Read 1 Peter 3:13-22."Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened." NIV
Peter has told us to live doing good, not evil. Show brotherly love. Here he cautions that we still may be harmed or persecuted for doing good. Then he says this line above from vs 14 -- do not fear what they fear. So what do they fear and why don't I need to have the same fears?
Fear is a very prevalent emotion in every generation. It may change from circumstance to circumstance, but always comes back around to the same reasons that someone at some time has been afraid. Today, I'd say we are afraid of financial ruin which could lead to joblessness, and homelessness. People have been at this same place before -- look at the depression. About a year ago, we were afraid that we would never be able to use our cars again because of gas prices. A few years ago, say in about 2004, we were afraid of the Iraqi's with the war and Iran and North Korea with nuclear weapons. In 2001, we were afraid of terrorists. And on and on it goes. There is always something to be afraid of. In the modern era, it's usually whatever the media tells us to fear.
Everything people fear are things that could take away something we have -- possessions, power, security, family, their life.... All their fears are based on "me." But a believer, on the other hand, has surrendered all those things to the Lord to do with as He wills. We recognize where those blessings come from and allow Him to hold them in His capable hands. We don't need to fear losing our possessions; it's just stuff. We don't need to fear losing power; we serve the One with the ultimate power. We don't need to fear losing our security or our family; the Lord watches over His sheep. We don't even need to fear losing our life; this life we live here is not our final destination. It is merely a thin shadow of our true home. So if my life is taken, I'm going to a much better place.
Now I say none of this to mean we don't use common sense or don't work hard to keep a roof over our heads. "Fools rush in where angels dare to tread." We must use the brains God gave us with the little wisdom we do possess. But none of it needs to be wrapped in fear. The only fear that the Bible encourages is a fear of God. He should be the One that we come crawling to on hands and knees with our faces to the ground seeking His mercy, grace, and guidance. It is in our hearts that we should "set apart Christ as Lord," not our fear. We don't have room for two lords.
Isaiah 8:13: "The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread, and he will be a sanctuary...." NIV
- Compare and contrast fear and faith. Support with Scripture.
- Is fear your lord? Why? Is that choice really working for you?
- Saul lived in fear all the time. What was he afraid of? Is that a fear that lines up with the world or God?
- Memorize some Scriptures on biblical fear.