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     “We talked about fear and how it can keep us from freedom to experience all that God has for us.”
               --Dan Arnold (Bear Creek)

     "Better is a little with the fear of the Lord Than great treasure, and turmoil with the treasure."
               --Proverbs 15:16 (NASB)
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I have a question for you this morning. Can a person have both fear and faith in their lives? Ponder that for a moment. Fear is the enemy of faith. Now, I am not speaking of a natural fear nor the reverential fear of God. There are somethings we should have a healthy fear over, but I am speaking more of how fear can wrack the mind and stir up the emotions. How can one trust and have faith in God if they are in fear of the same thing they should be trusting in?

     If you read the "faith chapter" of Hebrews 11, I notice one thing that went along with the faith of those mentioned and that is courage. Sometimes it takes courage added to faith to overcome fear. The devil wants to destroy your faith and he very often does that with fear. He loves for you to be anxious, oh, but how to overcome that anxiety.

     Worry, worry, oh, how can it be overcome. Sure, we have the pat answers that can be given, but I cannot know another's heart, mind, or situation completely. I can easily say, trust in God, but to do that one must cast away fear, and that takes courage along with faith.

     I think sometimes we take Scripture out of context, most often because we do not take the time to study and fully contemplate what is being said.

          "There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection]."
                    --1 John 4:18 (Amplified)

     This is a valuable and important Scripture in regard to fear. I added courage to faith, but here we see that there is no fear in love. But look at it more carefully: "full-grown" or "complete, perfect" love is what does away with fear. It is important to look at this first from a spiritual perspective. Remember that John is writing to the Church, not to unbelievers. The believer does not have to worry (fear) about punishment from God. If he does, he needs to be reassured of the love of God, and that he is a child of God. He has no fear of eternity.

     But there is a reflection of life in this world as well. This is where we live, therefore, we must strive to overcome our fears by knowing that Christ loves us, cares for us, and those we love. So many fret and are stressed in this life. For some reason the devil makes us nervous over many facets that come our way. We are to have confidence in God.

          "We're not nervous, and God's not nervous either... He is firmly on His throne, and Satan can't do anything about it. Nobody can."
                       --Dallas Willard

Perhaps that is what we need--a renewed and refreshed look at God on His throne.

     Don't be nervous about the future. God is on His throne. Don't be nervous about the outcome of the election, nor fear what might happen if the liberals win. God is on His throne. Take a spiritual view of what is happening, have courage, have faith, and know that the love of God will "expel every trace of terror." With Thanksgiving in front of us it would do us good to begin thinking about how thankful we should be. Begin, now on Friday the 13th, to be grateful and thank the Lord for what He has done and for what He will continue to do in your lives.

D.C. Adkisson

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