I walked through the valley of shadows
And it scared me half to death
But You’re with me everywhere I go
So I won’t give up yet
My fears would surely kill me
If I didn’t know the truth
The things that I’m afraid of
Are afraid of You
When you read the title what is the first thing that comes to mind? What are you so afraid of that you do not even want to speak it out loud for fear it may happen? Many people in the world today live in the shadow of something that they fear. Whether it is the loss of a job, miscarriage, disappointment, failure, phobias, terminal illness, death, etc., we have all at one point or another been terrorized by the things we fear.
Fear was never a part of God’s original design of the human psyche. Fear is as old as the day Adam and Eve sinned against God as that was the first time fear entered the world.
“I heard Your voice in the garden,” he replied, “and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” Genesis 3:4
Fear was a response to Adam realizing the vulnerability of his nakedness and this trait has been passed on to everyone. We have developed in us a fear of the things that make us vulnerable- fear of the things we cannot control. This puts death and illness at the very top of the list of the things people are afraid of.
For the past two weeks, one line from a song by Josh Wilson has been on repeat non-stop in my head. The line goes, “the things that I’m afraid of are afraid of You.” And indeed, these words are very true and should bring great comfort. There is nothing that anyone is afraid of that can withstand the power and presence of God- not even death. In fact, there is nothing that is more terrifying than God and the natural response of our sinful self to a Holy God should be a dreadful fear of Him just like Adam had in the garden.
Fortunately for us, God has given us the antidote for fear: perfect love. Perfect love it is said, casts out ALL fear (1 John 4:18). And what is this perfect love? The only love that is perfect is one that lays down its life for another and it is found in no other than God Himself. God removed the grasp that fear had on humankind when Jesus died on the cross and from that day He declared us free from fear:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.2 Timothy 1:7
Instead of the fear, we have power, love, and sound mind. For the things we cannot control, God is our refuge and strength and our very present help in times of trouble. Therefore, we must no longer allow ourselves to be plagued by the spirit of fear regardless of what it is. God has given us victory over everything that instills fear in us; even death:
He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces. “Where, O Death, is your victory? Where, O Death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, ad the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!Isaiah 25:8/ 1 Corinthians 15:55- 57
So what is it that is keeping you up at night? What are you afraid of? Don’t forget the things that you are afraid of are afraid of God. So be rest assured…God has got your back.