Zephaniah 3:15,16--The Lord has removed your punishment; He has turned back your enemy. The King of Israel, Yahweh, is among you; you need no longer fear harm. On that day it will be said to Jerusalem: “Do not fear; Zion, do not let your hands grow weak.
It is understandable why the Israelites lived in fear. Their nation was destroyed and they were forcibly relocated to other countries. They were despised by their enemies and disgraced. They had lost God’s favor and with loss of favor comes loss of confidence. But the prophet Zephaniah had a word of comfort for his countrymen. God loved His people and as their King would again grace them with His presence. It was time for them to stop living in fear.
Zephaniah’s word applies to us today in an even more profound manner. God removed our punishment for sins through His awesome Son, Jesus. The King is among us in the presence of the Holy Spirit. We should not fear harm and our hands should never grow weak. Furthermore, the Apostle Paul encourages us that no one and nothing can “separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!” (Romans 8:39b)
Let me share some powerful thoughts with you. The Bible in 119 verses tells us not to fear or be anxious or worry. Thirty-two out of the sixty-six books of the Bible share this truth with Isaiah and Matthew being the most frequent contributors.* God does not suggestthat we live without fear, He commands it. “Do not fear!” There are great reasons for this.
1. We have His presence. Did you ever as a child experience the loss of electricity in a storm and the house became completely dark? How comforting was it to hold the hand of your parent and hear the calming assurance that everything would be alright! Consider that we have our Almighty Father with us through every storm we encounter.
2. We have His promise--see John 3:16. Our hope is eternal fellowship with God free of pain and suffering. Sin and death will not defeat us because of our Redeemer—Jesus whom we have given our trust. This is not a truth to forget or set aside.
3. If we engage faith we disengage fear. If we feed faith we starve fear. Faith is like spinach to the body, fear is like candy. One makes us strong the other is addicting and gives us cancer.
Are you tired of being fearful? You are a victorious champion, beloved by God and destined for glory. Take your rightful position as a child of God and rebuke what is discouraging you. “Stress, in the mighty name of Jesus, I command you to leave! Fear, you have no place in my body—be gone! I claim the words of Isaiah, “You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting in You” (Isa. 26:3).
Feeling better? Amen—let it be so.
Fear knocked, faith answered, and no one was there.—Unknown
*Scripture Passages that exhort us not to fear:
Genesis 15:1, 21:17, 26:24, 35:17, 43:23, 46:3, 50:19,21; Exodus 14:13, 20:20; Numbers 14:9, 21:34; Deuteronomy 1:21, 3:2,22, 7:18, 18:22, 20:1,3, 31:6,8; Joshua 1:9, 8:1, 10:8,25, 11:6; Judges 4:18, 6:10,23; Ruth 3:11; 1 Samuel 4:20, 12:20, 22:23, 23:17, 28:13; 2 Samuel 9:7, 13:28; 1 Kings 17:13; 2 Kings 1:15, 6:16, 17:35,37,38, 19:6, 25:24; 1 Chronicles 22:13, 28:20; 2 Chronicles 20:15,17, 32:7; Nehemiah 4:14; Psalm 49:16; Proverbs 3:25; Isaiah 7:4, 8:12, 10:24, 35:4, 37:6, 40:9, 41:10,13,14, 43:1,5, 44:2,8, 51:7, 54:4; Jeremiah 1:8, 10:5, 30:10, 40:9, 42:11, 46:27,28; Lamentations 3:57; Ezekiel 2:6, 3:9; Daniel 10:12,19; Joel 2:21,22; Haggai 2:15; Zephaniah 3:16; Zechariah 8:13,15; Matthew 1:20, 6:25,31,34, 10:19,26,28,31, 14:27, 17:7, 28:5,10; Mark 5:36, 6:50, 13:11; Luke 1:13,30, 2:10, 5:10, 8:50, 12:7,11,22,29,32; John 6:20, 12:15, 14:27; Acts 18:9, 27:24; 1 Peter 3:14; Revelation 1:17, 2:10
©2018 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)