When We’re Afraid

Deuteronomy 7:17-19
If thou shalt say in thine heart, These nations are more than I; how can I dispossess them?  Thou shalt not be afraid of them: but shalt well remember what the LORD thy God did unto Pharaoh, and unto all Egypt; The great temptations which thine eyes saw, and the signs, and the wonders, and the mighty hand, and the stretched out arm, whereby the LORD thy God brought thee out: so shall the LORD thy God do unto all the people of whom thou art afraid.

We don’t ever have reason to fear, but the truth is that sometimes we do fear.  In our weakness, in our flesh, in our sinful state in a sinful world, we fail to trust, fail to remember, and we allow things like fear to come into our hearts.  And when fear enters in, it can paralyze us or cause us to make a wrong decision or to withdraw and refuse to face what it is that frightens us.  And that fear erodes away our faith and it causes us to forget who we’re supposed to be relying on.

“Don’t be afraid, but remember” is a theme repeated throughout Scripture.  It’s not about remembering what we have done to get ourselves through difficult situations in the past, but to remember what God has done and how He worked and how He intervened in what seemed so impossible.  It is remembering God’s promises and His love, His character and His faithfulness.  And it is remembering that He is still that God.  His abilities have not diminished.  He hasn’t changed.  He is still willing and able to help us.

God didn’t lead Israel into a battlefield hoping they would be able to overcome the people and gain the victory.  He’s not leading us into these kinds of fearful situations so we can figure them out ourselves and do something in our own strength.  It is a reasonable question to ask: “How can I possibly deal with this situation?  It’s much too big and difficult for me.”  But we can’t only look at the situations we face from our own limited human perspective.  God is the cure for our fear, because He is mightier than the mightiest and greater than the greatest, and He has a solution for the exact thing we are worried about.

Over and over, God admonished His people to remember specifically their deliverance from Egypt and all the signs and wonders and His power on display.  Those things were proof of God working on their behalf, proof of His absolute power, and a demonstration of what He was capable of.  So what key events in our lives can we look back on as a reminder of God’s power and faithfulness?  Where can we see His grace at work in our own lives?  What stories from Scripture resonate with our situation that can encourage us to release our fear and simply remember what God can do?

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