Not Afraid :: Devo

March 27, 2019

I’m in a season of life right now that doesn’t feel safe.

Too many questions about my health. Too many what-ifs about upcoming life events. Too many unknowns about God’s perfect will and plans.

Have you been there? Let me see a show of hands! Many of you may be camping out there with me even now.

But in the midst of all the uncertainty, I’ve also felt a beautiful underlying strength — that promise of power, love, and a sound mind.

Some weeks ago at a church prayer meeting, I found myself laying out for God all the unknowns about my life and my fears about them. After my childish spiel, a memory came to mind — the recollection of the most painful time of my life.

You remember how I took you through that storm, right?

Yes, God.

You remember how I began preparing you for that years beforehand, right? You remember that when you went through the storm, you were ready? How even in the pain, you felt the overwhelming sense of my presence?

Yes, God.

So why are you afraid now of things that haven’t even happened yet?

Because now I know that trials teach us lessons. And I’m afraid of more trials. I’m afraid of more lessons. I’m afraid You might bring me through more hard times to teach me more lessons!

So you just don’t trust me.

Tears burned at the back of my eyelids now. After all I’d been through, how could I not trust? After all I’d seen, after all the ways He’s amazed me, how could I still be afraid? Why did I not trust Him?

In our flesh, we’re so susceptible to fear — even though we have the God of angel armies on our side! We serve the God who spoke the galaxies into existence — yet we still struggle because we want to be in control of everything that happens in our lives.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I were reading I Peter 3 at bedtime. Many of us are familiar with verses 3-4:

Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

What I wasn’t so familiar with was the passage following:

For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

I remember reading this and wondering what it meant.

Not being afraid “with any amazement”? I pictured Sara’s mouth falling open, completely amazed. ? I wanted to be like Sara and the holy women of old who trusted in God and were in submission to His order of authority — so I decided to find out exactly what this last phrase meant!

It turns out that “amazement” here actually means “alarm.” The more accurate rendering of this phrase in modern vernacular is simply, “You are Sara’s daughter if you do good and do not fear anything that is alarming.

Do not fear anything that is alarming.

How simplistic (and almost humorous) this sounded to me! Cancer diagnosis? Don’t be alarmed. Backsliding child? Don’t be afraid. Small paycheck but huge bills? No worries.

Do not fear anything that is alarming.

So easy to say — and when you serve the kind of God we do, it makes total sense! But it’s still not so easy to do . . . Yet what beautiful peace we would experience if we learned to completely trust in God this way!

Psalm 91 is one of the most famous passages in the Bible on why we can have fearless confidence in God. I love the whole passage, but I love verses 14-15 in particular:

Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

If you haven’t truly set your love upon God, if you don’t know His name, these verses can’t offer much comfort. But for those of us who love Him! . . . For those of us who know His precious name! These are beautiful promises, and the promises of God cannot be broken.

I was at an amazing ladies conference recently, and the theme was “Be Bold. Be Brave.”

No fear.

In all the messages I heard, in all the songs that were sung, I felt God drawing me away from the distraction of all these fruitless fears and into confidence in Him.

At church the other night, I heard the familiar song “No Longer Slaves.” The words of the bridge leaped out at me:

You split the sea so I could walk right through it
(Yes, God; I’ll never forget what you did!)
My fears were drowned in perfect love
(Your faithfulness in the midst of the most horrific trial was astounding.)
You rescued me (Yes!) and I will stand and sing
I am a child of God!

Praise break!

I have deep confidence in God: I’ve seen His faithfulness. And I know many of you have as well! He’s moved mountains for you before — and He is no less powerful today than He was back then.

We’ve set our love on Him.

We know His name.

And whether or not things go our way, we do not have to fear alarming things.