We are living in a time of great distress and uncertainties. We just experienced a war fought because of fear – fear that weapons of mass destruction would be used against our countries. Terrorists have brought fear to citizens and nations all over the world – fear that new attacks on innocent people will be launched by unscrupulous, unloving and hateful suicide bombers or falsely so-called “freedom fighters.” There is fear today that a nuclear war might be started by unpredictable leaders of certain countries that are suspected of possessing weapons of mass destruction. There are fears of deep impacts with comets or meteors; there are fears of earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, monsoons, floods and tidal waves, as well as transmittable disease epidemics or the loss of our ability to make a living or that we may lose all of our money – the list seems to be endless. People are afraid to fly, or to travel by train, by ship, or even by car. People live in fear – as to what might happen to them.
The Bible has prophesied that terrible calamities will strike this planet, and that feelings of fear would be a reality in the last days. Christ tells us in Luke 21:25-26, “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on earth DISTRESS OF NATIONS, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from FEAR and the EXPECTATION of those things which ARE COMING on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”
In reading on, we notice that God expects of His chosen people a different mindset. We are not to fear – rather, we are to live joyfully and peacefully with the expectation of better things to come: “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift your heads, because your redemption draws near” (verse 28).
We don’t need to fear what might happen to us, because nothing happens to us, unless it is God’s will. We are always in God’s hands. David knew, “My times are in Your hand” (Psalm 31:15). David was not afraid what men might do to him. He was not afraid if a war would raise its ugly head against him. He was not afraid of evil tidings. He did not fear, even though the earth be removed (compare Psalm 3:6; Psalm 46:1-3; compare, too, Psalm 112:7-8).
Why did David have this kind of confidence and peace in times of calamity? He tells us in Psalm 27:1: “The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?” Also, in Psalm 56:11: “In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
David knew how closely God is watching us – His begotten children. He KNEW that NOTHING will happen to us AGAINST the will of God. Notice David’s understanding of God’s concern for us, as expressed in Psalm 56:8, “You number my wanderings; Put my tears into your bottle; Are they not in your book?” Not a tear that we shed will be forgotten before God. When God says that the very hair on our head is numbered (Matthew 10:30), and that not a sparrow dies apart from God’s will (Matthew 10:29), how much more will God look after us – His very own begotten children whom He wants to be as born-again members in His Family?
This confidence – this assurance that God is always with us – can only come though the gift of His Spirit living within us. The God of peace gives us peace, through His Spirit. The foremost characteristic of God’s Spirit is love – because God IS love. We have not received a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind, as we are told in 2 Timothy 1:7. God’s power, love and sound mind in us destroy any kind of fear as to what might happen to us. Since we are fully under God’s loving protection, we can exclaim with John, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18).
God’s Spirit in us lets us understand this profound truth, as expressed by Paul in Romans 8:31: “What shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” He continues in verse 35, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”
The answer is, with the love of God in us, and the conviction THAT His love rules and leads our lives, nothing should make us afraid. Christ emphasizes time and time again that His little flock is not to live in fear as to what might or even to what will happen to us. He said, for instance, in Luke 12:32, “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” If He is desirous to give us the eternal kingdom, how much more, then, will He be willing to give us the necessary physical things in this life, and to protect us from harm and disaster?
Let’s remember God’s timeless promise to His people, as expressed by Paul in Romans 8:28, “And we KNOW that ALL THINGS work together FOR GOOD to those who LOVE God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
What God allows to happen in our lives is for our good. Do we KNOW that? Paul did, and we must all come to know it, too.
There is NO FEAR in love. Yes, we need to have deep respect and awe for God and His word – and we will, if God’s love lives in us. However, with God’s love, there is no fear that we might slip out of His hands – that something terrible might happen to us, because God failed to pay attention. We are precious in His sight. Christ came to DIE for us, so that we could live and have life more abundantly.
This we know – WHATEVER God allows to happen to us in this life is for a purpose. Nothing happens to us, unless God specifically allows it to happen. God is watching and observing us every second. He will NOT allow that we are tested beyond our capabilities to bear or endure the test (compare 1 Corinthians 10:13). Why, then, should we be afraid of ANYTHING which might happen in our lives? God, our loving Father, is right there walking with us. He is surely capable to prevent calamities that might otherwise strike and affect us.
David had great love for God. God’s love was living in him. So, he could say with confidence, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me” (Psalm 23:4). God has promised us this: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the LORD your God” (Isaiah 43:2-3). Again, in Psalm 91:15: “He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.”
We are, and always will be, in the loving and caring hand of God, as long as we let God direct and lead our lives. God’s love will always sustain us and give us peace. There is no fear in God’s love, because His perfect love casts out all fear.