by Shepherds Chapel
Don't be afraid. This is often easier said than done. No matter how much we caution ourselves and prepare by studying His Word, some can't help but wonder whether we will be afraid, when we really get into the thick of things in the spiritual war that we face. If you serve in God's army, there is no need to fear. You are in an army that is well-equipped with the promises of God. Focus on His promises, and ask all things in the name of Jesus Christ.
On the other hand, if your life is filled with fear, stress and worry, you probably aren't focusing. Worry is camouflage for fear. There isn't a single bigger waste of time than worry. It gets you no where. You must learn to trust in the promises God has made. Once you learn to trust Him, you will have peace of mind. Once you learn to trust Him, you will have no reason to be afraid. Let's open our Bibles.
1 Corinthians 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
Paul is writing to the body of people that believe on Jesus Christ. He is also letting us know he will be teaching on the third level to those that are "called to be saints", the elect.
1 Corinthians 1:3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Grace means unmerited favor. From God and Jesus Christ, we receive favor and the only true peace. What do you have to be afraid of?
1 Corinthians1:4-5 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; (5) That in every thing ye are enriched by Him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;
Your life, your family and your self-esteem are all enriched by Him. All wisdom and knowledge is also from God.
1 Corinthians 1:6-7 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: (7) So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
The testimony of Jesus Christ is the good news of the Gospel. God will enrich you, and you will not be lacking in any gift, if you have knowledge of His Word. To wait one must have patience. Most of us want patience right now! Mellow, my friends. Don't let them see you sweat on your first cruise. We have work to do while we are watching and waiting for the return of Jesus Christ. Make sure you are doing the work God would have you do, not the work some man would have you do. Remember, God is in charge. If you want enrichment, peace, and gifts, do it His way.
1 Corinthians 1:8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The day of our Lord Jesus Christ is the day He returns at the seventh trump. Some will be worthy of blame, and I am certain they will be feeling very guilty. You see, they will have worshipped the first messiah to return.
1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, by Whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
You can trust God. If He tells us through His Word this is what is going to happen, you can count on it to happen exactly as He said. There is no reason to be afraid. Be intelligent, and prepare for the events He foretold us would happen. Did God tell us to trust Him in the Old Testament? Did He tell us there is no reason to be afraid anywhere else in the Bible? He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Let's go to Psalms.
Psalms 125:1 They that trust in the LORD Shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.
Those that trust in the Lord must be pretty special people in Father's eyes. You see, He that created the universe fell in love with Mt. Zion and took her to wife (Ezekiel 16). He compares those that trust in Him to His wife. On the other hand, if you don't trust in Him, this scripture is not written to you. If you fall into the latter category, listen to what you are missing.
Psalms 125:2 As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, So the LORD is round about His People from hence forth even for ever.
How can you be afraid with such a promise from God? He protects those that trust Him as the mountains round about Jerusalem protect her. There are no giants in this world. The Father and you make a majority.
Psalm 125:3 For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity.
"The wicked" should be translated " the wicked one". Satan has no rule over the righteous. He runs from those that are well-founded in God's Word. This does not mean that Satan, and his agents, will not test you from time-to-time just to see if you are paying attention. When this happens, take names and kick dragon through the power Jesus Christ has given you (Luke10:18-19).
Psalm 125:4-5 Do good, O LORD, unto those that be good, And to them that are upright in their hearts. (5) As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways, The LORD shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity: but peace shall be upon Israel.
Peace belongs to Israel and all of those that trust Him. Let's go back to 1 Corinthians. This is for those that aren't really afraid; however, they can't help but worry a little bit. After all, their lives are more difficult and laden with more burdens than the rest of our lives.
1 Corinthians10:11 Now all these things happened to them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
The events of the Old Testament are written as an example and a warning for us.
1 Corinthians 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
Those that stand against Satan better have their spiritual pistol loaded and ready.
1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
You don't have to worry about the rod of the wicked one. When trouble hits, don't panic. Your problems are no worse than what others have endured. Click on your brain. Use your gray matter. God has promised you will not be tempted above that which you can handle.
1 Corinthians 10:14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
Don't worship antichrist. Don't allow anyone to pull you off track. Be on guard.
1 Corinthians 10:15 I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.
Are you a wise person? Take heed to His Word.
We are going to turn to James in conclusion. James is written to the scattered tribes of Israel (James 1:1)
James 5:7 Be patient therefore brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waitheth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and the latter rain.
Farmers must be patient. They clear the land, cultivate the land, fertilize the land, and then plant seed. Then they wait. They wait for the rains.
James 5:8-9 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. (9) Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.
Don't murmur against each other. You are not the judge. There is but One Judge, and He keeps a real good set of books.
James 5:10 Take my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the LORD, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
If you think life is rough, you should compare your troubles to that which some of the prophets endured.
James 5:11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the LORD; that the LORD is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
The word "pitiful" should be translated "compassionate". The next time you get on a "poor me baby" trip, think about what happened to Job. Think about what Jesus Christ endured on the cross for you.
James 5:12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath; but let your yea be yea; and your nay be nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
Don't try to create your own new religion. Don't try to work out your own salvation. Do it God's way.
James 5:13-14 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. (14) Is any sick among you? let him call the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
You may anoint yourself and pray for healing. The power to heal does not belong to the elders.
James 5:15-16 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. (16) Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Confessing your faults one to another does not mean you should confess your sins to anyone that will listen. When you have a problem, talk it out with a good friend. And don't forget, there is power in prayer.
James 5:17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
Elijah wasn't a bit different than you are. He wasn't supernatural. God heard Elijah's prayer, and He stopped the rain for over three years. He hears your prayers too.
James 5:18-20 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. (19) Brethren if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him: (20) Let him know that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
When you do a work for God, that work hides a multitude of sins.
God is in control. Trust Him, and there is no reason for you to be afraid. He will protect you as the mountains roundabout Jerusalem protect her. Those are not my words. That is His promise.
In HIs Service, Arnold Murray