larger than our fear

larger than our fear

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Genesis 26:1-11,19-25
Do not be afraid, for I am with you (v.24).

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The waves may toss and roar, but they can never pass the boundaries [God has] set (Jeremiah 5:22).

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What is your deepest fear? How does God’s presence reorient your fear?

I have two boys who are afraid of assorted things: dentists, dark rooms, green peas. Our most recent bout surfaced when our first-grader refused to walk into his classroom by himself. When he balked, I was tempted to point out a kindergarten girl happily strolling into her class alone. I considered sitting him down for a rational conversation with reasons why his fears were foolish

Thankfully, I resisted, recognizing Wyatt didn’t need logic or tips. He certainly didn’t need shame. Wyatt just needed me to hold his hand and walk with him.

Isaac, one of Israel’s forefathers, had many reasons to fear. Having no home, he had to scratch out an existence in a strange land. When Isaac arrived in Gerar, he lied to Abimelech the king, saying his beautiful wife Rebekah was his sister because he “was afraid someone would kill me to get her from me” (Genesis 26:9).

Years later, after Isaac had finally pieced together a life, Abimelech demanded he leave the land. Where would he go? How would he start over—again?

Packing up, his brood bounced from spot to spot, forced out by conflict and resistance each time. Would his family ever have a future? The gloom hung heavy, fear rampant.

Then God spoke. “I am the God of your father, Abraham . . . Do not be afraid, for I am with you” (v.24). God spoke against Isaac’s fear, not by cataloging all the reasons fear was unnecessary or by instructing him in how to think more positively. God spoke against fear by giving Himself, His name, His presence.

In the incarnation, God did this for all humanity (Matthew 1:23). Jesus entered our world of fear and sin. Our fears require a God larger than them, a God who will come and be with us. Jesus is that reality.

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5 Responses to “larger than our fear”

  1. Amen!

    Often in life, I always expected from people around me. Trusting in mankind isn’t like putting your faith in God. God never fails and He never failed me.

    I realised it was only His Hands guiding me, that matters. His Will that matters in my life and not mine.

    I surrender to You, Lord Almighty, for You are my Light all my life. Thank You, Jesus.

  2. newbeliever1 says:

    I am a brand new believer. Still reading the bible for the first time and feeling–stronger than ever–the pull away from continuing in this direction. I had always heard that people are tempted more sometimes than others…but yikes.
    Trust is the thing I am struggling with the most, although I truly believe that…not only will He take care of me unconditionally, but that he is probably the one breaking down my world to draw me to him, I am stumped. My desire is strong and I will not give up, but I really don’t have much for support in this right now so I don’t know what to do to help myself get to the place God wants me to be.
    I sit here today with tears streaming down my face wondering when my husband will return from storming out after a fight. Our marriage is weak…though we love each other tremendously, I can honestly feel something rotten and bigger than ‘us’ pulling us apart. I also find myself wondering if God can forgive us for purchasing a bar and will he help us find a way out??
    So…I am new enough in my true faith that I have to consciously make myself trust Him and repress the fear and panic that is trying to take it away. It wins periodically, but I keep fighting it back and replacing it with the peace that just wont stick….
    I went to church yesterday where we have a new pastor and he gave his testimonial. Part of it was confession of how he found his faith and the fact that God truly destroyed his entire world before he finally looked up for help. He said that everything was gone and finally he genuinely had to look to God for everything and that is when he knew….
    I feel this happening in my life without question. My marriage is crumbling but I know that God wants us to stay together. I want to work hard for God in faith and in my career…but I feel enormous guilt from about owning a bar. (We also have a hotel and restaurant, but I cringe when I see people in there just to drink)…some cristians say it is ok, others say it is awful. I am not lucky enough to have a spiritual teacher here to whom I can go and just ask his/her opinion…
    I suppose this is a cry for help in scripture. Any suggestions on the best place to dig in to the bible for some support here? I really need help.

    • winn collier says:

      newbeliever, thank you for your honesty – and your wide-open heart that is evidenced in your words. Know this – God is with you. He is for you. He does not send heavy, life-killing guilt. He offers freedom, hope, and life. God is patient and kind. And God wants you to find healing in your marriage.

      I always find Romans 8, particularly in The Message (you can find it on BibleGateway.com), a source of strength.

      Winn

    • Corryn says:

      me.Oh, my new sister in the Lord, your devotion to your King strikes me. His providential care for you is evident in your new pastor’s sermon. How timely!

      I loved Winn’s statements that our God is not a god of guilt or confusion….He IS a God of strength and hope. These words are born out through just what you’re doing….seeking Him out through His Word. The Psalms are comforting as they express man’s expressions through every kind of emotion. Psalms 136 is a great remembrance of all God did for Israel (He takes care of His own); Psalms 34 is a favorite. Psalms 31:24 is a great verse. Our pastor spoke about courage on Sunday, and that courage only comes through resting in Him…and courage is impossible without the feeling of fear with it.

      You will be in my prayers. Dear Lord, please bring this new believer peace today…guide her in Your Word for reassurance and peace. Please grant her wise godly counselors in her spiritual walk, especially surrounding her marriage. Let her feel your loving arms around her always. In Jesus’ precious name. Amen.

    • fabi says:

      newbeliever1,

      Out of love for you in Jesus, here is something I believe will bring comfort to you. As you get ready to read it, ask the LORD to open your heart, eyes and mind to ‘listen’ to what HE really wants you to learn and live. GOD BLESS U, Amen.

      http://biblestudyplanet.com/peace-and-hope-in-suffering/

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