The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1 ESV
I was halfway praying, halfway listening to the news waiting for my husband to finish his project so the lights could go out and I could go to sleep. I paused as a news report gave an update on Pastor Saeed Abidini who is imprisoned in Iran for preaching Christianity. I began to pray for him, his family, his safety and his release. Then I began to pray for courage for the pastor and pondered just what incredible faith it takes to face the unspeakable things happening to him at the hands of the Iranian government.
In our homeschool history co-op, we are in the middle of studying World War II. For a school assignment, the children and I watched “The Hiding Place.” I was continually taken back at the courage these people in the work camps had. Some of them put their own lives at risk to help each other and some faced the consequences. I cried as I watched Corrie ten Boom leave the camp after her sister’s death, probably unaware of the status of the rest of her family. Imagine what faith it took to start all over after having everything stripped away from you.
How do people in such dire circumstances face their fears? I have been reflecting on this while praying fro Pastor Abidini and reading through history. Then I happened to come across a post from the Desiring God blog entitled “13 Reasons Christians Don’t Have to Be Afraid.” You can read the entire post here, but I wanted to share the 13 reasons with you today:
1. We will not die apart from God’s gracious decree for his children.
James 4:14-15; Matthew 10:29-30; Deuteronomy 32:39
2. Curses and divination do not hold sway against God’s people.
3. The plans of terrorists and hostile nations do not succeed apart from our gracious God.
Psalm 33:10; Isaiah 8:9-10
4. Man cannot harm us beyond God’s gracious will for us.
Psalm 118:6; Psalm 56:11
5. God promises to protect his own from all that is not finally good for them.
6. God promises to give us all we need to obey, enjoy, and honor him forever.
Matthew 6:31; Philippians 4:19
7. God is never taken off guard.
8. God will be with us, help us, and uphold us in trouble.
Isaiah 41:10, 13
9. Terrors will come, some of us will die, but not a hair of our heads will perish.
Luke 21:10–11, 18
10. Nothing befalls God’s own but in its appointed hour.
11. When God Almighty is your helper, none can harm you beyond what he decrees.
Hebrews 13:6; Romans 8:31
12. God’s faithfulness is based on the firm value of his name, not the fickle measure of our obedience.
1 Samuel 12:20–22
13. The Lord, our protector, is great and awesome.
What are you afraid of today? I found comfort in these promises outlined in scripture and I am inspired more to be courageous in spite of fear! Hopefully these words from Desiring God will bring comfort to you as you face fears while standing firm on the promises of God!