Sledgehammer Blows to Fear

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword (Romans 8:31–35, ESV)?

Fear has no place in the life of a follower of Jesus. In fact, fear contradicts faith. Faith says, “Whatever I face, it will be okay because of God.” Fear sneers, “It will not be okay,” and thinks nothing about God.

God seldom seems farther away than when your heart is filled with fear. Afraid, you survey your own resources, trying to be self-sufficient, and realize you aren’t nearly enough. An anxious, frightened perspective of your circumstances is never good—and never from God. “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear” (Romans 8:15a). “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7). Fear doesn’t come from God.

The Apostle Paul exhaustively addressed this issue of fear in Romans 8. He was a master at asking questions to make a point. In the verses above, he posed seven questions, six of which are sledgehammer blows against fear. Along the way, Paul named the full gamut of our fears, from our enemies to every conceivable danger. Paul didn’t teach that this list of troubles won’t happen to us but that when any or all of these things do happen, they won’t crush us because of what we have going for us:

  1. “God is for us.”
  2. He “gave [his own Son] up for us all.”
  3. He will “graciously give us all things.”
  4. “It is God who justifies.”
  5. Christ Jesus “is interceding for us.”
  6. Absolutely nothing “shall separate us from the love of Christ.”

These are six, ringing sledgehammer strikes that can shatter our fears. And they confirm that fear has no place in the life of a Christian.

We need not fear, because God is with us individually. There’s a special sense in which God is with each one of His children personally—like your closest friend sitting next to you in a stadium full of strangers. He is with you in a unique way that an unbeliever cannot experience. And not only is He with you, but He is also foryou. “If God is for us, who can be against us”(Romans 8:31b)? The answer to that question shatters fear with the power of faith in Jesus Christ.

Written by James MacDonald

Full article at Walk in the Word

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