by James MacDonald
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. -Deuteronomy 31:8
Fear is a universal problem. It hits us like a wave, threatening a menacing undertow. Scripture identifies the overwhelming emotion of fear almost 1000 times with words like fear (441 times), afraid (167 times), tremble (101 times), terror or terrified (121 times), as well as, dread, frighten, and faint. God's Word provides solutions for healing and hope from the deluge; the most common exhortations from God Himself are: Fear not, (33 times), Do not fear (37 times) and Do not be afraid (33 times).
Here's the problem: God is seldom further from you then when your heart is filled with fear. Ask yourself, Do I struggle with fear? Is that the reason I sometimes feel so far from God when I need Him most?
The antidote for fear is the promise of God's presence. I cling to the resolution that I will not fear because God is with me always. The harder the days get, the more He moves towards you. Sometimes it feels like God is backing away from you when you're going through a hard time but that's not true. Is your heart breaking? He is rushing toward you. He stands there with you in the fire.
Here's the truth: If you could hear the Lord praying for you, you would not fear a thousand enemies. Right where you are this moment, think of the Lord Jesus as in the next room, on His knees in front of the couch or a chair. His nail-pierced hands are held out and He's lifting you and your need to His Father. He knows your exact situation and He's asking His Father to "Give her strength, Lord." "Give him wisdom, God." "Give them patience. They're going to wreck it on their own, Lord. Give them faith that will overcome their fear!" It's an incredible assertion in Scripture that Jesus Christ is not only with you He's actually interceding before the Father on your behalf. And don't you know that God listens when His Son is praying?!
Hear the words Jesus prayed for you in John 17:13-19,
But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.
Lord Jesus, thank You for praying for me. Amen.
• Get on your knees, alone, in prayer. Pour out your heart to the Lord, acknowledging as true everything you read today. Imagine Jesus kneeling in prayer beside you.
• Make it an ordinary habit to talk to the Lord throughout the day in natural conversation.