2 Chronicles 32:7-8, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.”
1 John 4:4, "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world."
Have you ever felt defeated before the situation even began? The battle before you seemed overwhelmingly against you? I have often felt that way, so my reading last week in 2 Chronicles 32 were verses that hit home and comforted me. God is greater than anything we will ever face. Yes, greater than our sufferings, our losses, our fears, our heartaches, our disappointments, and our sins.
We too can need reassurance, like the people of Judah, to be strong, courageous, unafraid, and not discouraged in our daily battles and our battles as a Christian nation. Ephesians 6:12, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
"Our enemies strive to prevent our ascent to heaven, to deprive us of heavenly blessings and to obstruct our communion with heaven. They assault us in the things that belong to our souls, and labor to deface the heavenly image in our hearts; and therefore we have need to be upon our guard against them. " [M. Henry]
We each struggle with our own individual fears. Just because another person doesn't share that same fear, doesn't make it any less real for you. We must keep and strengthen our faith in God so that we might calm and suppress our fears. "A believing confidence in God will raise us above the prevailing fear of man." The enemy of our souls tells us, “Live only for the present,” when he knows it will result in our eternal loss.
As believers, we are gifted with the Holy Spirit within us to lead us in the way of righteousness. We are assured to be God's chosen and given the hope of victory beyond this life. "The Spirit of God dwells in you, and that Spirit is more mighty than men of devils. It is a great happiness to be under the influence of the Holy Ghost. "
"He who knows the purity and holiness of God, the love and grace of God, the truth and faithfulness of God, the ancient word and prophecies of God, the signals and testimonials of God, must know that he is with us; and he who knows this will attend to us, and abide with us." [M. Henry]
As for myself, I have feared the future and doubted the next step in God's plan for me. He has been faithful to me.. always! After finishing college, it took me 2 years of interview rejections before I was hired for my 'perfect' job. My enemy was doubt but persistence paid off. The world seemed like an army against me with every rejection but faith told me that God had purpose and a plan for me 'somewhere.'
Isaiah 41:10, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
What to remember in times of fear [M. Henry]
- God is all sufficient for us and will not forsake us
- Don't let the threats of the enemy overwhelm you with fear
- Fear leads to doubt, but don't doubt the promises of God
- "Fear not that thou shalt perish in thy affliction"
- "Fear not that the promise of deliverance shall fail"
- God is for us, so whom shall I fear?
At times our fears may loom so large,
We long for proof that God is near;
It’s then our Father says to us,
“Have faith, My child, and do not fear.” —D. De Haan