Be Ready, Without Fear

hurricane harvey

Over the last few weeks weather has played havoc on the lives of many people in the United States and several island countries nearby. Two major hurricanes, Harvey and Irma, have hit the coasts and created a lot of damage.

damages harvey

The first hurricane, Harvey, hit land only a few hours from where I live in Texas. Houston, itself, is only about 1 1/2 hours from my place. I had many friends who live in some of the coastal cities and the Houston area that were hit very hard. Several completely lost their homes, others had their homes completely flooded out. It was a very bad storm.

flooded homes

During the last 2-3 days before the hurricane hit, people started running to the stores to purchase food and water. In the days before, till several days after the hurricane, many of the shelves in the store were bare. As fast as the stocker could pull water off a cart and put it on the shelves, the water was snatched up and purchased by someone.

bare shelves

Along with the shelves becoming bare of food and water, there was a run on gas. People quickly ran to the gas station to fill up. This occurred even more, once they heard that the oil refineries were broke down. There was a great fear of a shortage of gas. Gas and food prices started to rise in the fear.

Even now, after a week of Harvey being gone, there are gas stations that shut down nightly because they are out of fuel. People are still lining up at the stations to get gas. Talk is everywhere about the fear of the shortage of gas and prices going higher all the time.

I will not try to spiritualize the hurricane and say that God is judging America. He did not tell me that, so I will not say that either. It may or may not be true. God does use natural disasters to punish a nation. And there is sin in this world, so there are also natural disasters that will take a toll on human life.

What I do want to talk about is being ready without fear. Panic had risen in the hearts and minds of many people. This had caused the people to run to the stores and buy as much as they could, as fast as they could. This was all done out of fear and lack of preparation.

Many people live their Christian lives in the same way. They react to situations in their lives out of fear and lack of preparation.

Some negative situation happens in the life of a person and immediately he runs to God, crying out in fear and desperation for help. He then opens the Bible and scours it for verses of hope dealing with his situation. Prior to this situation, he never prayed, except at an occasional meal, or at church when the pastor asks everyone to bow their heads and pray, and he never opened the Bible, unless the pastor asked him to directly. The Bible sat on a shelf, collecting dust all week, until Sunday.

dusty bible

This is not a picture of someone who is ready. It is not a picture of someone who is prepared for whatever may come his way. It is only one of fear and desperation, just like those running to the stores to get food or gas during and after the hurricane.

2 Timothy 4:2 New International Version (NIV)

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

Paul had told Timothy to preach the word and be prepared at all times. Although Paul was talking about directly preaching to people the gospel message, it can be seen in preaching the Word of God to situations in your life.

As a believer you must study and know God’s word in your heart and mind at all times.

Psalm 119:11 New International Version (NIV)

11 I have hidden your word in my heart
    that I might not sin against you.

Hiding God’s word in your heart and knowing it all times will keep you from sin. Running in fear is not trusting God. Not trusting God is a sin.

Time in Gods Word

The only way you can know God’s word and have it hidden in your heart is if you spend time in His word. The only way you can know God’s will for your life is if you spend time talking with God about it. And if you talk to God about it, you must listen to what He has to say.

God is a God of peace, not fear and panic. He is always in control of every situation in your life. Whether the situation is of hurricane size, or a bump in the road, God is still there with you. Know this before you hit that situation and you will have His peace and comfort in the storm. Spend time with God and His word, before life gets rough with a bad storm.

Do not place yourself in a position of running in fear to God’s word, drastically searching for some help. Know it before the time of need comes. Then you will be able to confidently go before God with your needs, knowing that He is there and in control. You will be ready for anything and not have any fear.

Prayer

Today as you think about this, please be praying for those affected by the hurricanes in Texas, Florida and any other states or countries in their path. Pray for their peace, protection, and restoration.

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Isaiah 37:5-6 Do Not Be Afraid Of Reports

When King Hezekiah’s officials came to Isaiah, Isaiah said to them, “Tell your master, ‘This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid of what you have heard–those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.” Isaiah 37:5-6

Sennacherib, king of Assyria, had come up against Jerusalem and laid siege to it. The city was threatened to be overrun and everyone killed. He boasted about the power that Assyria had and all the other nations he had overcome already. The people were afraid of him, because his army was much stronger and Assyria had destroyed many other nations.

King Hezekiah sent some people to Isaiah to find out what God had to say about the situation. Basically Isaiah said that they were to ignore the reports that were being delivered by Sennacherib’s men. God saw what he was saying and how Assyria was blaspheming Him.

Since that time the methods of delivering messages have changed, but the messages often being delivered are the same. Watch any news channel and you will see many reports of danger and threats. One nation is always threatening another nation. One group of people is threatening another group of people. Governmental laws threaten some people. Reports of epidemic sickness arise. Reports of economic collapse are everywhere. Reports of violence, rape, murder, theft are always out there. Fear is found everywhere.

As a believer in Jesus, you will hear these reports on a regular basis. There is nothing to stop these reports. However, you do not have to live in fear because of the reports being made. God is greater than any power in this world.

Just as Hezekiah did, you must bring those reports to God. He is the one who is really in control of everything. Without His permission, nothing can happen.

Instead of running in fear of those reports, give them to God and trust Him in how to deal with them. Trust that God knows what is best to be allowed or stopped. There is purpose for everything that happens in this life, both the good and the bad things. God will use everything, but all of it will be used for your benefit, if you allow Him to use it that way.

Are you fearing those reports?

Or are you trusting God with those reports?

I pray today that you will know that God is in control; that God will help you to not fear any bad reports; that you will bring all reports before God to deal with; and that you will be a witness of God’s great power to this world.

Isaiah 31:1 Where To Get Help

Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the LORD. Isaiah 31:1

Every person needs help at different times in their life. Finding the needed help is not always the easiest thing to do. People look for someone who is able to help them in the best way possible. The Israelites were looking to Egypt for help.

When a person has a vehicle break down, finding a mechanic that is affordable, reliable, and quick at doing the repairs is difficult. Often the person will ask others for references or they will just search the internet and read the reviews of various mechanics. Once a mechanic is found, the trust of the vehicle is put into that mechanic.

Along with finding help with vehicles, many people seek out assistance in many other ways. Searching for a job, provision of money, provision for a vacation, health care, healing, and the list goes on.

There is nothing wrong with seeking help from others, the problem comes in when total trust is put in the others first. Most people rely on others in this world for everything. They trust their large paying jobs, big bank accounts, personal influence, influence of others, the doctors, counselors, and psychiatrists.

The one that may people do not immediately go to for help and rely on first is God. Many believers go to other people first, before stopping and praying about the situation with God.

When a situation comes up in your life, where you need help, the best thing you can do is immediately stop and go to God for help. Ask Him for assistance. He can guide you to the right person for help or He can supernaturally take care of the situation Himself.

Who has a better chance at helping you: God–who is in absolute control and made everything? Or the people and things of this world–that are all temporary and can fail?

Do not go down to Egypt for help. Seek out the One who can really help you. Seek out God first in your life for every situation, whether large or small. He can and will help you.

I pray today that you will know God’s heart towards you; that you will trust God’s help and provision for your life; that you will seek out God first in your life for everything; and that you will trust in God for everything in your life.

Isaiah 12:2 God Is My Salvation

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. Isaiah 12:2

Isaiah had been speaking about how God was going to punish and destroy Judah. The destruction of the nation was going to be great and the people were going to be sent into exile. This destruction was going to last for nearly 2,000 years as a nation.

As with every destruction of a nation, it would be horrible. People would be killed, imprisoned, tortured, enslaved, separated from families, and ridiculed. It would be a war upon the nation, and no war is pretty.

Yet, Isaiah gives praise to God and speaks of God being his salvation. Isaiah knew that in spite of everything that was going to happen, God would be with him and keep him. The ultimate salvation was to be found in Jesus. Jesus would save from the sins for all eternity.

Today there is destruction and war going on all around a person. Economies are failing, disease is rampant, hatred is high, and fear is everywhere. Looking at this world it is difficult to see any hope of a good future.

Believers look on the way their nation is going and are often in fear for their children. In many places, being a Christian is harder now than it was when a person was younger. Violence against Christian belief keeps rising.

Yet, in spite of all that is happening and seen in this world, if you are a believer in Jesus, you can know the salvation He has for you. There is a freedom in knowing that your sins are forgiven and you are in the right standing with God that the world cannot know. There is freedom from fear in knowing that you will live for eternity with God.

You do not have to be afraid of the way things are going in this world. Jesus has already overcome this world when He rose from the dead. No power is greater on this earth than death, yet Jesus conquered death.

Jesus is your strength, defense and salvation. Trust in Him and do not fear this world, despite what is going on around you. In the end you will win!

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your salvation; that you will not fear this world; that you will not fear destruction; and that you will know the hope and salvation you can have in Jesus.

Isaiah 8:12-13 Conspiracies And Fears

Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it. The LORD Almighty is the one  you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread. Isaiah 8:12-13

In every nation and throughout all of history, people have come up with many stories of government conspiracies. Stories are made to explain away different events. Usually they are centered around a group of people who are planning to do some type of illegal work to take over and destroy someone or something.

Some of the conspiracy theories are widespread and many people believe in them, while others are not so well-known. Among those that get well known, there are some that bring about a great fear among the people. The people start to fear the big government takeover, where the government controls everything.

God tells Isaiah not to fear these conspiracy theories that the people are believing in.

Nothing has changed since the time of Isaiah. It is easy to get caught up in the media world and begin to believe in conspiracy theories. When something happens, many people start talking about it and put their own twist on to what actually happened. In the process, fear is often raised.

In current times, many people fear a Muslim takeover, or terrorists attacks. Theories as to who is behind the attacks are numerous. Fear among people is very high. Dread of people from middle-eastern countries is high.

Yet, the only one that you should fear is God. Despite all the efforts that people or a government may be making to do something illegal or for a takeover, it is God who is really in control. No terrorist or criminal can do anything without God allowing it to happen.

Always keep in mind that God created everything, so He has absolute power. Jesus defeated death, so nothing can defeat Him. Both God the Father and Jesus are on your side, if you are following Jesus, and will not allow anything happen to you that is not to your benefit in the end.

As the world trembles in fear, you can walk in peace knowing God is in control and on your side. You can then show the world the truth in Jesus and the peace they may have.

I pray today that you will know the peace Jesus provides; that you will know the truth of God; that God will remove all fear in your life; and that you will be a witness for Jesus to this world that is living in fear.

 

Isaiah 4:6 Shelter And Refuge

It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain. Isaiah 4:6

Despite the fact that God was in the process of destroying Judah and Jerusalem, He had plans already in store to build it up again. God was going build a shelter over Mount Zion–Jerusalem. In the manner of protection that God gave Moses and the Israelites in the desert, He would be a cloud by day and a flame of fire during the night.

At times, clouds can seem like a bad thing. They tend to indicate rain or storms, and they block the beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Yet, they can be a blessing in blocking out the heat of the sun. Knowing that rain is coming can be a blessing for the farmer.

In the same way, a flame of fire can appear sometimes as a bad thing. Seeing flames in a field or on a home is usually a bad thing to be occurring. Yet, flames will also provide warmth. In the night, the flame can keep the wild animals away while one is camping. Burning a field, can often remove the unwanted weeds, diseased plants and cut back the bugs, all of which can be a blessing.

God is over your life both day and night. He provides shelter and refuge for you to dwell in. When you are in His presence, nothing can do anything to you without His permission.

The world is going to try hard to get you to fall and give up on God. The world does not want you to succeed as you follow Jesus. Satan does not want you to be a good witness of who Jesus is.

Yet, God will put a hedge of protection around you that will shelter you in the heat of the day. When the world is putting pressure on you to commit a sin, you can run to God for shelter. When the world is threatening you in the dark to harm you, you can flee to God for refuge.

God will never leave you out in the cold to be destroyed. He is there for you, to take care of you and provide for all of your needs. Trust Him and do what He asks of you and see His great hand of love and mercy.

I pray today that you will know God’s protection in your life; that you will run to God for shelter; that you will know God’s peace in the storm; and that you will not give in to the ways of this world.

Isaiah 2:22 Stop Trusting In People

Stop trusting in mere humans, who have but a breath in their nostrils. Why hold them in esteem? Isaiah 2:22

Isaiah was talking about the day of the Lord that is to come. It would be a day when God takes out His wrath upon all mankind for refusing to follow Him. Every person will attempt to flee from His presence and anger, and yet will not be able to do so. As he finishes this chapter, he tells everyone to stop believing in mere humans.

People like to trust other people all the time. There is a certain amount of trust that everyone has. One trusts that the other driver will stay on his side of the road. One trusts that the cook in a restaurant will cook the food safely.

Others will put greater trust in people, such as trusting those in government positions to fix various problems in society. Trusting that the police force will be able to stop all crime from occurring. Trusting that the economy will get better. Trusting in their job to provide all their needed finances. The list for trust goes on infinitely.

The problem with all of this trust is that it is all in mere humans. Humans can do some things, but they are not really in full control of anything, but their own personal thoughts and actions. And even those things are being led by the devil.

People try to do good, but are often caught up in selfish motives, which in turn bring about the wrong choices. They can only see in the immediate, they cannot see the future or into the hearts of others. These are things that only God can do.

God is the only one who is truly in control. Regardless of how bad things turn out, God can work it out for your good. He can turn any situation around in a moment.

You must put all of your trust in God. Trust that God will guide the other person driving down the road. Trust that God will provide for your needs when a bad situation occurs. Trust that it is God is providing the abundant blessings in your life.

Man is just vapor in light of eternity. Who will you trust today? Man or God?

I pray today that you will know God personally; that you will trust Him with all of your life; that you will not put all your trust in man; and that you will live your life for God.