This Day’s Thought From The Ranch- This Week’s Sermon


This Day's Thought from The Ranch

Praise God for His Deliverance From Your Fears

by Paul Fritz

Psalm 34:1-34:7

“Unbelief puts our circumstance between us and God, but faith puts God between us and our circumstances.”  F.B. Meyer

We live in a world where many people allow themselves to be limited by their fears of hurt, disappointment or criticism. Since Sept 11th, many people restrict their movements because they are afraid of sudden disasters that will effect their physical safety, their emotional well being or their financial security. Many times we have to obey before we can feel delivered from our fears. David praised God and then experienced release from His fears. Do not wait until you feel afraid but practice preventative medicine by praising God in all situations and at all times so you will not slip into the valleys of fear, discouragement or a paralyzed state of inhibition.

A man who hid for 32 years fearing punishment of pro-Nazi wartime activity says he used to cry when he heard happy voices outside, but dared not show himself even at his mother’s funeral. Janez Rus was a young shoemaker when he went into hiding at his sister’s farmhouse in June, 1945. He was found years later after she bought a large supply of bread in the nearby village of Zalna. “If I had not been discovered, I would have remained in hiding. So I am happy that this happened,” Rus told a reporter. Throughout those years he did nothing. He never left the house, and could only look down at the village in the valley.   Today in the Word, October 17, 1993.

Let us look at several Biblical guidelines in overcoming our fears so we can experience victory over all feelings of inhibition.

1. David teaches us that by extolling the Lord at all times, with our praise of His attributes, we are lifted up above our fears. The Psalmist writes, “I will extol the Lord at all times, his praise will always be on my lips.” Praise helps us gain a new perspective. Praise of God’s Lordship over all aspects of life help us see that He is sovereign and His omnipotence is greater than any problem. When we are focused on Jesus as the one who overcomes the world, we are given increased sense of His empowerment, enabling, and courage. Jesus said, “Be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.” Praise God for His resurrection power that give you the power, love and self-discipline to cast all of your anxieties upon the Lord and He will sustain you. He will never let you down.

Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes he lets the storm rage and calms his child.  Unknown.

2. David sought the Lord for a solution for all of his troubles and found deliverance from all of his fears. The Psalmist wrote, “I sought the Lord and He heard me and delivered me from all of my fears.” (Psa 34:4) Allow the Lord to deliver you from you fears by seeking Him as the solution for your cares. Whenever we feel afraid we can trust Him to provide whatever we need. He makes us adequate with His adequacy. He provides us with courage when we are feeling timid. He gives us the confidence to speak with articulative wisdom when we are unsure of what to say. He helps us face our obstacles with the assurance that we can do everything God asks us to do with the help of Christ who gives us the strength and power. (Phil. 4:13 – Living) Do not try to deliver yourself with your own power, intelligence or personality. The arm of flesh will always fail. Paul wrote, “I did not come to you with superiority of speech, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power so your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.”

SPIRITUAL POWER

In a seminary missions class, Herbert Jackson told how, as a new missionary, he was assigned a car that would not start without a push.

After pondering his problem, he devised a plan. He went to the school near his home, got permission to take some children out of class, and had them push his car off. As he made his rounds, he would either park on a hill or leave the engine running. He used this ingenious procedure for two years. Ill health forced the Jackson family to leave, and a new missionary came to that station. When Jackson proudly began to explain his arrangement for getting the car started, the new man began looking under the hood. Before the explanation was complete, the new missionary interrupted, “Why, Dr. Jackson, I believe the only trouble is this loose cable.” He gave the cable a twist, stepped into the car, pushed the switch, and to Jackson’s astonishment, the engine roared to life.

For two years needless trouble had become routine. The power was there all the time. Only a loose connection kept Jackson from putting that power to work.  Unknown.

3. Those who try to deny feelings of fear keep themselves out of touch with the experience of having to depend upon the Lord for all things. Only when we are willing to admit that fear drives us to greater dependence on the Lord are we able to see the advantages that feelings of fear create. God told Isaiah, “Fear not for I am with you. Be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isa 40:31) When we feel ourselves getting weak it is the time to ask the Lord’s Spirit to replace our feelings of fear with His power, love and self-discipline. (2 Tim. 1:7) Allow the Lord to manifest His courage, confidence and articulative wisdom through you as His vessel.

One summer night during a severe thunderstorm a mother was tucking her small son into bed. She was about to turn the light off when he asked in a trembling voice, “Mommy, will you stay with me all night?” Smiling, the mother gave him a warm, reassuring hug and said tenderly, “I can’t dear. I have to sleep in Daddy’s room.” A long silence followed. At last it was broken by a shaky voice saying, “The big sissy!”  Unknown.

4. When we are feeling afraid it is time to realize that we should confess our sins of self-reliance. Too many people are carrying burdens that God did not intend them to bear. Let fear be like a warning light on the dashboard of your life. It is a a signal to attend to some problem that needs fixing before the engine of your heart overheats. Do not deny your feelings of fear, but use it as a catalyst to take up the full armor of God that Paul talks about in Eph. 6:10-18. Perhaps you have let down your guard. Fearful times are allowed to come in to our life to make us more compassionate, sensitive and caring for those who have similar needs so we can more effectively encourage them in the Lord from what we have learned through our experiences. Paul wrote, “He comforts us in all our afflictions so that we are able to comfort those who are afflicted with the comfort we receive from God.” (2 Cor. 1:3,4)

“When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long” (Psa. 32:3).

There is nothing that so takes the joy out of life like unconfessed sin on the conscience.

5. Do not be afraid of being vulnerable as the Lord wants to deliver you when you are sticking your neck out for him. It is true that the turtle never makes any progress until he sticks out his neck, so it is for those of us who have a tendency to want to feel safe all the time. David wrote, “The Lord is my light and my deliverer. Whom then shall I fear. The Lord is the strength of my life from whom then shall I be afraid.” (Psa. 27:1,2) Speak out about His word, His will and His working in your life instead of being afraid of what others might think of you. Remember, “Even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do NOT fear what they fear, do not be frightened. But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” (I Pet. 3:14-16)

When I first went to Nigeria I was afraid of what my family might say about my desire to be a missionary. Nevertheless, the Lord gave me such an overwhelming sense of deliverance that He replaced whatever I lost in human approval with His kind affirmations. The Lord allowed me to have a fruitful ministry for nineteen years of teaching in seminary where each day He provided the courage, confidence and articulative wisdom to speak out about Christ and His kingdom priorities to a needy people. Only the Lord’s example of willing to be vulnerable as a servant provided the strength to risk life and limb and reputation for His purposes on a daily basis. I allowed the Lord to deliver me when I was in a position of vulnerability and He always showed Himself mighty on my behalf. Allow the Lord to do that in all of your relationships, activities and ministries.

6. David wrote, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for You are with me.” (Psa 23:4-6) Thank God for His assurance of comfort, care and protection from all kinds of internal and external evil. Trust the Lord to take you through whatever dark valley you may be passing through at this time. Many people hesitate to go through the dark valley and allow themselves to sink into depression, isolation or frustration needlessly. Other people look for a detour around the dark valleys that the Lord wants them to pass through not knowing that God will keep putting these situations in our paths until we learn to trust Him to take us through all our dark valley experiences. Be more like David in your thinking and behavior by verbally reciting the 23rd Psalm whenever you start to hesitate to move forward with His plans, processes and pathways. Rejoice that the Lord is with you and for you. Paul wrote, “If God is for us, who can be against us.” (Rom. 8:31)Thank God for His perfect love. “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.”

Promise:(I John 4:18)If you are afraid of the dark valley experiences remember that God’s love can carry through whatever problems you are experiencing. God in His loving way finds a way when there seems to be no way. He alone shows us how to resolve all conflicts. He helps us focus on his immeasurable love and then allows us to love others through us. Allow His love to quiet your fears and give you greater confidence!

7. You may be particularly conditioned to take threats, criticisms or frightening situations personally, but learn to objectively offer up all fears to the Lord. Ask the Lord to help you become bigger than any problem you will face. Develop a thick skin to the fiery darts from the evil one as you take up the shield of faith. (Eph. 6:14-18) Learn to lovingly accept whatever scary circumstances the Lord allows to come into your life. He is able to work all things together for good. He wants to show you how greatly He loves you and will work in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. His grace is always sufficient for whatever weakness, fear or feeling of deficiency you have. God spoke to Paul saying, “MY grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in your weakness. Most gladly therefore, I will boast of my weakness (feelings of fear) for when I am weak, then I am strong, the less I have the more I depend on you.” (2 Cor. 12:9,10)

God may not remove the afflictions in your life but He will provide you with sufficient grace so as to demonstrate His power through you. Allow God’s power to be displayed through weaknesses as this will encourage the hearts of others to trust Him too. Bill Gaither wrote a great song about this called “Through It All” It goes like this, “I thank God for the mountains. I thank Him for the valleys. I thank Him for all He’s brought me through. For if I never had a problem. If I had never had to worry. I’d never know what faith in God could do! Through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus. I’ve learned to trust in God.”

A young musician’s concert was poorly received by the critics. The famous Finnish composer Jean Sibelius consoled him by patting him on the shoulder and saying, ‘Remember, son, there is no city in the world where they have a statue to a critic.’  Haddon Robinson.

8. Rework your perceptions of ideal circumstances. Things do not have to always be perfectly safe, secure and stable before the Lord’s will is accomplished. Learn that there are many cycles in life. There is a time for tears and there is a time for rejoicing. Many times the Lord allows conditions to get worse so He can make us better. Some of us magnify scary situations way out of proportion. Resist the temptation to over react! Rethink our hardships in the light of the difficulties Jesus faced and know that we can endure whatever fearful circumstances with His strength, love and and courage. The Spirit lives to make intercession for us. The Spirit is our comforter who empowers, enable and imbues us with His confidence to accomplish everything in His perfect will.

Reckon yourself dead to feelings of selfish desire to control every situation. Many people grow angry when they feel afraid because they are afraid something is going to be taken away from them. James wrote, “What is the source of troubles among you? Is it not your own desires that wage war in your members. You fight and quarrel because you do not have what you want.” (James 4:1-4) Confess your sins and turn the controls of all your emotions, situations and moments over to the Lord. Let His Spirit fill you with His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.

As much as 77% of everything we think is negative and counterproductive and works against us. People who grow up in an average household hear “No” or are told what they can’t do more than 148,000 times by the time they reach age 18. Result: Unintentional negative programming.  Shad Helmstetter in Homemade, January 1987.

9. Process some of the fearful feelings you have knowing that it will not kill you but can make you more like Christ. We can choose to be better or bitter from every experience. Fear and feelings of uncertainty are a part of life. James wrote, “WHEN you encounter various trials…” (James 1:2-5 ) It is not a matter of whether we have troubles, but when.

Whenever John Wesley felt afraid he would just pause to pray and praise God for the fact that He was still on the throne of heaven ruling all things well. Wesley wrote, “I have never known more than fifteen minutes of anxiety or fear. Whenever, I feel fearful emotions overtaking me I just close my eyes and thank God that he is still on the throne reigning over everything and I take comfort in His control over all the affairs of my life.

Author Leo Buscaglia tells this story about his mother and their “misery dinner.” It was the night after his father came home and said it looked as if he would have to go into bankruptcy because his partner had absconded with their firm’s funds. His mother went out and sold some jewelry to buy food for a sumptuous feast. Other members of the family scolded her for it. But she told them that “the time for joy is now, when we need it most, not next week.” Her courageous act rallied the family. Praise God for His deliverance in advance and He will deliver you from all your fears! Christopher News Notes, August, 1993.


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