Pastor Nick Cleveland
Research has shown that 40% of all your worries are about the future and they never happen; 30% of your worries are about the past and they can’t be changed; 12% are needless worries about our health; 10% are petty worries not worth worrying about; only 8% are legitimate concerns.
We all worry, yet God says, do not worry and do not fear. The prophet Isaiah reminds us to not fear, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10) And Jesus Himself reminded us to not worry, “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)
Abraham, a man in the Bible, had to overcome fear and worry. When he was about 75 years old, he and his wife had no children. In Genesis 12, God speaks to him, “I’m going to give you so many kids it will be like counting the dust of the earth.” (Genesis 12, 13:6) Guess what happens next? Nothing. For ten years.
Abraham began to doubt, worry, stress and fear that it wouldn’t happen. His greatest fear was that God wouldn’t fulfill His promise. He feared the unknown. He didn’t know what was going to happen next and couldn’t control the situation which produced worry and fear. He’s too old… She’s too old… Nothing like this had ever happened before. The fear was legitimate. But while they waited, God said, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” (Genesis 15:1)
God said to Abraham what He would say to you now. To all of your fears, anxieties, worries and stress, “I am your shield, your reward.” The shield in Abraham’s day was a defensive weapon. Its best use was in hand-to-hand combat, typically coupled with aggressive weapons like the bow or darts. God doesn’t promise you a shield when you’re afraid. He promises that He is your shield. The very God of heaven says that he will be our shield, which means we have a shield that is omnipotent, universal and eternal. That shield cannot be defeated. It is as strong as God himself. With God you couldn’t be in a better position! He is everything we need and the payment we are counting on for life. God says: I am your strength. I am your supply. I am your health. I am your hope. I am your defender. I am your deliverer. I am your forgiveness. I am your future.
God is saying to you and me, “I am whatever you need, whenever you need it.” He is the all-sufficient God for every crisis. God himself is the final answer to every fear of the human heart. But how do you fight fear, worry and stress? You fight fear with faith. Remember God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but of power, love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7) The power we need comes from the Spirit of God. Just like David said when he was afraid, “But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?” (Psalm 56:3-4)
Faith is simply trusting God. The question for you is will you choose fear or faith?
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