Saturday, January 17, 2009
God's Cure For Fear
The Scriptures tell us that "Fear has torment." How easy it is to get our eyes off the Lord and on to our circumstances. When Peter was walking on the water he was doing just fine until he took his eyes off Jesus and looked at the storm. When we focus on our circumstances, we begin to sink, just like Peter did. The truth is God is sovereign over every detail of our life. Nothing escapes God, there is nothing that surprises God. And believe it or not we can't teach Him anything, for He has nothing to learn, he knows everything. I am amazed how segments of the theological world will try to get rid of God's sovereignty. There is a new view call "Open Theism or open Theology" being taught (in some circles), that God knows little more of the future than we do. So He just hangs around with us and grieves with us when things go bad. The truth is God sees the future as clearly as He sees the past. He controls the future, He is Lord, the one in charge. He is still the Potter, and we remain the clay. I Sam. 2:3 states God is the God of knowledge. He knows everything. We read that "God searches the heart and understands all it's intents and thoughts" (cf. 2 Ch. 16:9; Heb. 4:12). Acts 2:23 tell us "Jesus was delivered to the Jews to be crucified by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God." In Matt. 24:36 we learn "No one but God knows the day and hour of judgment." Being the creator God, God knows when he made you and when you will die, and every detail between those times. "Before you were born I knit you together in your mothers womb." This is how we can be assured that God is who he says He is. He is the Alpha, the Omega the beginning and the end. I put my trust in Christ because I am sure of my salvation, because I have put my trust in a God who is Omniscient and Omnipotent. Because God is all knowing and all powerful we can agree with Paul who said "For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, of love and of a sound mind" (II Timothy 1:7). What about fear, we learn from the Lord that fear is the opposite of faith. When the disciples were in the boat in the middle of a huge storm they were fearful. The problem was not the boat in the storm, but the storm in the boat. The water had nearly filled the boat and these seasoned fishermen believed they were going to drown. They overlooked one factor, they had God in the boat. What was he doing, sleeping. They woke Him up and rebuked Him for not caring. He simply stood up and said "Peace be still." and the storm stopped. He looked at His disciples and asked this piercing question, "Why do you fear, why do you have no faith?" When God is in the boat there is no reason to fear. He has power over the storm, God can stop the storms in our life any time He chooses. He can say "Peace be still." and the storm will stop. How often do we rebuke the Lord when we feel He is not helping us? The song writer of old said "Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer." Note the Lord did not stop the storm until the Disciples spoke to Him. Speaking to God is called prayer. Have you been talking with the Lord about your current storm? What was He doing with His disciples, the same thing He does with us, teaching them to trust Him in the storms of life. Each of them would preach the gospel to a hostile world. All would be put to death (with the exception of John) because they would name the name of Christ. I believe there is a "spirit of fear", but it is not the Holy Spirit. As believers we have the Spirit of power, and of love and of a sound mind. The cure for fear is faith, who or what are you trusting in today?