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Escaping Fear’s Grip Part 3

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SIH STSTA ICONAnyone who is familiar with the current events of the day, realize that we are living in fearful times.

Terrorism; our nation’s debt, crime, and unemployment; the decrease in value of our homes, investments, savings and retirement plans; shortages of oil and food;  the recent rash of  floods, tornadoes, earthquakes and volcanoes; personal tragedies and trials, the loss of health, the loss of strength that comes with aging or sickness… all of these, and many others, produce anxiety, fear, and in some cases panic, in the hearts and minds of us all.

So what are we to do in these troubled times?  What is the answer to fear in the hearts of someone who has lost their job, is facing the foreclosure of their home and, perhaps, does not know where their next meal is coming from?  What about those who are suffering the loss of a loved one through death or divorce? Even worse, what can possibly take away the anxiety and stress that stems from losing a loved one who was the sole provider for the family? What comfort can be given to someone who is facing failing health with no medical reason to believe things will get better?

By God’s grace, over the next few blog entries we will be looking into the Word of God to see what comfort we can find during these catastrophic times of our life.  In our 3-part study we will be looking at three basic principles:

  1. Realize that the fearful times will remind us of God’s presence in our lives.  He is always with us.
  2. Realize that the fearful times fulfill a purpose in our lives. It opens doors of opportunity to us.
  3. Realize that the fearful times will come to an end.  A glorious eternity awaits us.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Rev 21

1) And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

2) And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

3) And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God.

4) And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

5) And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

Ps 30:5 (KJV)

5) For his anger [endureth but] a moment; in his favour [is] life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy [cometh] in the morning.

Rom 8:18 (KJV)

18) For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

2Cor 4:16-18 (KJV)

16) For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward [man] is renewed day by day.

17) For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding [and] eternal weight of glory;

18) While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen [are] temporal; but the things which are not seen [are] eternal.

Heb 11:13-16 (KJV)

13) These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

14) For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.

15) And truly, if they had been mindful of that [country] from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.

16) But now they desire a better [country], that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

THE STUDY:

If you are like me, it is during the fearful times of my life that time seems to stand still.  My fearful times seem to last for an eternity…. hour by hour, day after day… they seem to continue on, almost without end.  Then finally, there appears light at the end of my tunnel and the sun beings to shine once again.

But this is only my perception of things.  In reality,  the fearful, difficult times of my life, in comparison to eternity, only last a moment….

2 Cor 4:16-18 – “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward [man] is renewed day by day.  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding [and] eternal weight of glory;  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen [are] temporal; but the things which are not seen [are] eternal.”

Let’s stop and think about it just a minute, even if our fearful time last a lifetime, compared to eternity it is nothing. A lifetime is basically 80 years.  Compared to eternity, 80 years is nothing.  If you would take one grain of sand and compare it to all the sand found on every beach in the world, our time of distress would be smaller.  If you would take one drop of water and compare it to all the water in the oceans, rivers, lakes and wells in this world, our time of trials would be less. Truly, in the big scheme of things, a Christian is so blessed knowing that the trials of life are only short-lived and we have a wonderful eternity awaiting us…

 Rom 8:18 – “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us. “

 As we read His Word, we become familiar with many of the servants of our Lord who faced trial upon trial, distress upon distress.  Think of the Apostle Paul who suffered tremendous heartache and trials at the hands of those that opposed Christ and His ministers…

2Cor 11:23-27 -” Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I [am] more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty [stripes] save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; [In] journeyings often, [in] perils of waters, [in] perils of robbers, [in] perils by [mine own] countrymen, [in] perils by the heathen, [in] perils in the city, [in] perils in the wilderness, [in] perils in the sea, [in] perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.”

This same Paul, who so greatly suffered at the ends of the enemies of Christ, was able to write that these sufferings were not “able to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us”.

What a tremendous truth that applies to every follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Every fearful time we face is under our Lord’s control… it is for our good and His glory… and it is only temporal in nature. It cannot be compared to the glorious eternity awaiting us!

Chapter 11 of the book of Hebrews summarizes the great motivation that kept the OT saints as they served their Lord.  In verse number 13-16 we read…. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.  For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.  And truly, if they had been mindful of that [country] from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.  But now they desire a better [country], that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

How could the OT saints be faithful to their God in the midst of such trials and struggles that they faced?  How could they continue on in the midst of so many fearful times in life?  It was this very principle that kept them going…. they knew that they had awaiting them a far better place.  They knew they had eternity with their Lord to look forward to.

You may ask, “What is so special about eternity for the Christian?”  No mortal man can begin to explain the greatness of eternity with God.  However, by His grace, He revealed eternity to the Apostle John and, then, God gave John the words to pen in Revelation chapter 21:& 22:. Here, we find beautiful descriptions of eternity with our Lord.  I would encourage every believer to memorize these chapters, and then use them as a constant motivation to serve our Lord.

For purposes of this blog, I will share only the beginning verses of chapter 21.

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God.  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.  And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

When we read these verses, I believe it pretty much sums it up.  Yes, dear fearful, suffering believer, your fears will come to an end and your sufferings will pass.  Someday, in the near future you will no longer be in the presence of sin, sickness, trials and distress.  Fear will be a thing of the past.  We will be with our Lord, enjoying His glory, His love, and His eternal presence.

 As we conclude our study on dealing with the fearful times of our lives, let us all remember that, for God’s people, our sorrows and fears will only last a season…. but joy will come in the morning when we go home to be with our Lord.

 Psa 30:5 – For his anger [endureth but] a moment; in his favour [is] life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy [cometh] in the morning.

 PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

We have seen that the Bible clearly promises that the fearful times in our lives do not have to overcome us.  We can be victorious even when we are in the midst of these dark, seemingly hopeless situations that we face….

How can we know if this promise applies to us?  David, in Psalm 27:1, touches on this subject.

[A Psalm] of David. The LORD [is] my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD [is] the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

 In these verses, David links his relationship to God with the application of His promises to us.  David describes his relationship to God as “the LORD is my light and my salvation”.  David here says that the Lord has given him the “light” of knowledge and understanding of the truth of His Word.  He goes further and says that the Lord is his “salvation”.

It is only when we have been enlightened with the truths of His Word and we have received deliverance from our sins, that we can apply His promises to our lives.  Have you ever been forgiven of your sins?  Have you ever come to Him understanding your spiritual needs and His divine supplies?

If you have any questions about salvation, I have a tab available on my blog that gives in depth information on what salvation is and what you must do to be saved.  Please click on this link for more information about salvation.

If you continue to have questions or concerns about your salvation, find a Bible-believing church in your area.  The Pastor would be glad to share Christ and the way of salvation with you.   If you feel more comfortable communicating through email, you are always welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

 ————————————————————————

My Main Blog “Settled In Heaven” (updated twice weekly) – https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

The following are other places you can find “Settled In Heaven” blog (updated once per month):

www.settledinheavenbibleblog.posterous.com

www.settledinheavenblog.blogspot.com

To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”


2 Comments

  1. Patti (PJ) says:

    Hey Rob! I tell you what, when I read Paul’s account of what He went through, it really shames me to think that I catch myself worrying about high prices, the hot weather and what Our “wonderful” President is going to do next. Paul’s problems make these things seem so trivial I would love to have about one fourth of his courage and faith in God. I do have faith, don’t get me wrong, but I do catch myself saying “just in case” quite a bit.
    Rob, I have a favor to ask. when you have time, would you take a look at my post and tell me if you were writing it where you would have spit it up? The words were flowing so freely, I didn’t want to stop, but after I finished it and saw how long it was, I thought about splitting it, but couldn’t figure out where because I didn’t want to mess with the train of thought of my post or my readers. I was thinking if I split it up, by the time people got around to reading the next part they would have forgotten what they read to begin with, and I really did feel and still do that the Holy
    Ghost was leading me in this last post. It seemed like I couldn’t type fast enough the thoughts just kept pouring into my spirit. and out through my fingers. Well, once again, another book. Oh! I also wanted to ask how your new job was going. May God’s Blessings Continually Rain down upon you and your’s.
    PJ

    • Rob Barkman says:

      PJ,

      Thank you again for you kind words. I really appreciate your reminding us of Paul and all he went through for the Lrod and His work.. You are exactly right… what we may be facing in our coutry is nothing compared to the great sacrifice that He has given for us. I’ll be glad to look at your posting (that is where I am headed next) I’m not sure if I’ll know any more about how to split it up as you. As far as I am concerned you have been doing a really great job on your posts and it is hard to make any suggestions for making it better.

      Lord bless you,

      Rob

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