A Devotion by Cheryl Zelenka http://facingtrials.com
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10 (NKJV)
“The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.” Proverbs 29:25 (NKJV)
“Fear imprisons, faith liberates; fear paralyzes, faith empowers; fear disheartens, faith encourages; fear sickens, faith heals; fear makes useless, faith makes serviceable.” ~ Harry Emerson Fosdick http://christian-quotes.ochristian.com/Fear-Quotes/page-2.shtml
Fear is tied to faith. The amount of fear you hold in your heart is equal to the amount of faith you have in God. Faith and fear are at war in most believers, so you are not alone in your struggle to trust God with all things.
Challenges that appear impossible to conquer eventually mature into doubts. Doubt gives birth to fear. Fears attack our hopes and dreams, the well being of our loved ones, our own health and safety, as well as our work for Christ. When we doubt the power of God and give in to our fears we doubt the Creator of the universe.
Fears imprison believers and yet, God sent His son Jesus to set all captives free. Faith liberates and heals those who have been paralyzed by its deceptive powers. Faith provides clear vision for those who cast aside their doubts. The clear vision being…. God will provide and make all things work together for good.
Not understanding why affliction enters our lives has caused many to struggle with their faith. If we knew all the reasons and had the answers to all of our questions, we wouldn’t need faith. God wants His children to depend on Him. We are not to work through our struggles with our own strength. Rather, we are to move through our storms with the strength God provides.
Fear of man is a snare, a trap that will always hinder our growth and maturity in Christ. The enemy hates it when we remember God is always nearby. Our Lord may not always agree with our actions, but His faithfulness is never-ending. His blessed assurance to us is that He will never leave our side. His eyes are always upon us.
“The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” Psalm 121:8 (NIV)
So, if the Lord is by my side why should I fear? What could man do to me? What could I loose? If I died, or the person I love died, from their affliction does that mean God has abandoned me? If I have cried out for mercy, yet still remain in my difficult circumstances; has God turned a deaf ear to my cries for help? Of course not, but many allow their fears to rise when God chooses to remain silent.
This is where our faith needs to take hold. God gives good gifts. He provides but not always in a way we have imagined. His ways are much higher than our ways. He sees the whole picture and final outcome, where we only have a blurred vision of what is to come.
So who is it that we out to fear: man or God? Your spirit answered you before you could read this very next sentence. God is in the heavens and deserves our absolute respect. He is in control of all things and we owe Him our awe and reverence. When we understand the need to fear our Creator, we begin our journey down the path to wisdom and understanding.
“The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Psalm 118:6 (NKJV)
“In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Psalm 56:11 (NKJV)
“ No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.” Joshua 1:5 (NKJV)
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