Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fightings and Fears

We all know fears...you know fears, I know fears, all God's children know fears.
That is because it is a favorite tool of our enemy to distract, discourage, deceive and destroy us.  
Even the Apostle Paul experienced the temptation to fear:

"For, when we were come into Macedonia,our flesh had no rest, 
but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears," 
(2 Corinthians 7:5.)

But he also said:

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound," 
(2 Timothy 1:7.)

The Apostle John said,

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: 
because fear hath torment," 
(I John 4:18.)

Like you, I am no stranger to the temptation to fear.  In fact, there are two fears which the enemy frequently temps me and I am going to share them with you today.

First of all, I am tempted to be afraid of the dark and I can prove that.  In my purse right now I have three flashlights. Not one, not two, but three.

The first one, very bright and very near is on my cell phone.  The second is thin and bright and attaches to metal.  The third is exceptionally bright, shines a long way and was given to me by my son.

The other fear I have fought with -- here is that "without were fightings" --for the last thirty-eight years.  I have a fear my husband will die.  

Perhaps this is born in the fact my very favorite uncle, whom my husband is quite a lot like, died suddenly when I was seventeen.  Perhaps it is born from the knowledge my father-in-law died when he was thirty-six.  Perhaps it is just because our two lives are so intermingled I can't imagine a moment without him.  I love the way my sister described it, speaking of her relationship with her own husband, "I breathe in and he breathes out."   But this fear also has a statistical basis, since women usually outlive men.  

As Christians we cannot let our enemy win by defeating us with fear. 

"Perfect love casteth out fear," the Apostle said.  And what is perfect love?  It is the Lord Jesus. The Bible says, "God is love."

When we move our sights from our fears to Him, the fears lose their power and we come to experience what the Apostle John also said, "God dwelleth in us and His love is perfected in us," (1 John 4: 12.)

I can tell you with complete certainty that when we trust the Lord in our moments of fear, He is that peace that passeth understanding and that joy unspeakable.  

How to I know that?  Because that for forty-one years... today, ( I came to know the Lord forty-one years ago today) I have known Him to be perfectly faithful and true in every moment I have trusted Him.  He has never given me a moment to regret putting my faith and trust in Him. 

In 1869 a poem was published in an Illinois newspaper entitled, "Always Rejoicing."  It was attributed simply to Pauline T. and was obviously written out of great pain and fear in the years before, during the Civil War.  Later it was put to music by Robert Wadsworth Lowery and has been published with many different verses and tunes.

This song has several lines which are dear to my heart.  The second verse asks two questions, "What though my joys and comforts die?"  I always think of my fear of Glen's death when I hear that question.  But her answer was, "The Lord my Savior liveth."  

Then she asked, "What though the darkness round me lie?" and she answers that fear with "Songs in the night He giveth."

Later in the song she states, "All is mine since I am His."  which is very close to my life motto, "Trust in the Lord always, for having Him, we have all."

(Also known as "How Can I Keep From Singing?")

My life goes on in endless song:
Above earth's lamentation,
I hear the sweet, tho' far-off hymn
That hails a new creation.

Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear the music ringing;
It sounds an echo in my soul--
How can I keep from singing?

What tho' my joys and comfort die?
The Lord my Saviour liveth;
What tho' the darkness 'round me lie?
Songs in the night he giveth.

No storm can shake my inmost calm,
While to that Rock I'm clinging;
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth,
How can I keep from singing?

I lift my eyes; the veil grows thin,
I see His Truth above it,
Step by step leads me to Him,
This path how I've learned to love it.

The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart,
A fountain ever springing;
All is mine since I am His
How can I keep from singing?

No storm can shake my inmost calm,
While to that Rock I'm clinging;
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth,
How can I keep from singing?

"What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee."
Psalm 56:3

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