God constantly reminds us that He is with us and that we don’t need to fear. For the past couple of weeks, we have been trying to embrace those reminders not only in our minds but also in our hearts.
When God asked Adam why he was hiding, Adam’s first response was, “‘... I was afraid ... (Genesis 3:10).’” If I really thought about it, I could probably determine that almost every sin I've ever committed was rooted in fear.
But our Lord knows this, and that is why He tells us more than 300 times—about once for each day of the year—in the Bible to fear not. God knows the enemy will confront us with fear almost daily.
Fear usually comes when we believe a lie. Satan is a liar—the father of lies. Jesus said, “‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy ... (John 10:10).’” He often does this by getting us to believe a lie.
But Jesus has another purpose for us. He came to expose the truth.
“‘Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” -John 8:32
Our Lord shouts truth at us daily when He says to not be afraid because He is with us daily. And He wants us to believe Him.
The exclusivity of Jesus and His claims to be the only hope for the world aren’t popular—certainly not safe for us to declare in our world today. But it’s the truth. It wasn't safe 2,000 years ago when Jesus told us to go and engage the world on His behalf either.
Our Lord said, “‘I am sending you out like sheep among wolves,’” but we must go anyway because we know that the gospel is the power of God for salvation. The gospel turns wolves into sheep if we are fearless enough to deliver the message.
Remember what Paul asked the church in Ephesians to pray for on his behalf?
“Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” -Ephesians 6:19-20
There is no doubt in my mind that Paul’s confidence was totally in God’s promise: “‘So do not fear, for I am with you ... (Isaiah 41:10).’”
Every time we have those “what if” feelings created by our fears, we will have a choice. We can let the fear win and retreat, or, by faith, we can step into the truth of God’s promise that He will never leave us.
When faced with challenges in sharing God’s love, He will always provide His power and presence to do what He asks—to be His witnesses. Once we act in faith on His promises, our fear will fly away, and the Holy Spirit will grant us His peace and confidence.
But the Holy Spirit does not empower me until I choose to act and step out by faith against my fears because I trust God.
“‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’” -Acts 1:8
Our Lord is faithful, but we must—in faith—act.
Receive Weekly Encouragement
To get devotionals from East-West's founder sent to your inbox weekly, sign up below!
John's travels for ministry behind the Iron Curtain led him to found East-West Ministries International in 1993. John and his wife, Susie, live in Dallas, Texas and have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.