Fear is today's No.1 killer! Believe it or not, fear causes more sickness and more mental illness and more premature deaths than anything else on Earth! Doctors have discovered that heart muscle is actually DESTROYED when people are subject to great fear. Dr. Marilyn Cebelin, writing in the General Practitioner's newspaper, "Pulse," says the hormone, adrenalin, literally DESTROYS heart muscles when people are subjected to intense stress and fear.
Canadian medical circles also report that WORRY increases chances of infectious disease, in that it weakens the body's ability to fight off germs. A recent study of cases of streptococcal infection, according to Dr. Robert Haggerty, revealed that one out of four cases of such infections occurred after prolonged trauma and anxiety. Heart trouble, high blood pressure, arthritis and stomach ulcers are all basically caused by worry, tension, stress and fear!
Jesus said that in the Last Days "men's hearts would be failing them for FEAR."--Luke 21:26. Doctors say that there's more heart failure today than ever in the World's history because there's more FEAR. In 1982, heart attacks caused 554,900 deaths in the U.S. alone, while hypertensive diseases caused 31,500 deaths!
People today are afraid! They're afraid of the future, they're afraid of what's going to happen in the World, they're afraid of each other, they're afraid of social pressures, afraid of failing in school or work, afraid of being unemployed.--Afraid that they won't have enough money for their families. They worry about so many things!
MUCH of this type of fear, believe it or not, stems from selfishness, from being overly concerned about one's self, one's self-preservation, self-image, what the future holds for one's SELF. The Apostle John wrote, "Perfect LOVE casts OUT fear, for fear has torment."--1John 4:18. When that "perfect love" that comes from Jesus fills our lives, it crowds out this type of selfish worry and fear, and when our hearts are filled with love for others, then we don't think and worry about ourselves so much.
There are many different types of worries and fears, and two of the most common concern the past and the future: Regret over the past and fear of the future.
A lesson on how to keep such fears from affecting us can be learned from modern ocean liners: They are constructed so that the captain can press a button and lower steel doors that separate one watertight bulkhead (compartment) from another, so if the hull is pierced in a disaster it can be sealed off and the ship can stay afloat. So it should be in the "ship" of our own lives; we have to learn how to make doors come down and shut out our worries about yesterday with its mistakes and failures, and also lower another door that shuts out our needless fears of the future, so we can live for just this day alone.--Otherwise our worries may cause us to go under!
Jesus said, "Do not worry about tomorrow. Each day has enough trouble of its own."--Matthew 6:34. But too many people are like a man in the insane asylum whose chief trouble was his fear that he wouldn't get his next meal. As soon as one meal was finished, he immediately began to worry about the next, and most of his time and strength were spent worrying!--How ridiculous! It just doesn't make sense to worry about the future. Why open an umbrella when it's not raining anywhere near you? Besides, have you noticed that it's the things that never happen that seem to worry us the most? Like the famous writer, Mark Twain, said towards the end of his life, "I'm an old man, and I've had many troubles--most of which never happened!"
I read recently about a businessman who drew up what he called a "Worry Chart", in which he kept a record of his fears. He discovered that 40% of them were about things that, in all probability, would never happen; 30% concerned past decisions that he could not now unmake; 12% dealt with other people's criticism of him; and 10% were worries about his health. He concluded that there were valid reasons for only 8% of his worries!
Of course, as CHRISTIANS we don't have to fear or worry about ANYTHING, because we know that "ALL things work together for GOOD to them that love the Lord!"--Romans 8:28. The famous evangelist, Dwight L. Moody, used to say, "You can travel FIRST or SECOND class to Heaven! SECOND class is, 'What time I am AFRAID, I will TRUST.'--Psalm 56:3. And FIRST class is, 'I will trust, and NOT be afraid.'--Isaiah 12:2. So why not buy a first class ticket?"
That's one of the greatest of all liberations for a Christian, to be free from fear!--EVERY type of fear: Fear of the unknown, fear of the dark, fear of enemies, fear of failure and fear of death. We have COMPLETE FREEDOM from fear in JESUS! If you trust GOD, then you have FAITH and not fear. You know your Heavenly Father loves you and is going to take care of you and yours--your family, your future, your job, your wife, your children, your EVERYTHING, if you do your best to love, obey and follow Him!
It's FAITH in Jesus that keeps us from fear. Faith in God is the best cure for fear in the World! "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? God has NOT given us a spirit of FEAR, but of POWER and of LOVE and of a SOUND MIND! For perfect LOVE casts out ALL fear!"--Psalm 27:1; 2Timothy 1:7; 1John 4:18.
Faith and fear cannot totally occupy your mind and heart at the same time.--It's just impossible! It's like the natural law of physics that states, "Two bodies cannot occupy the same place at the same time."--And the same holds true in the spiritual. Faith is the opposite of fear, and when you have faith, you cannot fear!
Turning on the FAITH in your HEART is like turning on the LIGHT in a ROOM! If you go into a room and it's dark, how do you get RID of the darkness? Do you try to SHOO the darkness out? Do you go in with your fists and FIGHT it? No, when you don't want darkness in the room you just turn on the light, right? You just let the light in!--And the darkness turns tail and runs! "Chase away the shades of night, by letting in God's love and light!"
And that's how you get rid of fear!--By turning on faith! And how do you get faith?--From reading the Word of God in your Bible and Daily Food! The Bible says, "Faith COMES by hearing the WORD of GOD!"--Romans 10:17. Faith comes and grows as you faithfully read and hear God's Word! It's the WORD that will strengthen you and give you more faith. So the more you read the WORD, the MORE FAITH you will have and the LESS FEAR you will have!
On the other hand, believe it or not, SOME kinds of fear are healthy! It's good to fear--or at least have a healthy RESPECT for--fire, electricity, lightning and anything that can cause accidents and do us or others damage and harm. God has placed within us beneficial automatic reactions, protective instincts, that make us react quickly and instinctively to danger!
The most healthy fear of all is to fear GOD! The Bible says, "The fear of God is the BEGINNING of WISDOM."--Proverbs 9:10. A part of our LOVE for God should be a healthy RESPECT and FEAR of Him, like a child respects his father, especially if he's been naughty and done wrong and knows that he deserves a spanking! Fearing God is a form of worshiping God. It's giving Him the reverence and respect that He deserves.
However, in like manner, fearing the DEVIL is another example of the WRONG kind of DESTRUCTIVE fear that tears you down and brings you under stress and spiritual bondage. To fear the Devil and his powers is really worshiping the Devil!--So DON'T do it!--Not for a fraction of a second! "Thou shalt worship the LORD thy God and HIM ONLY shalt thou fear!"--Matthew 4:10. "This," the wise King Solomon said, "is the whole duty of Man, to fear God"--only God--"and keep His commandments"!--Ecclesiastes 12:13. If you pin your faith in God, and fear God, all other fears will disappear!
Of course, we must recognize that the Enemy, the Devil, does have certain power. In fact, almost the Devil's total power is in fear. He'll often say "Boo!", and say all kinds of terrible things to try to frighten you! But you don't have to listen to him. Jesus called him, "A LIAR from the beginning."--John 8:44. The Devil is a liar and is usually bluffing and hardly ever able to accomplish his threats!--Especially to a child of God who is protected by the Lord's Holy Spirit and Angels!
The Devil reminds me of an ugly little Pekingese dog that I encountered while shopping the other day. For no reason he started barking and yapping at me like crazy. Its owner, an old lady, picked him up and actually said, "Oh, don't worry! He's just a little DEVIL!" And that struck me as a good lesson on what the Devil is like!--He makes such a big noise, when actually he's so little and powerless compared to the LORD!
So you don't ever have to worry or fear Satan's power, because God is much bigger than any devil!--Or even Satan himself! The power of the Lord is much, much greater! "GREATER is He that is in YOU (Jesus), than he that is in the WORLD (the Devil)."--1John 4:4. In other words, God is saying, "My power in you is much greater than the Devil's power in the World's children!--MUCH greater!" In fact, all the devils of Hell, including Satan himself, are subject to your power, because you have the power of CHRIST! Jesus said, "ALL power is given unto ME in Heaven and in Earth!"--Matthew 28:18. YOU'RE not stronger than the Devil, but JESUS is!-And you have Jesus and His power, and the Devil and his demons have to do what you tell them to when you COMMAND them to do it in Jesus' name!
If you feel the Devil is attacking you with fears, worries, anxiety etc., you can pray in the Name of Jesus and resist and overcome him!--Jesus said, "Behold, I give you power over all the power of the Enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you."-Luke 10:19. This power is YOURS if you believe His Word, claim His promises and pray in the Name of Jesus! In fact, if you are filled with faith and His Holy Spirit, you have the authority to resist the Devil directly, just like Jesus and His early disciples did.
I'll never forget when I was a kid about 12 years old, delivering newspapers, and I had to go into a certain yard to get to a house in the rear. Suddenly, out from the back yard came this huge Great Dane dog, barking and growling furiously, coming at me full speed, leaping and bounding! I thought, "Oh, no!--I'm a goner! This is IT!" But I knew I didn't dare turn my back on him to run or he would bite me for sure. Yet, on the other hand, he was too big for me to face, and I was invading HIS territory! He was just too big for me!
I thank God that I remembered to cry out to the Lord, and I did something that I'd never done before, but which I've since done to the Devil many times when he's tried to attack and frighten and scare me!--I suddenly jutted my hand out toward him and I yelled, "I REBUKE YOU IN JESUS' NAME!"--And, boy, did he put on the brakes! He skidded to a stop and looked absolutely STARTLED!--And turned tail and ran away!
The Devil is just like that dog, a coward!--And if you face him down and RESIST him in Jesus' name, he'll run! You don't get the victory over the Enemy by running FROM him! You get the victory by standing your ground and making HIM run!
Some fears are imaginary, and others, like that big dog, really exist. But whether real or imaginary, you have power over your fears to REBUKE and get RID of them in Jesus' Name! You have to fight fear and fight the Devil! You have to face your fears, recognize they're there, decide between the real fears and the unreal ones, the truth and the lie, and then go to the attack to dispel the vaporous fiction of the fairy tale and to drive away the genuine reality of real threat!
Praising the Lord and quoting God's Word out loud is an excellent way to attack your fears! Memorise faith-building Scriptures like Psalm 23, "The Lord is my shepherd...I will fear no evil." Put all other thoughts out of your mind and just think about Jesus and His Love and His power. "Thou wilt keep him in PERFECT PEACE whose mind is stayed on Thee."--Isaiah 26:3.
There are also some fears that you may need HELP in fighting. Some people have deep-rooted fears that are actual phobias.--For instance, some people almost panic when they're shut up in a closed place. Others fear to go outside. Others fear heights, tunnels, the dark, snakes etc.--If you feel terrified by some extreme fear that you don't feel strong enough to overcome just between you and the Lord, then it helps greatly to have someone else pray WITH to be delivered from that fear! The Bible says, "ONE can chase a THOUSAND, but TWO can put TEN THOUSAND to flight!"--Deuteronomy 32:30. "If any TWO of you shall agree on Earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it SHALL be done for them of My Father which is in Heaven!"--Matthew 18:19. Often, deep-rooted irrational fears are caused by bad SPIRITS, demons, and--as mentioned before--these spirits of fear can be commanded to depart in the Name of Jesus!-And they HAVE to obey! "SUBMIT yourselves to GOD, RESIST the Devil and he WILL flee from you!"--James 4:7.
So don't be afraid of the Devil, HE'S afraid of you! "The Devil flees each time he sees the weakest saint upon his knees!" There's nothing to be afraid of when it comes to the Devil!--He was defeated 2,000 years ago!--When Jesus Christ, the Son of God, won the victory for our souls on the Cross of Calvary!
"And though this World with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us!
We will NOT fear, for God hath willed,
His TRUTH to TRIUMPH through US!
The Prince of Darkness grim,
We tremble NOT for him!
For lo, his doom is sure,
One little Word shall fell Him!"--JESUS!
You have power over the Devil and all fears through JESUS and His WORD!--Pray and believe and be freed from fear today!--In Jesus' name! Amen?
I was raised in the Hegewisch neighborhood on the southeast side of Chicago, Illinois, served in the USAF from 1970 to 1974, and became a full-time missionary for Christ living 40 years in Japan, 3.5 years in Russia, and a few months in other countries such as Finland, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, South Korea, Taiwan and mainland China where I also served the King of Kings, Jesus, as an Ambassador for His Kingdom.
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