With violence increasing, especially in schools, fear has risen. You can feel tension in the air as parents wonder if it will happen at their children’s school. No one can blame us. Fear is natural, especially as we are the ones put here to protect our kids. The thought of something happening to our children is unbearable and takes our very breath away. How do we keep our eyes focused on the One who gave us these precious gifts?
The Bible tells us to stay alert because Satan prowls around looking for someone to devour. Do you know how he does that? Fear. He knows fear causes people to be paralyzed, run away, or stop trusting God. He knows our tendency to want to put our kids in a bubble and keep them from danger. When we shelter kids too much, it sends them the message that God isn’t big enough. Satan knows that fear is the beginning of the end. He wants us to fear the world around us so it loosens our grip on Jesus’ hand. His hope is that we go so far inside ourselves that there isn’t any room for love and compassion. If we are so afraid for our safety, we won’t see what is going on around us. The people who need our help will get pushed away. Satan knows if he can dim the light of God, there won’t be any new believers. He intends to keep us in fear and useless to God’s purposes.
Over and over again the Bible tells us not to be afraid. When a topic is repeated, it means God knew we would struggle with it! We need His reinforcement to finally pull away from a stronghold. God reminds us He will strengthen us, guide us, uphold us, and stay with us. According to 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” We are not to fear because Jesus redeemed us-we are His. We literally can’t have fear (except of God) and love at the same time. Matthew 10:28 tells us straight. “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Yes, another person can take our life here on earth, but only God can send us to eternal death. Satan may know our fears, but God knows that AND helps us turn from those fears.
What does it mean to fear the Lord? Proverbs 8:13 says “The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil.” Proverbs also says it is the beginning of knowledge. If we fear God, we show Him the respect He deserves as the creator of the universe. He alone has power. Satan can’t make us do anything; he just gives us nudges in the wrong direction. Fearing God means turning away from evil and clinging to Him. If we show God respect and awe, we have a refuge and confidence in Him. We acknowledge He holds our future and trust Him with it.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 tells us: “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” Our job is a simple one. We remember that God is above us and follow the rules He gave us. God never changes, as the laws and norms of society do. He still expects us to follow His commandments and remember He is in control.
Satan wants to keep us in fear, but God wants to give us freedom.
Satan seeks to tear us away from all good things, but God desires to give us love.
Satan intends to devour us, but God longs to spend eternity with us.
God asks you to turn from fear to love. Seek God and let His perfect love drive out fear.