Happy belated Halloween, friends!
I hope everyone was able to enjoy the holiday in whichever way you and your loved ones chose to celebrate! We didn’t pass out candy this year and instead grabbed a little hot cocoa and took a stroll around a nearby neighborhood. I loved the pleasant weather and fresh air and enjoyed seeing all the fun, creative costumes! We ended the night on the couch watching the original Ghost Busters! How did you celebrate this year?
I don’t know about you, but Halloween and the ghosts, ghouls, goblins, and other spooky things that come along with the holiday are the first things I think of when October comes around. It is the one time of year that we don’t mind a good scare because we know it’s all fun and games. We watch scary movies, go to haunted houses, decorate our own homes and dress up in frightful costumes to elicit fear from others. But, what about real-life fear? The fear that makes us doubt ourselves and others, creates tension in our relationships, and most of the time can’t be hidden behind a mask?
We all have different fears in different seasons of our life. You may fear unrealistic expectations and the constant disappointment it brings. What about the fear of getting hurt, or being mentally destroyed, again? Your greatest fear could be inferiority when compared to another human being, or maybe you’re like me, fearing failure and not measuring up to the standard that you set for yourself. You don’t want to let yourself down, or worse, someone else. Maybe your worst fear is letting God down…
Whatever your fear may be, it’s real, but what we tend to forget in the midst of our feelings is that so is our God. God is for us and wants us to live a life free from the fear that suffocates us and prohibits us from living life to its full potential. Let these scriptures be a reminder that God is on your side and by your side and He will deliver you from any situation that creates fear or doubt in your heart.
HE IS FOR YOU
31″What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Don’t you wish that it could become innate to consciously and consistently have this verse come to mind when staring in the face of fear? Or maybe have it whispered into your ear or flashed right before your eyes by some outside force when you become paralyzed by doubt and anxiety? You could face that fear and write it off as irrelevant, assign it no significance in your life and not worth a moment’s trouble. Guess what? If you believe in what the scripture says and you start to fully understand the dynamic of how God feels about you, the fears that you face will start to feel minuscule compared to God’s great love for you.
Being human, living in a broken reality, we do not naturally oppose fear. The sinful world that we live in can easily break us, render us frail, and create shame and fear in our hearts. It can be difficult to be aware of God’s presence and his protection because we have external distractions that want to compete for and diminish our focus and our happiness. Have you ever let your own fear turn your attention away from God? Have you ever let it steal precious time or let it take you into a time of grief or depression? In Psalm 118:6David writes:
6“The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
David wrote this verse in one of the most tumultuous and restless times of his life, but he truly believed that God was bigger than anything that he was facing. In light of David’s knowledge of God’s love for him, he never asked God what he needed to do to see himself through his situation. Instead, he asked God what God could do. David trusted God and continued to go to him in his time of despair.
Think about it like this. God justified us. He chose us. He also gave up his own beloved son for us. Why would He ever let anyone or anything bring accusation against us and let them win? God will give you the strength to overcome the fear that can be so binding if you choose to accept the entirety of his love and believe that if God is for us, then nothing else matters.
HE WILL STAND WITH YOU
9“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
This verse is on a message board that sits on my work desk and it is my daily reminder that I can get through each and every day with the help of my heavenly Father. It is a peaceful reminder that through every difficult situation or seemingly insurmountable obstacle, God is with me and I need not be afraid.
It is God’s expectation of us, as his faithful followers, that we live strong and courageous lives. We do this by looking to God as our source of strength. Unfortunately, we all know that this is sometimes easier said than done. We make the mistake of looking inwardly when fear and doubt seep into our lives instead of depending on an almighty, powerful God. God desperately wants us to seek Him for strength and courage instead of feeling ashamed when we cannot find it within ourselves.
One way that we learn to rely on God is by quietly reflecting on his faithfulness and his Word. The more time we spend with the living, breathing Word of God, the more it infiltrates our hearts, our minds, and our actions. It comforts us when we know we aren’t strong enough and confronts us when we allow sin to trick us into thinking we are strong enough on our own.
HE WILL DELIVER YOU
1“The LORD is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?”
Do you believe that God can deliver you from any threat, danger, anxiety, or darkness in your life? If we truly believed that with God on our side we could overcome any hardship that life presents, why would we ever need to feel fear or uncertainty? God is our protector and the defense of our life. He counsels us through difficulty and comforts us in distress.
In Psalm 27:1 David refers to the Lord as his light and his salvation. As our light, God helps us keep step on a righteous path but also makes us aware of the difficulties, distractions, and enemies that we face along the way. He opens our eyes and gives us the knowledge to be better equipped to handle our oppositions and dispositions. God is our salvation and our safe place. He has the power to remove us from situations that cause us distress as well as the power to bring us into situations that enhance our lives and are ultimately pleasing to Him. God is the stronghold of our lives, from beginning to end. God is present and protective for the duration of our lives. He is not interested and concerned for only certain segments of our lives. He does not come and go as He pleases. He is constant and in control at all times.
Something that I personally struggle with is letting go of the reins of my life. I have a vision for how my life “should be,” and when it doesn’t go as planned I start to get nervous. I see my life events as dominos, standing in perfect, structured lines. When one thing goes wrong, everything else is sure to come tumbling down with it.
4“I sought the Lord, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.”
When I let my fear come first, it is easy to become consumed. I continually seek God because I know that I need Him. His Word, His promises, and His presence, they give me strength and I refuse to let fear or doubt overcome me!
JOIN ME THIS SUNDAY!
Newspring Church will be in week four of a series entitled Testify. In this series we are diving into the power of testimony and discussing how we, as humans, make sharing our testimony much more complicated than it actually is! When we tell someone what Jesus has done, we are simply joining a conversation that He has already started. We don’t have to worry about being right or wrong. We simply have to testify.
You can access previous sermons and watch with me LIVE this Sunday, HERE!