DON’T BE TORMENTED BY FEAR

Bible Reading: John 14:25-31

In the past few days a Christian worker has spoken to me of the concern he has that his children will in some way suffer because he is now paid far less than previously and doesn’t want them to miss out. The danger is that this concern will develop into fear and eventually affect his effectiveness in serving Jesus. John writes, “Let not your heart be troubled – don’t be afraid” [v.27].

Fear is mentioned many times and in many circumstances in God’s Word, but it was never mentioned before sin entered the world. The moment Adam and Eve disobeyed God fear entered. They heard the voice of God and hid behind a tree and Adam answered God and said, “I was afraid” [Genesis 3:9-10]. Every major character in the Old Testament experienced fear, but fear does not come from God. Abraham lied because he was afraid. Jacob fled from his brother Esau because he was afraid. The ten spies brought a negative report because they were afraid and hindered Israel from entering the Promised Land. David was afraid of both Saul and the Philistines, and in Psalm 34:4 he wrote, “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”

The disciples were terrified in the storm on Galilee but Jesus rebuked the storm and there was calm. Peter was afraid of breaking with Jewish religious tradition, and this caused him to compromise. In the New Testament we read about the fear of death and of people who through the fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. I meet people with all kinds of fears – and among the most common are the fear of lack, of rejection, and of death.

Fear is a spirit. Paul wrote to Timothy, “God has not given us a spirit of fear [cowardice, timidity], but of love, power and a sound mind” [2 Timothy 1:7]. Fear is one of Satan’s greatest weapons, and when he can find an entrance into a person’s life he will seek to destroy them through fear, because fear paralyses. John, writing about fear says that fear involves torment [1 John 4:18]. In that context it is primarily a fear of judgment because of sin.

It is God’s will that we be free from harmful and damaging fear, and the key is a right relationship with God. Seek God and ask Him to deliver you from the fear. Ask God to show you the root of the fear – it often begins with an emotional trauma from which we need healing. Unforgiveness in any area of a person’s life can open the door to a spirit of fear. If it is a fear that constantly grips you, then it is almost certainly a spirit. Verbally command that spirit to leave you in the Name of Jesus. The answer to fear is finding your security in Jesus, and trusting Him. Perhaps, sharing you problem and praying with a trusted and mature Christian friend may also bring relief from fear. James writes, “Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another that you may be healed” [James 5:16]. Lack of trust in God and unbelief are sin!

Questions:

Do you have a nagging fear that constantly hinders your walk with God? If so what are you prepared to do about it? What is the intentional action that you plan to take after reading today’s reading?

SUPERNATURAL PEACE

Bible Reading: John 14:25-31; Philippians 4:7

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give” [John 14:27 NLT].

Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge]” [John 14:27 Amp. Bible]

Jesus promised to His disciples the gift of peace. He didn’t promise an easy life without problems but He did promise peace! He is perfectly able to give us this amazing gift that can keep us calm in every circumstance, because, according to Isaiah, He is the Prince of Peace [Isaiah 9:6]. The peace that Jesus gives both guards and protects us. Paul wrote, “The peace of God that passes all understanding shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”

This peace that Jesus promised has to be received as a gift. It is available but up to us to receive it. It is totally different to the peace that the world can give. Jesus said, “My peace I give you.” It is far more than the absence of strife, and is not dependent upon our circumstances or the situations that we find ourselves in. The Greek word for peace is eirẽnẽ and is used for the calmness that a nation enjoys when it has a caring, competent and secure leader. To have this kind of peace originates from the understanding that your life is truly safe and secure in the hands of a loving God.

One of the great hymns of the Christian Faith is “When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,” written in 1873 by Horatio Spafford. In 1871 Spafford’s four-year old son died of scarlet fever, and in 1873 Spafford and his family decided to take a holiday in England. Because of business commitments Spafford sent his wife and daughters ahead and he planned to follow later. His wife and daughters sailed on the steamship Ville du Havre but it was struck whilst in the Atlantic, by an iron sailing vessel, and 226 passengers died. They included Spafford’s four daughters. When his wife reached England she sent her husband a telegram that began with the words “Saved Alone”. Spafford immediately sailed for England, and passed the location of his daughter’ deaths during the journey. It was at that time that he wrote the hymn, “When peace like a river.” This kind of peace is supernatural, will totally transform your life, and is available today!

Questions:

What are the things that disturb your peace? Would you give those things to Jesus today, and allow His peace to calm, fill and control your life?

In what ways does the peace that Jesus gives differ from what the world understands about peace?

Are you assured in your heart today that your life and future are safe and secure in the hands of a loving God and that He works all that happens in your life for your good? What difference should this make to your life?