Biblical Principles for Christian Maturity

John H. Stoll, Th.M., Ph.D

Copyright 1996, John H. Stoll

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Chapter 39 - Fear Not, Fret Not, Faint Not

In today's world there are many problems that produce fear and guilt in the lives of people. The resulting stress becomes at times, unbearable, and may ultimately lead to emotional breakdowns and physical problems. The Creator of our bodies never intended for mankind to live under these kinds of problems, for which we were never created.

In Psalm 139:14 we read "For I am fearfully and wonderfully made". The whole of an individual is a wonderfully complex structure, but not suited for the stresses to which we are subjected. The body has marvelous recuperative powers, but undue and prolonged stress is harmful. The Bible provides a threefold formula to help us overcome the problems of life, over which we may have little or no control, so that we are able to handle life itself.

I. Fear Not, But Trust: The following passages all speak to the child of God, in promises that help us overcome fear (Luke 12:32; Psalm 27:3, 48:14; Isaiah 41:10, 58:11; Hebrews 13:5,6). The reason the Christian need not fear is that God is sovereign and in control. This is a simple, but reassuring fact (See: I Chronicles 29:11,12; Psalm 10:16, 22:28, 24:1, 115:3; Isaiah 40:15-23). Therefore, we should TRUST our heavenly Father, which helps to alleviate any fear or apprehension.

II Timothy 1:7 points out that, "God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind". The spirit of fear comes from Satan using it to neutralize our Christian living, and keep us down. God has given us the spirit of power to live constructively, the spirit of love to live sacrifically, and a sound mind to live reasonably. In I John 4:18 it states that mature love casts out fear. When our love for Christ is being strengthened and matured, then fear decreases.

II. Fret Not: Much of the fear in society today comes because of evil and wickedness, and those who promote it. God's Word tells us to fret not because of evildoers (Psalm 37:1,7; Proverbs 24:19). This does mean that we should be blind to evil, nor that we don't need to stand up for good, but that we have no need to worry or get bent out of shape because of it.

Remember, God is in control, and He sees all the evil that is going on in the world. In Psalm 7:11 it says that, "God is angry with the wicked every day".Then in I Peter 3:12 we read, "The face of the Lord is against them that do evil". In Daniel 4:17, 25, 35, 37 the prophet Daniel pointed out the sovereignty of God over the kingdoms of mankind. It is comforting to understand these truths in dark days of wickedness among the peoples of the world.

III. Faint Not: At times it seems as if "right is on the scaffold, and wrong is on the throne", whereas in reality that is not the way it is, though it may seem that way. This is why God says to us, faint not. In Galatians 6:9 we are told not to, "Be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not". Other passages speak to this concept, such as: II Corinthians 4:16 and Isaiah 40:28,31.

Our responsibility is to keep on following the pathway of righteousness, trust our Heavenly Father (Psalm 37:3; Proverbs 3:5,6), and "Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you" (I Peter 5:7).

These three admonitions are not glib panaceas for a troubled heart, they are God's principles and promises for today's stressful and complex living. These are promises the Christian can bank on, and know they are backed up by the "Word of God, which lives and abides forever" (I Peter 1:23).

My hope is built on nothing less,
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

On Christ the solid rock I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

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