No Fear • Running the Show – 7/31/22

Years ago, I remember reading a newspaper that had an advice column known as Ask Ann Landers. At the height of its popularity the column had 90 million readers. Ann Landers received up to 10,000 letters a week from people who would ask her for advice. A reporter once asked: “Is there any overarching theme that you hear from your readers?” She answered: “Yeah, there’s one issue that’s at the top and that’s the issue of fear. People are afraid. They’re afraid of losing their health. They’re afraid of losing their money. They’re afraid of losing their loved ones. They’re afraid of life.” The people who were alive when she spoke those words really didn’t need Ann Landers to tell them about fear because they could have found the same conclusion in the Bible. The Bible is very clear that we human beings struggle with fear. We often read things like this in the Bible: “Do not be afraid. Do not fear. Fear not.”   

Scriptures – Genesis 12: 1-20; Genesis 13:1-4; John 14:27; Acts 1:8, 18:9

Verse – “I leave you peace. It is my own peace I give you. I give you peace in a different way than the world does. So don’t be troubled. Don’t be afraid.” John 14:27 ERV

Thought – For the followers of Christ, fear and faith are often at odds with one another. The big issue for them is who’s going to win. Will fear or faith be the winner? What happens to a person who loves God and wants to serve Him but faith is losing the battle with fear in their life? Usually what happens is fear begins to take over and starts running the show. The Old Testament character, Abraham, had a time in his life when fear began to run the show and it caused him all kinds of problems. In every Christian’s heart there is a struggle between fear and faith. If fear becomes greater than our faith, then we’re in trouble. That’s what happened to Abraham when fear started running the show in his life. In Genesis chapter 12, Abraham started making bad decisions and then he started scheming ways to cover up those decisions. After making bad decisions and scheming to cover up those decisions, Abraham found himself in a sad position. He was God’s man and had been given a special calling and purpose from God. Despite this, Abraham ended up temporarily losing His witness for God because of what he had done.

Questions – When was the last time you read a physical newspaper? Have you ever read an advice column in a newspaper or on the internet and thought it made sense? Why do you think there are so many references to fear in the Bible? What was the last “bad decision” you made? Do you have difficulty making decisions that could potentially change your life? If so, explain. When was the last time fear won out over faith in your life?

Response – When fear seems to be overcoming your faith, turn to the Bible and pray for strength and encouragement. Seek counsel from committed Christians who will come alongside you in your fight against fear. Surrender your life to Your Heavenly Father’s will for you and then trust Him to lead and guide you each day. 

Prayer – Dear Heavenly Father, I want to be one of your followers who doesn’t let fear run the show in my life. Help my faith to be stronger as I focus on what Jesus has done for me. Let me hang on to the promises for me in the Bible. May my life be a witness to others of the mercy and grace and peace that comes from you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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