If fear has gripped your soul, perhaps it would be beneficial to remind yourself that you are loved completely, fully and eternally by the one who knows you the very best!
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?" (Rom. 8:35).
Run into the arms of Christ's love whenever fear threatens to mar the landscape of your glorious future. Remind yourself over and over and over again that there is nothing that has been created or imagined that is able to diminish His love for you or that has the influence to disconnect you from His love.
His love surrounds you like a shield, and His care is well able to dismantle any of the enemy's schemes concerning your life. You are not the only believer in all of recorded history who has had to look fear in the eye and say, "Get out of my way in the name of the Lord!"
The prophet Daniel was a victim of persecution, but God never left him; He took care of him even in a den of roaring and ravenous lions.
The distress Queen Esther encountered when she was made privy to a plot in which her entire people group was about to be assassinated is unlike anything you or I have ever faced. Yet God was with her, and when she prayed and fasted, He gave her a divine strategy to wreck the murderous plot.
The patriarch Joseph lived during one of the worst famines in all of human history, yet the Bible tells us that God was with him. The Lord gave Joseph the wisdom and the ability to provide for God's people when the world seemed to be falling apart.
King Jehoshaphat faced the swords of enemy forces that had the ability to wipe out his entire nation, but God protected him and his people when they chose to worship rather than give in to a spirit of fear.
If God protected and provided for Daniel, Esther, Joseph and Jehoshaphat, He will certainly do the same for you! Your God is the God of Noah and Moses and Samson; of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. What God has done before, He will do again—of this, you can be very sure!
"Just as it is written, 'For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.' But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us" (Rom. 8:36–37, NASB).
The Bible does not promise us that, as Christians, we will never suffer, but it does promise us that the love of God will always be our companion. Think about that for a minute!
The love of God is yours in extravagant and immeasurable amounts, and nothing is able to take it from you. You are surrounded by God's love, so rest in that place of unconditional love and dismiss fear with a wave of your authoritative hand. Even when we are facing a difficult or unwelcome situation, we are given the ability to "overwhelmingly conquer"!
We can overcome in every situation, in every disappointment and in every hardship because of His great love for us. We don't overcome due to our stunning good looks or our extraordinary IQs. It is not perfect marriages or flawless children that lead us into triumph. Neither is it stable finances, stellar educations or well-developed talents that give us the power to overcome.
It is the love of God, which is lavishly given to us every day and for every situation.
"For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8:38–39).
Paul and the Holy Spirit chose to use an extremely powerful word in their closing ovation to the love of God. They used the word "convinced." Paul didn't say, "I think I will never be separated from the love of God."
The Holy Spirit did not nudge that great and learned apostle to declare, "I hope that I will never be separated from the love of God." Paul and his divine writing companion did not even choose to close with, "I believe that I will never be separated from the love of God."
Paul was convinced beyond a shadow of eternal doubt that the all-consuming love of the Father was an unshakable power and a perpetual presence in his life.
The Holy Spirit moved upon the spirit of Paul to firmly claim, in effect, "I know that I know that I know that I know that absolutely nothing will ever have the power to separate me from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus my Lord!" So take that, fear!
In a courtroom, merely one argument is never satisfactory to absolutely convince a judge of a statement's validity. Paul uses the language of the lawyer in this phrase and presents his case beyond a shadow of a doubt. The word "convinced" is credibly arrived at only when everything proves it! That is why heaven is incredulous that a man or a woman who professes faith in Jesus Christ would ever be consumed with fear.
Every person in the Bible who was called to do something great for the kingdom of God heard the oft-uttered and divinely powerful words, "Do not fear!"
Abraham was told "Do not fear" when the Lord called him to move away from his home, and again when God told him that he was going to miraculously have a son.
Moses heard those emboldening words from the Lord, "Do not fear" when he was facing an enemy who had the power to destroy the people of God.
Joshua heard God tell him "Do not fear" when he led the entire nation of Israel into the promised land.
David probably heard from the Lord some version of that trio of power-packed words too many times to count.
Likewise, during the events before Christ's birth, Zechariah, Joseph and Mary were all encouraged by God not to be afraid.
As human beings, we all deal with fear at challenging junctures in life, but God doesn't want us to remain in those places of paralyzing anxiety, dread or terror. He has called us out of fear and into His great love for us.
Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical, biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. Carol has written 11 books, including Significant, StormProof and Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue. Her teaching DVD The Rooms of a Woman's Heart won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming.
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