“Be strong, do not fear. Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;
say to those those with fearful hearts,
Be strong, do not fear, your God will come, He will come ...”
Late at night you are suddenly awakened, your heart is beating fast, you couldn’t whisper let alone scream, and you can’t get up because your legs are shaky. That’s fear, a fear of what might happen. Then there is the fear of what might not happen.
The fear of rejection is a struggle for many women. An unkind word or a hateful look can send a woman into a storm. Questions race through your mind. “Do I look OK, did I say something wrong, do they like me?” We can be afraid of pain or afraid of failure. Fears come in a multitude of wrappings. Fears can immobilize a person. Fears can make us emotional wrecks. Fears can cause us to make wrong decisions. Fears fill us with anxiety. We can be controlled by our fears.
Psalm 46:1-2 says, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea…”
Proverbs 29:25 says, “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lordis kept safe.”
In Isaiah 8:11 we read, “The Lord has said to me in the strongest terms: “Do not think like everyone else does. Do not be afraid that some plan conceived behind closed doors will be the end of you. Do not fear anything except the Lord Almighty. He alone is the Holy One. If you fear him, you need fear nothing else. He will keep you safe.”
The fear of God is to be a reverential fear—a deep respect knowing that nothing is impossible for God. God is in control and can stop or start anything, anytime, anywhere.
The book of Isaiah is in the Old Testament and is one of the longer books of the Bible, with sixty six chapters. The book is the lifetime of preaching by the prophet Isaiah to the country of Judah. It was written from 740 B.C. to 685 B.C. Isaiah never flew in an airplane, rode in a car, or used a computer. Even though the outward appearance of the human life has drastically changed in 2700 years, our inner thoughts, attitudes, and intentions have changed very little. We have the same sins. The people of Judah in 700 B.C. worshiped idols made of wood covered in gold. The cowboys of 2001 may worship buckles covered in gold. Then and now people grow tired of God, people think they are to smart to need God. Then it was called divination today cowboys call their psychic. We are still stubborn and are pleasure crazy. The world today has many murderers, liars, cheaters, and those who love violence. Religious hypocrisy was a sin then and now.
God has given us the stories in the Bible as examples. God wants us to learn from the past mistakes and sins of others. The Bible tells us that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Simply put, what was sin then is sin now. The promises God made 2700 years ago are for us today.
The people of Judah were fearful. They were told to not fear; especially not to fear man. Fear of man is the consequence of our faith being weak. It is sin. If you will read closely the scriptures in this article you will see phrases underlined. These phrases are the keys to freeing you from fear. When faith in God is strengthened, fears disappear.
Isaiah 44:2-4 says, “The Lord who made you and helps you says: O Jacob, my servant, do not be afraid. O Israel, my chosen one, do not fear. For I will give you abundant water to quench your thirst and to moisten your parched fields. And I will pour out my Spirit and my blessings on your children.”
Isaiah 51:12-16 says, “I, even I, am the one who comforts you. So why are you afraid of mere humans, who wither like the grass and disappear? Yet you have forgotten the Lord, your Creator, the one who put the stars in the sky and established the earth. Will you remain in constant dread of human oppression? ...My name is the Lord Almighty. And I have put my words in your mouth and hidden you safely within my hand.
You may ask, “If God promises to keep us safe and protect us, then why is our world full of pain?” The Bible gives several reasons for pain, but let’s look at three of the reasons Isaiah gives. “It was the Lord we sinned against, for the people would not go where He sent them, nor would they obey His law. That is why He poured out such fury on them.” (42:21-25) “But there is a problem—your sins have cut you off from God. Because of your sin, He has turned away and will not listen anymore. ...It is because of all this evil that deliverance is far from us. That is why God doesn’t punish those who injure us.” (59:2-9) “Yet no one calls on your name or pleads with you for mercy. Therefore, You have turned away from us and turned us over to our sins.” (64:7) This rebuke was to God’s people. They trusted and feared man instead of God. They didn’t really believe God and they forgot about God. They were devoted to themselves and serving themselves. God turned away and let their culture run rampant with the most horrendous of sins. Horrible things happen in our country every day. Has sin in our lives and in the life of the church of 2001 hindered God’s protection for our nation?
Thinking about the violent world we live in may cause you to be fearful. You may think you can do nothing. You cannot change the entire world, but you can change you. You can be freed from fear. Your influence in this world will be far greater than you can imagine if you will choose to repent of your sins of trusting in man, fearing man, and unbelief in God.
The beginning of wisdom is to hate sin. Hate your sins. Ask God to show you your fears and how they hinder your life. How have fears trapped and enslaved you and caused you to make wrong decisions? Have fears stripped you of joy and peace? When we realize how much sin has hurt our lives they are easy to hate.
Now that you hate your sins, here is the good news. God wants to free you from fear. The Bible tells us that we can learn to fear God, believe God, and trust God. We must choose to learn from God, to go to God for help, to be devoted to Him, and to serve Him. Everything it takes to be free from fear is within every person’s reach. God is waiting for You to come to Him, to set you free. God doesn’t want His women to be cowering wimps with quivering voices and shaky knees. God desires for each of us to be women clothed with strength and dignity, laughing with no fear of the future. (Proverbs 31:25)
"Bend down, O Lord, and hear my prayer; answer me, for I need Your help.
Protect me, for I am devoted to You. Save me, for I serve You and trust You. You are my God."