” In Hebrews 13:5-6, Christians are reminded what the Psalms teach us about God: He will never leave or forsake us. Knowing that, we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
We must be like David and put our trust in the Lord. It requires more than just accepting that God’s help is true. We must order our lives based upon that assurance. “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus…let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith…Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Heb. 10:19, 22, 23). Are we showing our faith (confident and assured) by our works (James 2:17-18)?
In order to be the light and salt of the world, we must first be fully convinced in our own hearts that we completely depend upon and follow the Lord so that we can reflect His glorious light in the dismal darkness of the world of sin. Fear and trepidation in our lives reflect weakness and provide the opposite message we are supposed to be providing. “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).
God has called us, promised to be with us and to protect us. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? …No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Rom. 8:35, 37). “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” (Eph. 6:10). Do not be afraid!