Mark Affleck


July 11, 2016
Spiritual Growth

I’m trapped!
Have you ever felt like that in the midst of life’s challenges? I certainly have.
The sobering reality is that committing to God’s “Protection Promise” is extremely difficult in the midst of fear and doubt. It runs counter to our human nature.
It’s like being trapped in a flood. Even though the water may be all around us, it will eventually recede when the rain stops upstream. But if we’re downstream neck deep in water it is tough to be convinced that we are safe, right?
We cannot see upstream, and it sure seems like the water is still threatening. Remember what God says about this:
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
The world will not stop producing events and circumstances that drive us into fear, worry, and doubt. As a result, many believers resign themselves to that trouble and they dread what might happen. That is not the attitude God wants us to take. Consider this from the Psalmist:
Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous. Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice. Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.” Psalm 112:4-8
In the end, we either trust God or we don’t.
My personal response to fear and worry is the line that came to me one day when I slipped into the hopeless gear while stuck in traffic and watching the sun drop into a warm Southern California ocean. That line–Love God Fear Nothing—gave me hope and has become the foundation of my life’s ministry and purpose. God gave me that promise, and it has burned a place in my soul for life.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:2
The protection promise does not mean the journey will not be stressful or painless. But it does mean, as God has said, “Do not be afraid, for I am with you.” Isaiah 43:5
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:18-19
Wow.  What a great God. Floodwaters rising? No problem.

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