Today is a day of uncertainty. The news is full of earthquakes, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, illnesses, the possibility of food shortages, wars and rumors of wars, and so many other things of which to be fearful. This leads to much apprehension in the world today. I have never known a time when so many people are anxious about almost everything. The constant onslaught can be almost overwhelming!
Why should a Christian not be afraid?
What does God’s Word teach us about fear? We are to remember that God is with us. “1. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 3. Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof” (Psalm 46:1-3). If we walk with God, He will be with us.
Jeremiah was a prophet who spoke God’s Word to the Israelite people for around forty years. The people were not walking with God, and it was a time of much trouble in the land. Eventually, the enemies came, destroyed Jerusalem, and carried the people away captive. Jeremiah witnessed these events. Although he had warned the people of the coming invasion, they had not heeded his warnings to turn back to God. The whole nation suffered because of this – even Jeremiah. Understandably, Jeremiah was greatly saddened with these events. Jeremiah wrote the following as he witnessed God’s judgment upon His people for their continual rejection of His Word: “The LORD is righteous; for I have rebelled against his commandment: hear, I pray you, all people, and behold my sorrow …” (Lamentations 1:18a). He wrote the book of Lamentations, revealing the horrors he witnessed, and the sorrow in his heart. Yet in the midst of that sad book, he reminded us of a very pleasant hope. “22. It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. 24. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. 25. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him” (Lamentations 3:22-25). Jeremiah knew God was with him. He understood that God is a forgiving God – even when we fail Him miserably! Have you heard the song we often sing in churches written from these verses? Great is Thy Faithfulness. Read the following encouraging words:
“1. Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father, There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not; As Thou has been Thou forever wilt be.
2. Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth, Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
Refrain: Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided; Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me! Amen!”
It is easy to constantly be distracted by the relentless onslaught of bad news. As one hears the new potential crisis almost every day, it is hard to focus one’s thoughts upon God and the things of God. When we forget God and begin to focus upon the troubles of the world, the problems can appear to be overwhelming. It is before one reaches this point that a decision must be made. What must a Christian decide? To trust God! It is then that when all of the troubles of the world seem to come against us, we can stop and be at rest knowing God is in control. “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10). We will then remember that God will take care of His own. “5. Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil” (Proverbs 3:5-7). We are to fear the Lord, doing what His Word says to do. That should be rather easy – for if we walk with God, we will depart from evil.
Christians should not be so entangled in the troubles of the day that one forgets to walk with (and especially trust) God. Turn off the news and read the Bible. Remember: “… his compassions fail not. 23. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23). Also keep in mind: “The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him” (Lamentations 3:25). It is important for Christians to seek the Lord and not the potential troubles of the day.
Do you seek the Lord, understanding that if we walk with Him, He will be faithful?
- Next Lesson 9: 2 Kings 23:31 – 25; 2 Chronicles 36: Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah
- Previous Lesson 8: 2 Kings 22 – 23:30; 2 Chronicles 34-35: Josiah