Lay Aside the Weight of Fear
From Gospel Translations
What happened in Boston on Monday was demonic. The thief (John 10:10) killed three precious lives, wreaked physical destruction on scores more and spiritual destruction on thousands. And he stole not only the joy of the race for millions, but far worse he stole trust. This will have widespread social and cultural repercussions.
This Boston massacre makes visible a spiritual reality. When the bombs exploded, the Boston Marathon stopped and everyone fled for cover. Likewise, when terror grips the human heart, we abandon the faith race. We just want to hide. Nothing stops the legs of faith like fear.
That’s why the devil seeks to terrorize you. He wants you to abort the race. Short of that, he’ll try to weigh you down and entangle your feet with fears (Hebrews 12:1).
Satan Perverts the Mercy of Fear
Fear is something God designed, not the devil. God designed fear so that we would flee real danger. Fear is meant to be a mercy. Its purpose is to direct us to safety. When our soul is ordered right, we fear the Lord and turn away from evil (Job 28:28).
But the devil perverts reality with his lies and seeks to use fear on us backwards. He wants us to fear evil and turn away from the Lord. He wants us to believe that the place of destruction is the place of safety. If he can convince us of this, he can end our race.
And because “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19), he puts on shows of force, like he did on Monday, to make us feel vulnerable in a thousand ways; to say to us, “You are not safe anywhere. Your trust in God is a foolish trust. Your God is not going to deliver you” (2 Chronicles 32:15). And he shoots these flaming dart threats (Ephesians 6:16) precisely at our most vulnerable places.
You Are Being Guarded Through Faith
So how can we keep running the race of faith in a world of fear with an unseen terrorist enemy hunting us? We fear the Lord and turn away from evil. Fearing the Lord is believing the Lord.
Here’s what I mean. In Luke 8, when the Galilean windstorm hit the disciples’ boat with Jesus sleeping in the back, the storm looked stronger than Jesus and the disciples panicked. But then Jesus rebuked the storm and it stopped. Jesus said to them, “Where is your faith?” Jesus transferred their fear from the storm to Jesus (Luke 8:25). Jesus's word was stronger than the evil in the world.
You “by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5, emphasis mine). You are guarded through faith by believing promises like these:
- God forgives all your sins (1 John 1:9)
- God has removed condemnation from you (Romans 8:1)
- Your heart need not be troubled (John 14:1) by the demonic tribulations in the world for Jesus has overcome them for you (John 16:33).
- God will provide you sufficient food for your needs (Luke 12:24).
- God will provide you sufficient clothes for your needs (Matthew 6:30).
- In fact, every need you will ever have will be provided for you (Luke 12:31; Philippians 4:19).
- You can sell your possessions and give to the needy (Luke 12:33) because your Father will gladly give you the kingdom (Luke 12:32).
- Nothing will be impossible for you (Matthew 17:20).
- You can have peace in any storm of life (Luke 8:25).
- Even if you’re persecuted, hated, and even killed for Jesus’s sake, not a hair of your head will perish (Luke 21:16–18)
- You will never really die (John 11:26)
- You will receive eternal life (John 3:16).
- Nothing will ever separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:38–39).
- Every promise God has ever made to his people he will fulfill for you (2 Corinthians 1:20).
- If you abide in Jesus and his word abides in you, whatever you ask will be done for you (John 15:7; Matthew 21:22).
- The Holy Spirit will flow out of your heart like rivers of living water (John 7:38–39).
- You will never suffer soul starvation or soul dehydration again (John 6:35).
- Others will believe in Jesus through your witness (John 17:20).
- God will cause ALL THINGS to work together for good for you (Romans 8:28).
Believing these (and many more) will guard you as you run. And through these promises Jesus says to you:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)
So lay aside the weights of your fears (Hebrews 12:1) and believe in Jesus. Jesus is running with you (Hebrews 13:5) and he’s stronger than Satan (1 John 4:4).
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Romans 15:13).