Thursday, November 17, 2016

"No Fear In Love" Part 2

"No Fear In Love"

Part 2

    Walking with God in His peace does not presently involve the absence of fearful thoughts and emotions, but rather the overcoming of them.

    "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith" (I John 5:4).

    Regardless of how well born again believers know the Lord Jesus Christ and understand His truth, temptations to fearfulness confront us in the fallen world in which we  live.  We can view this reality in two different ways, that is, in terms of liability or of opportunity.  The former perspective ignores the Bible's declarations of God's promised presence, involvement, and enabling.  The Psalmist faced such challenge.  "I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the housetop" (Psalm 102:7).  Countless spiritual and moral pathologies ensue when we respond to the deception that we face life alone.  Indeed, the heart of every temptation to fear actually involves the temptation to disbelieve the security and peace of our Lord's assurance: "I am with you always… I will go with thee… I will never leave thee nor forsake thee" (Matthew 28:20; Isaiah 43:2; Hebrews 13:5).  

   The Biblical perspective regarding temptation to fear calls us to realize the opportunity provided in such challenge.  Again, overcoming characterizes true spirituality in our present life, in this case, the overcoming of the deception that we must face life alone.  Thus, we expect to be tempted to fearfulness by the world, the devil, and the flesh.  We expect even more that the Holy Spirit will work in our hearts to remind us that we actually face life in the light and countenance of God's face.  "As for me, I will behold Thy face in righteousness" (Psalm 17:15).  Every temptation to be controlled by fearful insecurity provides the privileged responsibility for beholding God's face, that is, of believing and affirming the truth of His Person and His Word.  This is love, the love of God for us that became the love of God in us when we believed, and now becomes the love of God leading us in the righteousness and peace of overcoming fear by faith.  

   Are there matters of fearfulness that we have seen as liability rather than opportunity?  Do we view certain aspects of our life apart from the remembrance of "I am with you always… I will go with thee… I will never leave thee nor forsake thee"?  If so, it is not to late to join the Psalmist in beholding the Lord's face in righteousness.  We repent of our unbelief, and we realize by faith the possibility that lies before us.  Our enemies who tempt us unwittingly make possible our doing the very thing that constitutes true life and living - "The just shall live by faith" (Romans 1:17).  The opportunity of overcoming thus presents itself whenever we face temptations to fear and insecurity.  Even more, our Lord presents Himself as the very Life of our lives, and the peace of our hearts…

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
(John 16:33)
"Do not be overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."
(Romans 12:21)

Weekly Memory Verse
   Little children, keep yourselves from idols.  Amen.
(I John 5:21)

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