Tuesday June 5 2018

PULSE 5/6/18 – What Scares You?

When you are afraid that you might drown in the river of your fears, remember that God has said to you, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine”

We all experience fears of various kinds — fears about the future, about relationships, about work and finances, about our health, or about the ones we love, perhaps even fears about falling away from Christ. Fears often emerge and linger because we don’t know how to fight them. We feel helpless and powerless before their threats.

Fear often leads us everywhere but to God.

When Moses died, a whole nation was terrified. We know God’s people were afraid, because he says to Joshua three times in four verses, “Be strong and courageous. . . . Only be strong and very courageous. . . . Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous” (Joshua 1:6–9). Maybe you can feel their fear in these words. That makes this passage a kind of field manual for the anxiety and fears we face.

God doesn’t avoid reality, or try to distract his people with something else. He addresses the hard truth with honesty. “Moses my servant is dead” (Joshua 1:2). Yes, Moses is dead, but he was only a servant sent by your God — and your God will not die. No matter how bleak the moment, God will never forsake his word to them — or to you.

When you are afraid that you might drown in the river of your finances, or be burned in the fires of affliction, remember that God has said to you, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you” (Isaiah 43:1–2).

“The Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:5, 9). It’s a promise, but not just of land, or victory over enemies, or peace, or milk and honey. It is a promise from God of God. “I will be with you.” If we really believe the God of the universe is with us — really with us — in whatever fears we face, they will not be so fearful.

Our God does everything he promises, in every circumstance, at all times. When life gets hard, he is wooing us to lean harder on his word.

He doesn’t just tell the Israelites everything will be alright, but calls them to follow him into the fire. He calls them to ride the promises of his strength and help and provision and deliverance into faith-filled action — often, in daunting circumstances.

We can’t simply tell our hearts to be strong or courageous, but God can. If you want to find strength when you feel weak, or courage when you feel ashamed or afraid, meditate on what God has said — and do whatever he says. Let his promises, his commands, his works, and his ways wash over your fears and insecurities – Marshall Segal