Monday, January 6, 2014

Do Not Fear

By Hayley Boud
“Be strong and courageous, do not fear or tremble for the LORD your God is with you.  He will never leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
The bible tells us 365 times not to fear.  That means we have one verse for everyday which means that we have to remind ourselves daily not to fear.  This also means that we all fear.  There will be days in our lives where we are worried or afraid…that is natural so we need every day to remind us that God tells us not to. 
Why do we fear? What are you afraid of?  Most people are afraid of getting hurt and getting killed.  I would be afraid to get into the ocean if there were hungry sharks circling because I would know they will eat me so I’m afraid to get hurt or killed.  Some are afraid of being hurt emotionally so are afraid of rejection.
So…how do we NOT fear?  Usually when someone says, “don’t look down”, that is when we look down.  So when we are told, don’t fear…that is when we fear.  So what can we do in order to help ourselves when we are afraid or worried? 
According to the English dictionary to not be afraid means to: Be brave.  How do we do that?  I think it means when we are afraid we won’t let it stop us from doing what we should.
Deuteronomy says to be strong.  How do we do that?  According to the Hebrew dictionary to be strong means to be attached to, to be firm, to hold fast, to be supported.  Obviously, if we want to be strong and not fear, we have to attach ourselves to Jesus Himself, to hold fast to Him and be supported by Him.  When we hold firm to the promises in the Bible, we can be strong and not fear because we will know that God will protect us and never let us go through anything that we can’t bear. 
This is a command that God is telling us to do.  He could just give us strength but He is saying, “Be strong” that is an action we have to do for ourselves.  Therefore, read the Bible, pray, spend time with God and other Christians and hold fast to the Word of God and Jesus Himself and then you will be strong.  We have to make the effort.
What does it mean to be courageous? The English dictionary says courage means: To Disregard fear, & Bravery.  The Hebrew dictionary says this word means good, pleasant, beautiful, excellent, lovely, delightful, joyful, fruitful, precious, sound, cheerful, wisdom. 
So if you want to be courageous, you need to be joyful.  This is true, “joy of the Lord is your strength”, Nehemiah 8:10
If you want to be courageous, you need to have wisdom.  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”.  You can only have one master, you either fear God, or you fear something else.  Sometimes I fear people or what they will think of me more than I fear God and this makes me lose my courage.  God asks me to do something and I don’t have the courage to do it because I fear people more than I fear God. 
Also, if we have wisdom, we will know what is God’s will and we won’t fear once we know His will.  When I took bibles into Vietnam, I didn’t fear at all because I knew that it was God’s will so I had courage.
Do not tremble? According to the English dictionary: Shake involuntarily, trembling, Quiver.
This is to be completely terrified.  Have you ever reached this kind of fear where you are trembling?  I remember one time driving in the most aweful fog over the Kaimai ranges.  It was so foggy I couldn’t even see one foot in front of me.  I was so scared I was going to go over the edge of the mountain.  It was terrifying.  I just kept saying, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” because I didn’t even have words I was so scared.  When we are trembling, we can remember Jesus and just call on His name because He is the only One who can save us. 
It is also important to note that it is a command to not tremble so when we are terrified, we are actually sinning.  Very hard sometimes not to be afraid but we can openly admit to God, “I’m sorry, I know You have told us not to be afraid, but I am really scared, please forgive me”.  And then we can express why we are afraid and ask for God’s help and then declare that we trust in Him no matter what happens in the same way that Esther did, “If I die, I die”.
God promises to never fail us.  What does that mean?  The English dictionary: Not succeed, disappoint, neglect, become weaker.
In the Hebrew dictionary to fail means to be slack, idle, weak, feeble, to be despondent, to withdraw, to abandon, to desert, to quit, to discourage.  We can trust that God will never fail us, He will never be slack with us or idle (He never sleeps), He is never weak or feeble and he will never abandon us or withdraw from us or desert us or quit us or discourage us.  We can trust that God is the opposite of fail which means He is always working, He is strong, He always responds to us, He is close to us, He is near us always, He stands by us and supports us and encourages us.
However, He doesn’t encourage sin.  He supports us so we can overcome temptation but if we decide to sin…we now separate ourselves from God.  So let’s make an effort to stay away from temptations and when we fall, make sure to repent.
God promises to never forsake us.  What does that mean?  The Hebrew meaning is to release, to set free, to leave behind, to abandon.  So we can trust that God will never release us or set us free or leave us behind or abandon us, no matter what.  We can trust that God is the opposite to forsake which means He will hold onto us tightly and take us with Him. 
This is God’s promise to us.  We can know that whatever happens in 2014, God is with us.  No matter what we face…hold onto Jesus and His word and His promises and know that God will never leave us or forsake us.  Wherever we go, God is with us.  The only place God won’t go with you is to help you sin so make sure to stay away from temptations so that God will follow you everywhere.

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