Reading: 2 Chronicles 32:1-8

"Do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward" (Heb 10:35)
 
"Anything dark is devil for the fearful!" So goes a Tamil proverb. I have not counted it, but I have heard more than one preacher say that there are 366 "Fear Not's" or similar statements in the Bible—one for each day of the year! In all situations of life, we must remind ourselves of what God told Joshua: "Be strong and of good courage; do not fear, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you" (Josh 1:9).

The spies who were sent to Canaan became fearful not because of the giants they saw in Canaan but because they disbelieved the promise of God (Num 13:33). Fear will grip us when we lose our fellowship with God. When we don't depend on the power of the Spirit of God but rely on our own intellectual stamina and physical strength, fear will dominate and torment us (1 Sam 16:14; 17:24; Psa 78:9). If popularity is our goal, the success of any other person will be a threat to us (Jn 12:42,43).

Nothing good will come out of fear. When Peter was afraid, he denied and even cursed his Master (Mk 14:66-72). His fear in a later situation made him play a hypocrite (Gal 2:11-13). Fear begets hypocrisy, and hypocrisy further leads to fear! (Isa 33:14). Those fearful in a team melt the hearts of others too (Dt 20:8). Because of fear Adam hid himself from the presence of God. The last page of the Bible speaks of the fearful being shut out of Heaven (Rev 21:8).

He who bows humbly before God will stand boldly before men. How much we are scared at times before opposers of the Gospel and officials of the Government! The timid disciples spoke God's Word with boldness when they were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 4:31). The Priests and Saducees were thrilled to see the boldness of the uneducated Peter and John, and concluded that the reason was that "they had been with Jesus!" (Acts 4:13). When we maintain a good conscience before God and man, it becomes easy for us to overcome all sorts of fear. "The righteous man is as bold as a lion" (Prov 28:1). Fellowship of God's people strengthens us in threatening situations. Fear will fly away if we keep confessing, "For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain!"

The earth is receding;
Heaven is beckoning;
This is the day of my coronation!
O death, how sweet!
~ Evangelist D.L. Moody, 1837-1899
 
R. Stanley