What About Fearing the Future?
Thank you for reading today. Our greatest desire is that you would be encouraged in the Lord! In my daily time with God in His Word today, the Holy Spirit spoke to me about “fearing the future.” Right now it is a difficult time for many around the world because of COVID-19, with social unrest, lives lost, jobs lost, fear, distrust, despair, discouragement, difficulty in finances and not knowing what the future holds. Right now many people are afraid of what the future holds for them. Our desire is to be an encouragement and help to those who need help.
Are you scared?
It does get a little bit concerning when you see social unrest with looting, people being injured, some killed, and thousands of people dying in a pandemic. Several years ago I was in Charleston, South Carolina. We had decided to visit the State Museum of South Carolina. It just so happened that they had a special exhibit room called “Religion and the Civil War”. I spent several hours in this exhibit room. I learned things I did not know before. The Civil War was a time of great fear. Thousands of people were displaced from their homes as the war brought great suffering to both sides.
Professor Hacker estimates between 650,000 – 850,000 deaths, but believes the most likely number was about 750,000 soldiers died from combat, accident, starvation, and disease during the Civil War. Many of the pastors left their pulpits to become chaplains and go with the troops to battle. “The Civil War left a culture of death, a culture of mourning, beyond anything Americans had ever experienced or imagined,” says David Blight, a Civil War historian at Yale University. “It left a degree of family and social devastation unprecedented for any Western society.” What I did not know as well was thousands of the soldiers from both sides came to know Christ as Saviour during the war. Many knew they might die that day. Many times before the troops went to battle the preacher preached a salvation message imploring the men to trust Jesus Christ as Saviour. It was one of the greatest revivals the world has ever seen! For them “if you died today” was very real!
It is estimated that over 100,000 Confederate and somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 Union troops accepted Christ during the Civil War–roughly ten percent of the men engaged. There are many accounts of the change that took place in the men, both during the war and afterwards, as a result of the many revivals and movement of the Holy Spirit.
First Step in Dealing with Fear
Right now I believe the greatest need we have as a country is to turn our hearts from our sins and turn to God. If there was ever a need for preaching the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ now is the time.
The most important decision you will ever make in your life is to realize you are a sinner and trust Jesus Christ as Saviour. At the moment you repent of your sins and ask Jesus to come into your heart and be your Saviour there is no more fear of dying – about what happens when you die. On the night of November 3, 1974, I woke up in the middle of the night and asked my wife what would happen if I died tonight? I was determined to find out, and the next day, as Rick Batcher, a United Parcel Service driver had witnessed to me for 7 months taking his lunch hour each day to share the truth of God’s Word with me, I asked Rick that question. “What happens to me if I die tonight?” On November 4, 1974 about 9 pm in the evening I received Jesus Christ as my Saviour in Rick Bratcher’s family room. My fear of dying ended right there. I knew I was going to heaven. Getting saved gives me the power to have victory over fear. The moment you receive Jesus Christ as Saviour the Holy Spirit comes to indwell you and you now have the power to live a life of trust rather than fear. We have nothing to fear because now if we die today we have a glorious home in heaven.
The Enemy of Our Soul Seeks to Create Fear in Our Lives
When something negative happens non-Spirit controlled Christians are open to fear. Fear obviously is a big deal because the Bible mentions it approximately 385 times.
2 Timothy 1:7, For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
1 Peter 5:8-11, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (9) Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. (10) But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. (11) To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
This passage is written to Christians. Satan seeks to put fear in our lives. Who is Satan devouring here? Christians who do not have a real relationship with God through the power of the Holy Spirit. How do you resist Satan?
Submit yourself to God. When something negative happens that Satan wants to use as fear in your life, at that point of impact, “Lord I want to turn this over to you. What do you want me to praise you for and thank you for?”
James 4:7-8, Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (8) Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
Be the Christian that is submitted rather than fearful. Be the Christian who has peace rather than the Christian who lives in debilitating fear of what happens next. Trust God with the issue by submitting rather than fretting. One of our folks was on visitation and sent me a picture of a street sign. It said, “Done Frettin Ave!” What a great street to live on! Stop fretting and start trusting by using the tools of praise and thanksgiving God has given you.
Hebrews 13:15, By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
Did you notice when? Continually!
Trust God by Faith Rather than Fear
When the moment comes, and it will, when that difficulty comes, stop, think, and turn it over to God! When I trust God in the difficulty I can have joy and peace rather than fear.
Psalms 56:3-4, What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. (4)
In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not
fear what flesh can do unto me.
Remember, be the vessel God can use today by asking the Holy Spirit to show you if you are living your life not dealing with your sin (lusts). Are you living in the sin of allowing selfish carnal thinking or listening to rule your life and making you react or rationalize your sin? Maybe you are afraid because you do not know how to change. God wants us to change to be conformed to the image of His Son. He will help us if we submit to Him. Don’t quit in the middle of a difficulty, but refocus to see exactly what God wants you to learn.
Be all you can be for Him today and have a powerful testimony of living a Spirit controlled yielded godly life that is serving and living with humility, joy and peace! We encourage you today to make Jesus Christ real in your life by humbly yielding to Him at the point of impact and living for Him, not the life of selfish, carnal thinking and speaking. It is an important choice! Tell God you want to yield yourself to Him today and be a trusting, useful, and rewarded servant! Be the person who wants to change! Be the person who can help others change!
We pray for many of you daily! May we all humble ourselves before God and focus on having compassion on others! Let’s seek real Biblical change. May we all have the desire to make real Biblical long term change to the honor and glory of God!