Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
By Chris WittsThursday 12 Mar 2020Morning Devotions with Chris WittsDevotionsReading Time: 3 minutes
Worry, anxiety, fear—these three things can overwhelm us with a thick shadow of darkness, controlling our every move and decision.
- Read Fear Not – Part 1
So much crazy stuff is going on around us today: wars, conflicts, persecution, violence, crime, natural disasters, terrorism, economic uncertainty, unemployment, divisions, disease, death. We fear for our children’s future, we fear for our families, we fear for our financial future, we fear for our safety.
The list goes on and on. There actually is a lot we could potentially worry about. Yet reality tells us that so much of what we spend our time worrying about never even happens. Living under the weight of the what ifs is a hard place to dwell.
We might still feel afraid, but we can believe that God is with us. We may not be in control, but we can trust the One who is. We may not know the future, but we can know the God who does.
In reverse order, these are the top 10 fears shared by people everywhere:
10. Losing your freedom
9. The unknown
God Is A Shield Around His People
A woman missionary was talking with a minister at church one Sunday. She told the minister how she had nearly been put in jail when a hostile lawyer began harassing her and the local Christian hospital. He objected to the fact that the hospital openly did evangelism along with its compassionate medical care.
Seeking a pretext for legal action, the lawyer accused the hospital of illegally selling intravenous fluid to its patients. It wasn’t true, but that didn’t matter. For nearly 10 years the case bumped up and down the court system of that country. At one point several years ago it appeared likely that the missionary might either be thrown in jail or forced to leave the country.
“I’m going to shut down this hospital,” the lawyer chortled, “and you’re going to jail or I’ll have you deported.” To which the missionary replied, “You can do nothing to me except what my God permits you to do.”
That’s a perfectly biblical answer. Our God is a shield around his people. Nothing can touch us except that which God permits. There must be a reason that the Bible tells us hundreds of times—in various ways and in various places—to fear not.
God Knew We Would Wrestle With Fear
Fear is such a basic human emotion that many of us constantly live in the grip of fear, worry and anxiety. God told us to fear not because he knew that we would all wrestle with fear sooner or later.
Pioneer missionary James Hudson Taylor founded the China Inland Mission in 1865. During the terrible days of the Boxer Rebellion (1899-1901), when missionaries were being captured and killed, he went through such agony of soul that he could not pray.
Writing in his journal, he summarised his spiritual condition this way: “I can’t read. I can’t think. I can’t pray. But I can trust.”
And that’s the best way to deal with our fears—trust God.