OR FAITH TO OVERCOME FEAR!
Fear has a way of overcoming people in times of tension and crisis like this virus pandemic. Just the word pandemic recalls the present evil in our world of the coronavirus that worldwide has caused so much sickness, death, and the loss of income. What can match the devastating effects of such an enemy? The famous 23rd Psalm comes to mind which although with only 6 verses, many of us have found in it comfort from even living through the times of “the valley of the shadow of death” as it primarily challenges us to faith in the LORD our shepherd.
LORD in those capital letters recalls faith in the big God the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Almighty God, creator and sustainer of the universe, and “Our Father which art in heaven…” as Jesus taught us to pray in the model prayer. Often in the Bible with the big letters LORD, it is also the LORD of hosts; that is the Great God and over the Jews and Gentiles.
Those 6 verses can only be words read or memorized unless they awaken an awareness of faith in God in all circumstances of life, good or bad. The Bible is above all the ultimate reality or contains it with the wisdom from the God of ultimate reality, and as such recognizes evil and the extent of evil far beyond what we are feeling in these times.
1. We are reminded in Ephesians 5:16 to redeem or buy back each moment of our time because “the days are EVIL”.
“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:16)
IN CONTEXT, as with all Bible it must be read for understanding, the verses before warning of some of the darkness and wickedness of constant evil in our environment, and the verses after 5:16 are efforts to engender an awareness of FAITH.
1a. Ordinary day to day and everyday evil and darkness—
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest
Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee
light.” (Ephesians 5:11-14)
So bad is much of the ordinary day to day, or life style of “the unfruitful works of darkness” that Paul and God the Spirit through Paul likens the having no fellowship, absolutely none, with those works of darkness to: (1) awaking out of a long sleep, and (2) arising from the dead. (Often unbelievers in Christ are referred to as the living dead in the Bible.
1b. A lifestyle of FAITH that overcomes.
“Wherefore be ye not unwise but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in
your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” *Ephesians 5:17-21)
NOTE: Would that we could say in all intellectual honesty, especially in this times of difficulty that ALL are children of God; but this would be to deny so much of the Bible that clearly separates the children of light from the children of darkness, so much so that you see the great Apostle of the Gentiles comparing passing from a child of the King to a child of the world to (1) waking out of sleep, and (2) coming up out of the dead. Now that is drastic but denotes the simple fact that the whole world is and always has been separated between the children of the world and the children of God the Heavenly Father. Sorry world, you are not qualified to receive the faith in the Shepherd LORD God unless you have become or are a child of God. To see this is so important because if we are now in the final tribulation with this virus of the pale green horse of death of Revelation, then during this period only the servants or children of God will have the seal of security and protection on their forehead of the seal of God of Revelation. Sorry, but it is what it is; and there is no way a life can up until a time of crisis be lived as if God our Heavenly Father did not even exist, then suddenly during a crisis expect a faith in that same LORD God that is going to provide protection.
2. But let us stay on the good news for the children or servants of the God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Let God the Father through God the Spirit renew your awareness of faith from fear in Him by reading again the 23rd Psalm.
“A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of
the LORD for ever…”
3. With a focus for the purpose of this power series on “I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me”.
The world is at war as the President said with this evil virus, and during World War II President Roosevelt expressed the famous saying, “We have nothing to fear except fear itself”; and by the way, often during any tribulation or trials, final or otherwise, it is being used by the Great Shepherd to discipline those that are still dead or asleep to an awareness of FAITH.
Are you sheep of the Good Shepherd, the children of God, surprised that there can be comfort in both the rod of God and the staff of God. The staff, we can understand, because the Shepherd uses it to rescue any sheep that have fallen off the correct path; but the ROD, how is that. IT is not so difficult, when He chastises us, we know He cares about us and loves us, and brother that is comfort that we are the children of God.
Human nature naturally says during these times, “I just can not see a way out”; or, “I can not see the solution.” When you can not see the future outcome, that is the place for faith. In the words of Hebrews, “Faith is the substance (or gives substance) of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Surely you will want to free download this Bible bit of comfort for God’s people and share it. Just download from SunGrist at http://sungrist.org/Power3CureForFear.pdf .