What are we going to do now?
1. There is no way you could understand what I mean by this question without knowing the tone of voice with which it was asked.
2. The way it was asked makes it one of the most important questions of life – one that each of us is certain to encounter personally.
3. It is what Jesus was addressing when he made this statement: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).
1. The right instruction
a. This is one word of encouragement the Lord knows we always need.
i. Scripture admonishes us to “fear not” or “be not afraid” countless times.
ii. Often these are among our favorite passages (i.e., Psalm 23:4; 27:1).
iii. And it’s not just a “feel good” issue. Emerson said, “Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.”
b. The necessity of this teaching may be observed from the situations in which individuals are told not to fear.
i. Deut. 31:6. When moving into an unknown phase of life.
ii. Matt. 10:26. When undertaking a heavy responsibility.
iii. Rev. 21:8. When facing dangerous temptations and trials.
iv. Heb. 13:5. When experiencing weariness.
2. The wrong kind of fear
a. The Lord has always worked through people who had their fears.
i. Joshua (Josh. 1:9)
ii. Elijah (1 Kings 19:3)
iii. Esther (Est. 4:11, 16)
b. His word sometimes even seems to commend fear.
i. In some circumstances, it is treated as if it were the appropriate response.
ii. A certain kind of fear is said to be the beginning of wisdom, the whole duty of man.
iii. John 12:27; 14:27
c. The wrong kind of fear is the kind that becomes the tone of a person’s heart and keeps him from doing the right thing.
i. 2 Tim. 1:7
ii. A different word for “fear” is used here: it denotes moral cowardice and timidity that is never used in a good sense.
iii. The wrong kind of fear is the direct opposite of faith.
3. What are we going to do?
a. Keep a conviction deeper than the emotion.
i. “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” – Ambrose Redmoon
ii. Isa. 8:13
iii. Matt. 10:28
b. Tend to what has to be done at the moment.
i. This is another way of saying, “Do your duty. Do the right thing.”
ii. In The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis says, “Satan’s cause is never more in danger than when a human being no longer desiring, but still intending to do God’s will, looks around upon a world from which every trace of God seems to have vanished and asks why he has been forsaken, yet still obeys.”
iii. Thomas Carlyle said, “Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.”
iv. John 14:31
v. Prov. 31:21, 25
c. Regroup. Renew. Remind yourself of what you know for sure.
i. Your Lord has overcome the world (Jn. 16:33).
ii. The Lord is for you (Psalm 118:6).
iii. God is with you (Isa. 41:10).
iv. You are valuable to him (Matt. 10:31).
v. Making sure you are engaging in activities specifically intended to keep you faith in these things fresh.
d. Try to do the loving things.
i. 1 John 4:18
ii. This at least means not letting fear set the tone.
iii. Choose to act lovingly. Take the initiative. Run the risk.
1. What are we going to do now? We’re going to walk with the Lord!
2. Prov. 29:25 – “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.”
3. “Fear not, I am with thee, / O, be not dismayed; / I, I am thy God, and will still give thee aid; / I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, / And cause thee to stand, / Upheld by My gracious, omnipotent hand.”