June 1, 2020
In Fearful Times . . .
Our devotional theme today is simple:
let us not succumb to fear in fearful
The dangers are real, yes. People are
wilding, yes. Violence is ongoing, yes.
People are being injured, yes. Property
is being destroyed, yes. Businesses are
being looted, yes. But our God is on His
throne. And our faith in His
faithfulness is being tested.
Is He the all-powerful Deity, the
loving, personal, supernatural Shepherd,
and the hovering heavenly Eagle we
profess Him to be? Then let us believe
Him and confidently confess our faith in
is reigning over our stormy national
"sea," the threatening "waves" of social
violence, and the "roaring" of
senseless, rebellious mobs (Psalm 93).
And with unmatched, intense personal
care He is watching over us with His
angels charged and positioned to keep us
safe - from trouble or in trouble (Psalm
91:1-16; Isaiah 27:1-6).
No "pestilence" - pandemic disease -
will harm us. No "arrow" - or bullet -
will find its way to us by day or night.
That is, if we draw near and "abide" in
the "secret place" of personal communion
with God daily. If we turn from all sin
- so our spiritual armor (Ephesians
6:10-18) is whole and complete. If we
forgive personal enemies and pray for
reckless public sinners to come to
repentance. If we will only step back
and "be still, and know [realize,
consider] that I am God" (Psalm 46:10).
If "what time we are afraid, we will put
our trust in Him" (Psalm 56:3). If we
remember that these "calamities" (Psalm
57:1), though menacing, will "pass" like
the storm that suddenly gripped the
disciples' boat on Galilee and then,
just as suddenly, against its will, fell
silent and tranquil the instant Jesus
spoke His Cease-and-Desist Order,
"Peace, be still" (Mark 4:39)!
But, on the other hand, if we're not
seeking God, if His Word means nothing
to us, if we're ignoring the Spirit's
convicting voice and presumptuously
practicing sin, we have reason to be
afraid, because there are gaps in our
spiritual armor and God's protection is
not complete. And Josiah's shocking
demise shows us one gap may be deadly (2
Chronicles 35:20-24). Or, if we
stubbornly refuse to trust God and
insist on worrying, we will suffer
anxiety attacks and debilitating fear.
But true, humble confession and genuine
repentance will bring complete
forgiveness, and restore us, and God's
protection, instantly (1 John 1:9).
And if God,
as He sometimes does, should permit
anything dangerous or even harmful to
befall us, to further test our faith, He
will remain by our side. With precise,
personal control, He will limit how far
the enemy may go in invading our lives
with threatening adversities, just as He
did Job when, to supremely test his
faith, He permitted Satan to attack him
without cause (Job 1:12; 2:6). He, not
Satan, will set the boundary of the
attack: "Thus far shalt thou come, but
no farther" (Psalm 38:11). And "no
farther" shall it come!
Job's most memorable utterance in His
most desperate hour, when his personal
world was collapsing on him, is timely
for us: "Though he slay me, yet
will I trust in Him" (Job 13:15). Job
realized that no trouble, however mean,
unfair, demonic, or terrible, could
change the abiding, loving, wise, just,
faithful, and all-powerful character of
His God - who turns every evil for good
to His faithful children (Romans 8:28).
And Job's faith, in the end, was
abundantly confirmed. God not only
turned his captivity but also kindly
gave him "twice" the blessings he had
before (Job 42:10-17).
Do you, do I, have the "yet" in us? If
we have Jesus, we do. If we have the
Holy Spirit, we do. If we have the
earth-creating Word of God in our
hearts, we do. Then let us not ignore
and shame our Lord's intense, personal
care of us by succumbing to fear. It is
our hour to shine, not shiver! Conquer,
not cower! Triumph, not tremble! Christ
is coming back soon!
Truly, the only thing to fear is
fear itself - and sin in
any shape or form. Have none of them!
Full, fresh surrender and a decision to
fully, freshly trust Jesus amid this
present social chaos, will bring full,
refreshing peace - and full, fresh
strength to rise and do what God would
have us do in this crisis. Pray.
Believe. Move forward with our duties.
Continue assembling together. Pursue our
ministries faithfully. Be spiritually
minded. Walk in God's amazing love
toward all - the lovely and unlovely.
And help other believers rise and do the
how we should thank the Lord that, in
fear-filled times, we need not be filled
with fear. Miraculously, through Christ,
we can be full of faith while people on
every side are full of fear. So get full
of faith! Then, contact another believer
and strengthen them. And that's not all.
ready to answer any person who asks you
a reason of this strange confidence that
grips and holds you in these fearful