Scripture Reference: Isaiah 41: 10-13
Subject: Immunity to Fear
The world is gripped with anxiety, fear and uncertainty. They don’t know up to when the situation lasts. The Ebola virus, which occurred in Africa, took 10 years and has been declared to have been wiped out just last week. So, we can guess that the present pandemic will stay longer in our midst as it continues and surging. Up to when, only God knows for He holds the future. What is being watch currently is a new swine flu (H1N1), transferable to human in China again, which health experts/scientists said has pandemic potential too. Let’s pray that it be contained early and spread not. More than .6 million have already died out of about 10.8 million Covid-19 cases, globally. In some countries, like Brazil and Mexico, they are having problem and looking for a big area where to bury their dead; unlike in most countries, cremation is the practice. Hospitals are overwhelmed with patients and manpower compliments are so fully occupied and weary already. Schools and businesses are greatly affected too. In some countries like Israel and South Korea, schools were opened and then, just a few weeks after, were shut down again because cases were discovered. Same case in business establishments. In U.S., business were opened in some states, 2 or 3 weeks ago, so as not to dislocate their economy, but later on were closed again just this week. 37 states are suffering from spikes with daily cases as high as 10k, per state. Fear, anxiety and uncertainty are affecting so many, leading to depression for some.
However, children of God should not be affected. Fear is not in believers’ vocabulary; but to be concerned for others shows our empathy for them. Fear is obviously not from God, for the scripture says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2nd Timothy 1: 7, KJV). However, the spirit of power, love and sound mind remove fear’s grip on us. Fear can come, but it cannot stay and bind those who belong to the Lord because we can overcome. Fear tactics is the devil’s tool/scheme, leading to doubt and unbelief; even questioning God’s goodness and promises. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” while the devil “comes to steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10). The devil has no right over God’s children to do so; we have the privilege/access to tap God’s peace that transcends all understanding that will guard our hearts and our minds in Jesus Christ (Philippians 4: 7). Such peace is supernatural, unmindful/unaffected of what surrounding unpleasant circumstances around us. This should be the response/choice and attitude of every believer. How to sanitize/insulate us from fear and how can this be achieved is God’s message for us. Here it is.
1. Through Unwavering Faith In Jesus Christ
“For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God” (1st John 5: 4-5). This is a forceful and clear statement favoring God’s children. Only those who have faith in Jesus Christ can win and attain inner peace in spite of global problem.
Last Sunday, we have given you the step by step on how to profess faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. However, it doesn’t end there. God’s love for us should be shared to others as proof of our love for Him and to show love for one another, as well. In this way, love is made complete and perfect. And perfect love drives out fear (1st John 4: 18)
The present pandemic or any trouble, difficulties, and hardships cannot separate us from the love of Christ. And therefore, we are more than conquerors (Romans 8: 35-39). God is greater than our problems and He sees them and has a solution for them. Just trust Him. Greater is the one in us than the one who is in the world (1st John 4: 4). Believers are assured of overcoming the invisible enemy.
If we base our faith in our feelings, then our faith will fluctuate whenever they do and the devil will make use of such condition to tempt us. However, if you really put your trust in Jesus Christ willfully, sincerely, and completely and in full submission to and in constant fellowship with Him, even in the extreme situation, then nothing can shake your faith. And the devil will flee from you (James 4: 7-8) and cannot inject fear or doubt in you. Faith is childlike trust and full surrender of our lives. Faith is our shield to put out all the burning arrows that the enemy hurled against us (Ephesians 6:16)
The WORD is the source of our faith. In Romans 10: 17 says, “So then, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”.
2. Through God’s Word
The Holy Scripture produces, encourages, grows, and strengthens/fortifies our faith. A daily dose of God’s word will insulate us from fear. The Word of God, the truth is our sword and belt, our weapon that must be always on hand, prepared and ready, anytime the enemy plants/injects doubt and fear in our mind and heart (Ephesians 6: 14, 17). Rebuke fear in the name of Jesus Christ and His Word. His Holy Word serves as our vaccine against Covid-19 virus, bringing fear and doubt.
We will not lose heart even in this momentary troubles, for we are inwardly being renewed day by day (2nd Corinthians 4: 16) by His Word and by His Holy Spirit.
Jesus when tempted by the Devil in the wilderness used GOD’S WORD, for every dart of challenge thrown against Him. He said, “IT IS WRITTEN…” (Matthew 4: 4-10). He won against the devil with this powerful ammunition/weapon which we can use too against enemy’s tricks in sowing fear in our heart.
Use God’s word and claim them to deflect doubts and fear. The enemy is a loser, for Jesus won victory over him in the cross of Calvary. As is written, “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death is your victory? Where O death is your sting?” (1st Corinthians 15: 54-55).
The Holy Scripture is filled with “WRITTEN” God’s promises and assurances that we can hold on to and depend on them, in this pandemic time. The text for this message and other example of written promises are herein mentioned to give us inward peace:
“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… For I am the Lord your God; who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you (Isaiah 41: 10,13)
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43: 1-2)
“Cast your cares on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken” (Psalm 55: 22) and
“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” (2nd Peter 5: 7)
“No harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent” and “He will call on me, and I will answer him” (Psalm 91: 10, 15)
“Not a single hair of your head will perish” (Luke 21: 18)
The Lord Himself solemnly declared that His promises are true and it will not be changed (Isaiah 45: 23). He is no liar (Number 23: 19); for it is impossible for Him to lie (Hebrews 6: 18). King David had proven them to be true. He strongly and positively testified: “In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice; my cry came before Him, into His ears” (Psalm 18: 6). God is not deaf to hear our cries for help. He is a phone call away through our prayer.
Therefore, keep on reading, study and meditate on His Word on a daily basis. Ask Holy Spirit’s guidance to reveal to you the truth and for a deeper understanding, by praying first.
Faith overcomes fear. As earlier mentioned, it is a childlike trust in Jesus and full surrender of our lives to Him. It must be unwavering and not fluctuating, no matter what. Need a daily dose of God’s word to grow and strengthens our faith. God’s Word is filled with WRITTEN promises and assurances and there is no place/space to fear and doubt to linger on. Obey and apply them to your lives! Live on faith and not on fear!
This pandemic is God’s way of refining us, “See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go” (Isaiah 48: 10, 17). After this dreadful event and after God accomplishes His purpose, He will create new things for His glory’s sake; the former will be gone! We will be surprised! Pray that it comes sooner by His grace, love and mercy. AMEN!