17. Helping Others Through Fear

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Genesis 35:17 NKJV Now it came to pass, when she was in hard labor, that the midwife said to her, “Do not fear; you will have this son also.”

Never underestimate the power and influence that your words have on others. Jacob’s wife Rachel was having an extremely difficult labor. We don’t know the extent of the complications, but they were extreme enough that they ultimately took her life. Rachel undoubtedly began to fear for her own life, but even more so for the life of her unborn child.

This would be the birth of her second son. For 17 years she had been longing to conceive and give birth and have another boy. Rachel & Jacob had their first son Joseph seven years after they married. Jacob already had six sons from Leah and another four sons from their maid servants. Rachel longed to have another boy for Jacob and boldly proclaimed the Lord would give her another son (Genesis 30:24). Seventeen years later she gave birth to Benjamin and feared her own death, her greatest fear was her baby would die. Then her midwife said, “Do no fear; you will have this son also.” Oh how that sweet voice of confidence must have encouraged Rachel in that moment.

When we speak faith-filled words to people in the midst of their terrifying situations, especially to those who know the promises and faithfulness of God, our words of faith act as a stabilizing force. They arrest their fearful thoughts and redirect them to God’s unchanging Word. In the fast paced and unsteady world we live in today, we have ample opportunities to encourage one another by speaking faith-filled words when others begin to fear. The next time someone is anxious about an upcoming bill or is in fear over a doctor report, tell them, “Don’t be afraid.” Then remind them of their prayer or a promise from God’s Word. Don’t let fear have its way in the lives of people you know. Tell them they don’t have to fear.

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16. Remind the Lord and FEAR NOT!

des311j_remember_photogram_02Genesis 32:6-7 NKJV Then the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau, and he also is coming to meet you, and four hundred men are with him.” (7) So Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people that were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two companies.

Genesis 32:9-12 NKJV Then Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, the LORD who said to me, ‘Return to your country and to your family, and I will deal well with you’: (10) I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant; for I crossed over this Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two companies. (11) Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, lest he come and attack me and the mother with the children. (12) For You said, ‘I will surely treat you well, and make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.’ “

Notice here what Jacob did when he found himself gripped by fear; he began praying to God and quoting the Lord’s promises to him. He put God in remembrance of His Word (Isaiah 43:26). Not that God is forgetful, but by putting “God in remembrance”, we remind ourselves of those very same promises. This inspires faith in us as we plea our case or petition to the Lord in our circumstance. And we shift our eyes from the circumstance that has caused us to fear and set them on the promises of God.

Isaiah 43:26 NKJV Put Me in remembrance; Let us contend together; State your case, that you may be acquitted.

Now we are in agreement with what God has said. Isaiah 43:26 tells us, that we begin to contend together with God. The word translated “contend” here could also be translated “plead, argue, or judge.” The word “Shaphat” literally means to vindicate or pass a sentence, painting a picture of a judge delivering his decision in a case and banging the gavel. When we quit focusing on our fears and instead look to the promises of God and speak His Word, we join with God in declaring His judgment and sentence over our situation. So, FEAR NOT. The controversy is over. God is for you and not against you. Find His promises, trust Him, and speak His Word. As you do, you can climb right up on the throne of God, and together with Him, bang the gavel and pass judgment on the situation. So, fear not, YOU WIN.

15. Just Follow His Word

ebecc052113181-5608cfc8e661eGenesis 31:31 NKJV Then Jacob answered and said to Laban, “Because I was afraid, for I said, ‘Perhaps you would take your daughters from me by force.’

After Jacob’s nefarious dealings with his uncle Laban over a 20 year span, Jacob feared that Laban wouldn’t allow him to leave and would force him to work the rest of his life for him. He worked for Laban for seven years to marry Rachel, only to receive her sister Leah instead. Then had to work another seven years to marry the woman of his dreams. Then he worked six additional years to earn some livestock, during which his wages were changed ten times. Jacob was ready to go. He longed to be out from under the thumb of his cheat of an uncle. Then the Lord told Jacob to return to his hometown.

Genesis 31:3 NKJV Then the LORD said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you.”

Jacob was in bondage. He was in bondage to Laban’s schemes and in bondage to the fear of what Laban would do to him. God doesn’t want us to fear. God is our deliverer. Jesus came to set us free. John 8:36 says, “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” God had shown himself faithful to Jacob by giving him supernatural wisdom through a dream of how to prosper and grow his flock while working for Laban. Now God wanted Jacob to return home. Jacob was afraid but he obeyed the voice of God, packed up his family and left. Though I don’t agree with the way Jacob left, as he did not leave honorably, he did obey the voice of God nonetheless. When we obey God’s Word, we have nothing to fear.

Laban set out to capture Jacob and his family, but God intervened and sternly cautioned Laban to be careful with how he spoke to Jacob. You see when God asks us to do something, He makes Himself responsible for the outcome when we act in obedience to His Word. If God has asked you to do something like volunteer in children’s ministry, quit smoking, or tell your neighbor about Jesus, then He is right there with you to accomplish the task. So, FEAR NOT.

14. You Are Blessed

blessed-thumbGenesis 26:24 NKJV And the LORD appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for My servant Abraham’s sake.”

God is with us. What and amazing reality. The Lord God appeared to Isaac and told him that He was with him. I’m sure that simple message cast all fear in Isaac’s mind aside. The knowledge that God is with you eliminates any potential fear because of his awesome presence.

“But, what about me”, you may ask. If you’ve been born again, God wants you to know that He is with you too. In Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah prophesied about a the virgin birth. He said the Son born would be called Immanuel, God with us. WOW! God with us. Jesus was and is the fulfillment of that Scripture (Matthew 1:23). Jesus is God with us and He is with us by His Spirit always (John 14:26). Since God is with us we have nothing to fear. FEAR NOT

God has blessed us. God’s blessing upon Isaac meant that no curse could cling to him and no problematic neighbors could keep him from the promises of God. Isaac was blessed by God because of the covenant Abraham had with God. Galatians 3:29 tells us that if we are Christ’s than we can receive the same blessing Isaac received which stemmed from the promise that God gave Abraham. Since God has blessed us, no curse can cling to us. So FEAR NOT.

Galatians 3:29 NKJV And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed,
and heirs according to the promise.

13. He’ll Do It Again

blessedGenesis 26:24 NKJV And the LORD appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for My servant Abraham’s sake.”

When God spoke to Isaac and told him, “… DO NOT FEAR, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants…” that had to have brought him incredible relief and peace. Isaac obeyed the Lord, stayed Gerar and sowed into the land even in the midst of a famine. Through his obedience to God, he was greatly blessed. So much so that the Philistines got jealous of his wealth.

Genesis 26:12-14 NKJV Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the LORD blessed him. (13) The man began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous; (14) for he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and a great number of servants. So the Philistines envied him.

Because of their envy, the Philistines set out to ruin Isaac by filling in the well that his family, livestock, and crops depended on with dirt. Isaac traveled to the valley and dug another well that had previously been used by Abraham. Then the local herdsman argued the water belonged to them. So Isaac left and dug another well with the similar results. Finally, he moved again and dug yet another well, this time with no contention. “Praise God,” he must have thought. Then he moved to Beersheba. The night he arrived God showed up and spoke to him the promise in Genesis 26:24.

As Isaac moved his massive flocks of sheep and herds of livestock along with his family and servants to Beersheba, he was undoubtedly tired. Fearful thoughts of who might come and try to take the well they are about to dig flooded his mind until the Lord told him to FEAR NOT.

When we find ourselves tired from a long day or a difficult season in our lives, the enemy loves to come in and attempt to get us out of faith and into fear. But FEAR NOT, God is with you. He has not left you. He had blessed Isaac tremendously once and wanted him to know He would do it again.

Has God saved you? Has He ever blessed you? Has He ever provided for you? Has He ever healed you? Don’t get discouraged. Don’t let the enemy try to get you to quit. Get in the Word. Find a promise, then pick up your shovel and dig another well doing what you know you need to do. He is with you and He will bless you. If He’s done it once, He’ll do it again. So FEAR NOT.

12. “Fear Not! For I Am With You,” says the Lord.

Genesis 26:24  And the LORD appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for My servant Abraham’s sake.”

“FEAR NOT, for I am with you”, says the Lord.  Glory to God, there is nothing to fear.  When God is with you, what is there to fear.  The Message Bible says, “…don’t fear a thing because I am with you.”  Just as the Lord was with Isaac, He is with you.  Actually, He is with you and closer to you than He ever was with Isaac.  When you were born again, the eternal God, creator of the universe came to live in you.  The Holy Spirit of God is co-mingled with your regenerated human spirit and He will be with you forever.

John 14:16-20  And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—  (17)  the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.  (18)  I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.  (19)  “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also.  (20)  At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

FEAR NOT.  God is with you.  Say that right now.  “God is with me.”  Say it again.  “GOD is with me.” Again.  “God IS with me.”  Where is He?  “God is WITH me.”  Where is He?  “God is with ME.”  Yes, He is.  He is with you and will never leave you.  There is nothing to fear.

Hebrews 13:5  Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU.”

Psalm 23:4  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

11. Death is Swallowed Up in Life

spring sunsetGenesis 26:7  And the men of the place asked about his wife. And he said, “She is my sister”; for he was afraid to say, “She is my wife,” because he thought, “lest the men of the place kill me for Rebekah, because she is beautiful to behold.”

Like father like son, some might say about Isaac as they read about him following in the same pattern of his father Abraham, who also lied about his relationship with his wife.  This further illustrates the power fear holds over us when we yield to it.  Isaac had just had an encounter with God, who reiterated the covenant He made with Abraham.  Isaac obeyed God’s command to move to a new land, but when he got there, he became afraid for his own life.

God’s Word will not return void. (Isaiah 55:11)  Isaac could have just held on to God’s promise to bless and multiply him and his family, which would be hard to do if he was dead, but Isaac feared for his own life.  The fear of death is a crippling terror.  I have seen the fear of death overtake people and strip them of all the joy and vibrancy that life in Christ has.  Yes, I have seen born-again and even Spirit-filled Christians held in bondage by the fear of death.  This ought not be so.

1Corinthians 15:51-58   Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— (52)  in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  (53)  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  (54)  So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP IN VICTORY.”  (55)  “O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING? O HADES, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY?”  (56)  The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.  (57)  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  (58)  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

1Corinthians 15:54-55 MSG  Then the saying will come true: Death swallowed by triumphant Life!  (55)  Who got the last word, oh, Death? Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now?

Jesus died to set us free from sin and death.  1 Corinthians 15:56 tells us that sin is what causes us to have a fear of death, but God has forever dealt with sin in Christ Jesus. (Hebrews 9:26)  Jesus holds the keys of death (Revelation 1:18) and was raised from the dead so that all who believe in Him would have everlasting life. (John 3:16-17)  There is so much here we could talk about, but the bottom line is FEAR NOT!  If you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, He lived a sinless life, was unjustly put to death bearing your sin, rose from the dead, is seated at the right hand of the Father God, and you’ve asked Him to be your Lord, then you have nothing to fear.  Eternal life is yours.  FEAR NOT.  What is there to fear?  The worst thing that could happen is you die.  Praise God!  Then you would find yourself with Him, which is far better.  So, FEAR NOT.  Death is swallowed up in triumphant life.