Got Fear?

From the devotional, "New Morning Mercies" by Paul David Tripp:

Why fear when God has already given you, in Christ, everything you need to be what you're supposed to be and to do what you're called to do? I think it's one of the dirty secrets of the church of Jesus Christ that many of the things we do are done out of fear and not faith. Fear happens when I look at myself, assess my resources, and conclude that I do not have what it takes to do what God is calling me to do, or to face what I have to face. Fear in a believer is a function of forgetfulness. To the degree that you forget who God is, who you are as his child, and what you have been given by his grace, fear is your default emotion. I am deeply persuaded that the only solution to fear is fear. In other words, fear is defeated only by a bigger, greater fear. Here's what I mean. When the fear of God overwhelms and controls your heart, it protects you from the paralyzing and debilitating fear of other things. It's only when God looms hugely larger than anything you could ever face in this fallen world that your heart is able to experience peace even when you don't understand what is happening (and you don't have the power to solve it if you did). Meditate on these passages:

  • "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me" (Ps. 23:4).

  • "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?" (Ps. 27:1).

  • "The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied" (Prov. 19:23).

  • "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" (Isa. 41:10).

  • "I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears" (Ps. 34:4)

So how can you enter into an experience of vertical fear (fear of God) overwhelming and quieting horizontal fear (fear of anything else)? Well, first run to God and pray that he will grace you with the eyes to see and the heart to remember his awesome glory. Then require yourself to quit meditating on your problems and instead meditate on the glory of the God who has become your Father and who is always with you. No, you should not deny your problems, but if you let them be the subject of your meditation, they will loom larger and larger, and you will grow more and more afraid. Today, face reality, but meditate on God's glory. For further study and encouragement read Psalm 111


Shared by Linda Culberson


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