Troubling times are here. People are naming, blaming, tearing down, living in fear, wounded in their spirits, uncertain, and lots more emotions. Our world is in a panic it seems. First, the Covid-19, then the shutdowns, then the stay at home order, and now riots and looting. People are spewing hate and venom from all places. Of course, some people are trying to keep the peace and going about things the right way. Peaceful protesters who are marching asking for fairness and security; these folks just want to live life without fear and in fairness, as they should. All have been created by God, all have red blood flowing through their veins, all live and move and breathe the same way.
Today I want to address the fear that so many are living in. Because of this virus, people have taken upon themselves to be mask shamers. They are afraid and feel everyone should do as they do and if they don’t the other person is wrong. Some feel they need it to walk out their doors and others judge where they are and if they feel it is needed. Each person has to decide how much fear they are willing to let rule their lives. Every time I get on social media I am shocked by some of the things I hear coming out of people. Of course, being able to type something and send it out into the atmosphere is far different than speaking it face to face. There is a certain amount of safety involved when it is hurled through a screen.
Why are people especially Christian’s so fearful? Why is this time any different than when the flu or pneumonia is going around? All can kill you if you get the right strain. Lots of people die every year from the flu and pneumonia. Covid-19 is a nasty bug. When some people get it, it destroys them and sometimes leads to death. But walking around afraid to speak, afraid to be near others is crazy. The word is very clear in telling us that fear IS NOT FROM GOD! ‘FEAR NOT’ is used over 80 times in the Bible, so it must be important.
We need to be wise in our going out. We need to wash our hands like it is our job. We should observe caution in our interactions with others to a certain degree. But the biggest thing and most important thing we need to do is this: “We need to love others always!” We need to have sympathy and empathy for others. We need to treat others how we want to be treated. There are lots of things to do, but God tells us that “LOVE NEVER FAILS.” Did you catch that, “NEVER!” Before we do anything else we are to love, if we do not, we are just a sounding board and that goes for both sides of the issues. ( 1 Corinthian’s 13:1-13) I suggest if you have not read those verses lately, you need to do it now.
But let me get back to fear. God’s word tells us we need not live in fear. We are not to fear man, we are not to fear anything. God is with us always in all things. We are told that God knows our needs, he sees better than we what is transpiring in our world and is allowing it, for His purposes. (Isaiah 35:4) “say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution, he will come to save you.” Then in (John 14:27), we read: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Psalm 34:4), “I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”
God is with you. If you are His child, he is with you at all times. When you are awake, when you are asleep, when you go out or come in, He is always there. He knows what you need before you even ask. Nothing will come near to you unless God decides to let it. NOTHING!
God does not slumber or sleep, he is vigilant at all times.
(Psalm 121:2-4) “My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. 3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. 4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” God watches over his people.
I want to leave you with a few verses to ponder. If you are afraid please know that God does not want you to be. He tells us over and over to trust him and to rest in his goodness and love. (Psalm 46:1-3)
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” No matter how terrifying events are we can trust God. Nothing can shake us out of his hands. Nothing can make him leave us alone. (Psalm 91:4-5)
“He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings, you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day.” God can and will protect you from all fear and anxiety when you bring it to him. When you choose to sit under his wings and let him cover you.
This world cannot give you peace. The news is putting fear out at every turn. They bring only the worst of things into your home. They spread partial truths at best. They are there for ratings not to save you. Nor can they. In (Luke 14:27) we read: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” God longs to quiet your fears. He longs to sit with you until your mind is settled. He will not demand you give him your fear, but He will tell you to go to his word, read what he wrote. Let your heart come in prayer and surrender, trusting that He is who He says He is. He is faithful and trustworthy. If He says not to be afraid and anxious, why are you? Is it that you are listening more to the TV personalities than you are to Him and His word?
I am going to leave you with just a few more verses to ponder. I pray that you will read them, and as you do that you will feel the peace of God settle over your mind and heart. I pray you will release your anxiety and fear into the hands of the one who holds you and never leaves you or forsakes you.
(Isaiah 41:10) “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
(Psalm 56:3-4) ” When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. 4 In God, whose word I praise- in God, I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
(Isaiah 41:13) “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
God loves you, God is with you, God hears