Ebola. ISIS. A nuclear-armed Iran. Global warming. Illegal immigration. A continued shaky economy.
Somebody said on television recently: “If you’re not afraid, you’re not paying attention.”
For any Christian experiencing fear and anxiety, I recommend Exodus 14.
After 400 years of slavery, the Hebrew people were finally allowed to leave Egypt, but then Pharaoh changed his mind and sent his army after them – either to force their return or to slaughter them in the wilderness. Before long, the Hebrew people found themselves trapped between the Egyptian army and the Red Sea.
Verse 10 says, “They were terrified and cried out to the LORD.”
In response to their fear, God had 3 messages for them (through Moses). These also apply to any of His children who are experiencing fear. God’s 1st message is: “Do not be afraid” (verse 13).
We might dismiss these as mere words, but it makes a difference who’s saying them. When the federal government tells us not to be afraid of the Ebola virus, I’m not necessarily reassured, but when Almighty God says it, that means something.
God’s 2nd message is: “Be still” (verse 14).
I believe we should take this literally. In other words, whenever we feel afraid, we ought literally to be still & quiet before the LORD. Isaiah 30 says: “In quietness and trust is your strength.” It’s in the stillness that God whispers our name, reminds us of His love, and tells us what to do.
And then God’s 3rd message is: “See the deliverance I will bring” (verse 13).
God will always deliver His people – either from or through the trouble. This means that, in response to our cry for help, God will either (a) remove the circumstances that are causing us fear or (b) give us the strength and guidance we need to navigate through the situation. Either way, He will deliver us.
What is causing you to be afraid or anxious these days? Is it the problems we hear about in the news every day or something more personal? Whatever it is, take these words from the LORD to heart:
“Do not be afraid.”
“See the deliverance I will bring.”