HEALTHY FEAR VS. UNHEALTHY FEAR
The Lord has given us all discernment. Without it, we would not last long in this world. We encounter thoughts and circumstances all day, every day. And healthy fear keeps us from trouble. From learning not to play with fire to not playing on a busy street. From not hurting others' feelings unnecessarily to working well with others at our jobs. Discernment and healthy fear are important. However, unhealthy fear is a danger that we need to all be aware of.
Healthy fear keeps us on the wise path but unhealthy fear subtly opens the door to the enemy. When we give more place to fear than to God's ability to help us through our circumstances, it does at least two things. For one, it is a lack of faith in God and that is really bad. Not only is without faith, impossible to please God but to doubt God including His ability to help us, is a sin. Secondly, when we turn our back on God's provision for our circumstances, we open the door to trouble.
Right choices empower God to work in our circumstances and wrong choices empower the devil and his cohorts to work. It is up to us, who we empower. We cannot give place to the devil and expect to see God move in our circumstances. The sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, has been given to us not only for our defense, but also for our offense; and we must not only stand on His Word, but sometimes we have to apply and wield the Sword. We must pray prayers of faith and eliminate doubt. We must ask the Lord for His wisdom and direction in our challenges.
Wisdom calls out for us to trust God and not fear. All throughout the Bible, we see the Lord exhorting and commanding His people not to have unhealthy fear but rather to put their faith and trust in Him. And just like those who have gone before us, the choice is up to each one of us. Do we listen to the voice of fear or the voice of the Holy Spirit? One is a miserable spring of torment and the other a well-spring of life. Let's choose to truly believe and really trust the Lord, not just in lip service but with all our hearts and in all our ways!
As David, the psalmist, king and giant-slayer, said to the Lord when he was girding himself up:
“Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. Psalms 56:3
And as the prophet Isaiah recorded the Word of the Lord:
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'” Isaiah 41:10
And Jeremiah, the weeping prophet whose assignment was to one of the most stiff-necked generations ever, wrote:
"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
And our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, said:
'"And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God.” Luke 12:4-6
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