I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me? Psalm 56:11
That very night the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. When they arrived there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. As a result, many Jews believed, as did many of the prominent Greek women and men. Acts 17:10-12
You used to be like people living in the dark, but now you are people of the light because you belong to the Lord. So act like people of the light and make your light shine. Be good and honest and truthful, 10 as you try to please the Lord. Ephesians 5:8-10 (CEV)
The first time I was brought before the judge, no one came with me. Everyone abandoned me. May it not be counted against them. But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear. And he rescued me from certain death. Yes, and the Lord will deliver me from every evil attack and will bring me safely into his heavenly Kingdom. All glory to God forever and ever! Amen. 2 Timothy 4:16-18
The Psalm 56 verse above does seem to capture what we have been talking about in regard to faith overcoming fear and most of us after reading it would say, "yes, that's it." But, if we are honest, we would likely go on to say, "easier said than done." We want to trust God and we try to trust him, but we are still afraid of what mere mortals can do. There are people in our lives who exert a negative power and influence over us so that when we come face to face with them we feel threatened and intimidated enough that we cave in to them.
In our Acts passage above Paul and Silas were not threatening and intimidating when they came face to face with the people of Berea. But, we learn something from the people of Berea that will help us in the pursuit of our faith overcoming fear. The people of Berea "searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth." In other words they thought for themselves. Fear allows the negative power and influence of other people to control our minds and keep us from thinking for ourselves. Faith frees us from the snare of fearing people so that we think for ourselves and clearly discern God's will for our lives.
From our Ephesians passage above we learn the importance of being aligned with people of light and not people of darkness. As faith does its work of freeing us from fear we begin to see beyond those people who exert negative power and influence in our live to those people who can provide positive encouragement and support for helping us go further and further with our faith in Christ.
In our 2 Timothy passage above we see the Apostle Paul standing alone for his faith before those who oppose him. The work of faith freeing us from fear will allow us to stand alone if necessary before those who oppose us. Faith really is all about our connection with God and the more we grow in faith the more real and present the Lord becomes to us. And so, like the Apostle Paul, we never really stand alone. Perhaps it can be said that it isn't so much that we stand alone for our faith but that we stand alone because of our faith in God who is always present.
Lord, I am so grateful that you are helping me to think and see clearly. Thank you for all those who encourage and support my faith in you. Most of all thank you for standing with me and giving me your strength. Thank you for all the times you have rescued me and delivered me from those who have come up against me. Grant that my faith overcomes the fear in my life more than ever before. Help me to go forward in the confidence that you will deliver me from every evil attack and will bring me safely into your heavenly Kingdom some day. All glory to you, Lord, forever and ever! Amen
Posted on Wed, June 17, 2015
by Alan Porter