During these trying days it is quite easy for people to succumb to fear and anxiety. For those that are presently without work, perhaps it is the fear of financial-loss, for those that are alone, perhaps it is the fear of loneliness, for some it is the fear of getting sick, and for those that are sick, perhaps it is the fear losing their lives. Each of these fears, and a myriad of others, can be debilitating. The only effective way to combat them is through faith in the risen savior. Only through genuine belief in Christ is there hope for the hopeless. For those who are in Christ, we have the hope of resurrection, the hope of restoration, and the hope of eternal life. For those who are in Christ, we have the Word of God, and the Word of God is a bright and shining lamp allowing us to navigate the darkness of the world. God’s Word is a treasure-trove of truth that brings comfort to those who are consumed by fear.
I once heard it said that fear is to the devil, what worship is to God. Which is to say that the devil is most pleased when we are living in fear. 1 Peter 5:6-9 states:
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.”
Fear is a tool of the enemy, which is to say that it does not come from God. God’s Word has a lot to say about fear:
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.”
“The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.”
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
2 Timothy 1:7
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
1 John 4:18
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”
The only effective way to combat the enemy's efforts to keep God’s children in fear is to go to God’s Word for instruction and guidance. So what does God’s Word say about combating the works of Satan? I am glad you asked. Ephesians 6:10-18 states:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints”
We are to be clad with the armor of God. To wield the Word like a warrior wields a two-edged sword. To hold fast to the salvation we have in Christ Jesus. To pray to God in all circumstances.
“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
The peace of God comes to those who, by faith in Christ, have peace with God. The joy of God is a disposition of which the follower of Christ is to walk in. If today you are experiencing debilitating effects of fear, wash away your fears with the authority of God’s Word and walk in the joy of the Lord. We must remember that the trials we face are a means of testing our faith, and are meant to strengthen our trust in the Lord. As we are comforted by the Lord we then are able to comfort others with the same comfort with which we have been comforted.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
May we all lean into the Word of God and find the comfort to extinguish the fear that the world is promoting.
Pastor Justin Myers is an avid student of God's Holy Word and received his M.Div. in biblical studies from Liberty University School of Divinity. Pastor Justin considers himself a family man who loves his wife and children dearly. He has been married for over nine years and has four children.