The Book of Proverbs tells us that God’s Words are, “... life to those who find them, and healing and health to all their flesh.” - Proverbs 4:22. We’ve been learning how meditating on the truth of God’s Word brings life, peace, and healing to our lives as it produces the spiritual force of faith inside us (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2-3; Romans 8:6; Romans 10:17).
Just the same, we know that meditating on anything that contradicts the truth of God’s Word, produces the spiritual force of fear inside us. Fear is a destructive force that has no place in a believer’s life, yet we all fall prey to its tactics unless we constantly guard the thoughts we allow ourselves to mediate on.
Being in the habit of guarding our hearts and minds to combat fear is something we can learn to do, in fact, we can become quite skilled at it. The Word of God clearly tells us how we can go about doing this.
1) Refuse Fear!
To begin with, let’s look at what Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]”
Jesus tells us to not allow our hearts to be troubled, and to not be afraid. Now, I found an extract about this verse from Rick Renner’s Sparkling Gems From the Greek 2, and I want to share it with you.
“...The word “troubled” is the Greek word tarreso, which means to shake, to disquiet, to unsettle, to perplex, to cause anxiety, or even to cause feelings of grief...
Often when these troubling emotions begin to work in the soul, they open the door to other negative emotions and eventually pull us over into the realm of fear. That’s why it’s so important to bring the soul into submission before this happens. This is precisely why Jesus continued to say, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
The word “afraid” is from the word deilos, and depicts a gripping fear or dread that produces a shrinking back or cowardice. In essence, our ability to calmly and objectively look at the problem head-on to deal with it appropriately disappears when fear sets in. It literally paralyses our ability to move forward and causes us to retreat into our own mode of self-preservation - which, in effect, is cowardice or the lack of courage to face what is before us...”
That’s why, even when we find ourselves thrust into situations that are designed to unravel us, and cause us to fear, we must remember we were not created to shrink back and retreat in this life. Jesus knew what we would be facing and told us in advance how to deal with these moments.
2) Find Your Peace in Him
He says we must refuse fear and find our peace in Him! We cannot allow ourselves to stay in a state of feeling troubled, upset, and fearful. Instead, we must let His peace become the dominating force in our lives.
The Bible calls Jesus the Prince of Peace, and in 2 Corinthians 13:11, we are told God is the author and promoter of peace. So when trouble comes, leaning and relying on, and pressing into the Person of Jesus is where we draw our peace and strength from.
In John 14:27, Jesus says we have the very same peace He possesses, that means no matter what we encounter in this life, we are able to navigate through it with the very peace of God. Jesus made a point of explaining the peace He gives is not the same as the peace this world knows. His peace is perfect, making us complete and lacking nothing! It’s based on Him and His unchanging character, not on circumstances or fleeting emotions.
3) Fix Your Thoughts on Him
Now, since peace comes from God and His Word that is alive in our hearts, we must set our sights on its truth and His promises concerning us. Isaiah 26:3 says when our thoughts are fixed on the Lord, He will keep us in perfect and constant peace.
1 Timothy 6:17 says we are to set our hopes on God, Who richly and ceaselessly provides us with everything for [our] enjoyment. To set our hopes on the character of God that is described in this verse, means there can be no wavering or questioning His good intention towards us, or whether He will desert us, or contradict Himself and suddenly take things away from us.
Look at what Hebrews 13:5b-6 (AMPC) says, “...He [God]Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not,[I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]. So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?”
We are to establish ourselves in the truth of Who God’s Word says He is, and receive a revelation of His unwavering, perfect love towards us - especially when we are faced with problems that are by no means imaginary. Our emotions must not be in bondage to a spirit of fear that will turn us into cowards, if we succumb to it. Shrinking back is not God’s will for us.
In the next letter we’ll continue learning how to practically refuse fear in our lives. Until then, choose to commit yourself to the Lord every day. Purpose to keep your thoughts on Him, especially when you hear disappointing news, or you find you’re having to ward off fearful thoughts. Deliberately refuse to focus on the negative and immediately cast your cares on the Lord. Then as you fill your mind with thoughts of Who God is, and how much He is committed to take care of you, that peace that surpasses all understanding will be yours to experience.
All my love,