WHEN YOU’RE TEMPTED TO FEAR, DON’T – PART 2

Excerpt: This post is Part 2 of a faith message that’s designed to help us get over our fears. We all wrestle with fear. We’ve got good reason to fear. But in spite of our reasons and circumstances, God doesn’t want us to be afraid. Why? Because He’s got a miracle for us just ahead!

SCRIPTURE TEXT

Exodus 14:1-14,  And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,  (2)  Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baalzephon: before it shall ye encamp by the sea.  (3)  For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in.  (4)  And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord. And they did so. 

(5)  And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled: and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people, and they said, Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us?  (6)  And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with him:  (7)  And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of them.  (8)  And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand.  (9)  But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baalzephon. 

(10)  And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord.  (11)  And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?  (12)  Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness. 

(13)  And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.  (14)  The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

WHEN YOU’RE TEMPTED TO FEAR, DON’T

As I wrote in my previous post, we all have good reason to fear. Our life is imperiled and death seems all but a foregone conclusion. That’s the way it was with the Israelites at the Sea. Pharaoh’s army was coming their way. They couldn’t go forward because of the Sea. They could make a run for it through the desert, but it was useless because they could never outrun Pharaoh’s chariots. They could muster an army and fight. But even a hastily-mounted resistance would do them no good. They were ill-prepared to fight a war. They were not trained in war. And there was not a snow ball’s chance in Hell that the Israelites could defeat the military might of the world’s dominant super power. Yes, the Israelites, like us, had good reason to fear.

Now I also wrote in my previous post that God responds to our fear in one of two ways: (1) He either comforts us and assuages our fear; or else (2) He rebukes us for being so fearful and faithless. We looked at Jesus’ rebuke last time. Let’s look at God’s comfort now.

Speaking through Moses, God’s very first words to the fear-gripped Israelites were, Don’t be afraid (Exodus 14:13). Why not? They had good reason to be afraid. And fear is a natural response to danger or the threat of imminent death. But that’s just it. IT MAY BE NORMAL AND NATURAL, BUT IT SHOULDN’T BE TO A CHRISTIAN. Christians are a people of faith. Our faith and hope are in the Lord. Our God is a Savior and Deliverer. That means He’s in the business of helping and saving His people. That’s why, THE WAY GOD SEES IT, WE’VE GOT NO CAUSE OR REASON TO FEAR.

TRIALS ARE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU TO SEE GOD’S MIRACLES. The reason why God doesn’t want us to fear is because THE THREAT OF DEATH SETS THE STAGE FOR US TO SEE GOD’S MIGHTY, SAVING HAND AT WORK IN OUR LIVES. He said, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord (Exodus14:13).

I relate to Biblical truths in a way that means the most to me. In ways that drive the point home. When it comes to the storms and trials of life, I like to envision the trial in terms of a stage. You’ve gone to a theater, I’m sure. The theater I have in mind is a play where live actors put on a dramatic presentation right before our very eyes. We sit back and watch the play unfold on stage.

In much the same way, our trials are a stage that enable us to sit back and see the salvation of the Lord. Jesus puts it this way in John 11:40 which is one of my very most favorite verses of all time: Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?

I used to be afraid of trials. I’d dread to go through them every time they appeared on the horizon. Now, trials don’t bother me because of the way I’ve chosen to see them. My perspective of trials makes the trials less threatening and more bearable. They give me something to hope for and expect, which is this, namely, I’m going to get another opportunity to see God’s love, faithfulness, and saving hand at work once again for me. Trials are a ticket, so to speak. They’re my entrance to a show where I’m going to see God work miracles for me. I’m going to see God prove once again that the Devil is a no-good liar and that everything the Devil’s said to me are hogwashed lies. Everything he’s trying to do to me will fail. Why? Because God does what He is. He’s a God of salvation and He will surely save.

We all want to see God’s saving hand. We want to sit back and watch God work mightily on our behalf. We like going to the theater, so to speak. But by God’s design, the show involves and requires a trial. IT TAKES A TRIAL FOR US TO SEE GOD’S LOVE AND POWER AT WORK FOR US. In the Israelites’ case, God brought them to the Red Sea—He brought them right smack into a life-and-death trial—because that was the stage, that’s how they were going to see God’s mighty hand of deliverance. Yes, you can look at your trials as another set of troubles and miseries to go through. But I’ve chosen to see them as another opportunity to see God at work.

God is at work on your behalf, brethren. He’s always at work. And He’s giving you a chance to see His power, love, and faithfulness at work in your life. Your trial is the ticket, the pass, that God’s given you to see His show. And boy does God have a show for you! So don’t be disheartened or afraid because of the trial. Cheer up. Go to God’s theater, sit back, and enjoy the show! May God bless you!

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