Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 1, 2020
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10, NLT. Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:7, NLT
Fear is a powerful, powerful emotion. Left to its own: fear wrecks relationships, ravages emotions, sickens bodies, demolishes relationships and shrivels souls. Embarrassingly, as a teenager I clandestinely hid in the trunk of my friend’s car and snuck into a drive in theater. I made at least three mistakes: 1) I stole money, 2) I scarred my soul, as in horror I watched the Exorcist, 3) I intimidated my mind with fear to this day with demonic images. Gratefully, by God’s grace, I am learning to dismiss unhealthy fears and replace them with the fear of the Lord.
Depending on the Bible translation—“Do not be afraid” is mentioned or implied at least 365 times. It’s just like our loving Father to cover us every day! Isaiah reminds us, because of God’s ever present presence in our lives, we do not have to suffer from fear. He goes on to say, don’t even be discouraged, we can fill our hearts with courage and hope in Christ (He is our Rock). His track record of loving faithfulness is stellar! He holds us with His victorious right hand. Once we dismiss fear we can replace it with the superior fear of God. Scripture says, “Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge”—despised by fools! Wisdom swaps fear for fear—no regrets.
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:8-9).
Has fear caused your conclusions to spiral down to the worst case scenario? Or, has fear become a self-fulling prophecy, worrying your will toward the actions you dreaded the most?
If so, start by saying a prayer similar to this one:
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I cannot see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
Prayer for Discernment
Keep the fear of the Lord foundational in your faith and you will enjoy the wisdom, discipline and strength to follow hard after Him. When you replace fear of people or circumstances with fear of God (who has your best interests at heart), you choose to trust the One who controls everyone and everything. Calm prevails when Christ who calms the storms is embraced by faith. Take a deep breath, focus on your heavenly Father, whose depth of love covers whatever chaos abounds. Look around you. A frantic world longs for a calm church that shows love and care. Swap fear for fear and you will experience God who is near. Hold on to His victorious hand!
“Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers” (Acts 9:31).
Dear Lord, I love and fear you. I trust you to calm my heart with your peace and my mind with your truth. Amen.
What fear am I clinging to that I need to replace with clinging to Christ?
Calm prevails when Christ who calms the storms is embraced by faith. #fear #WisdomHunters #truth #Jesus
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