And Simon (Peter) answered, Master, we toiled all night [exhaustingly] and caught nothing [in our nets]. But on the ground of Your word, I will lower the nets [again].
— Luke 5:5(AMP)
The sad truth is that not everyone has someone to love. But, most people have someone or something to fear.
The world is rife with situations that promote fear. Isn’t it sad we don’t promote love?
Political debates bordering on the verge of wars, famine, disease, cruelty, selfishness, and disregard for God’s laws–could I not go on?
In contrast to the love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13, is there a fear chapter in our Bible? Maybe.
But there are many passages on fear and how to deal with it.
The Bible doesn’t differentiate between the fear one develops or experiences from this or that; all fear is dealt with in the same manner. All fear is solved by the same solution.
The Psalms set us up for a rich battery of defense against fear. Right out of the box, we’re told God is supreme, in control, and trustworthy.
Whom shall I fear? Of whom shall I be afraid? The shepherd in David knew where his strength came from. His courage and stamina came from the Sovereign God.
Back in Isaiah’s day, fear and terror were to be handed over to God; He holds our hand and strengthens us.
Joshua didn’t fear because he knew the Lord was with him wherever he would go.
Gideon didn’t fear death because God told him he wouldn’t die under the Midianite’s hand.
Timothy tells us to kick out that spirit of fear and accept a balanced mindset that trusts in the mighty God.
David the king tells us to praise the word and trust God with confidence. He said, “What can man, who is flesh, do to me?” (Psalms 56:4 AMP)
I’ve learned that He provides, heals, comforts, avenges, protects, advocates, loves, remains faithful, guides, and enlightens me no matter what I’ve been afraid of. The outcome of my situation may not be what I would design, but if God’s hand is all over the story, I’m satisfied.
Here’s my answer to the ‘maybe’ above. Yes, there is a fear chapter; a chapter that tells us how to live so that we would never fear.
Exodus 20 tells us we don’t have to fear:
- If we have no other God before the Lord.
- If we don’t hold up idols in our life.
- If we don’t dishonor God’s name.
- If we rest and worship at least once a week.
- If we honor our father and mother.
- If we do not kill.
- If we do not have sex with people we’re not married to.
- If we don’t steal.
- If we don’t lie.
- If we don’t want what doesn’t belong to us.
The fear chapter outlines ten steps to a fear-free God honoring life waiting to be blessed by the Sovereign Lord. Can you imagine a world without a need for police and lawyers, where neighbors respected their own boundaries and worked to achieve?
No one alive can keep all the commandments, only Jesus could do that. Yet, behind every infraction is a man in fear. He is not trusting God. He thinks he can do it his own way.
The opening verse tells us that Peter and his men had fished all night and came up empty handed. They were exhausted.
We do the same thing. We work and work in our own effort, experience desolation, depression, and despair, and throw up our hands in defeat. We run out of our own resources and remain empty handed.
The fear that motivates us to do this useless activity wastes our lives, energy, resources, and relationships—and we still come up empty.
Why is it that we can not trust God to do His work through us, knowing He will give us the resources needed? Why do we want to fear instead of trust?
What Peter did when he thrust out his net into a pool of failure took trust.
When you thrust, you trust.
Let your net down, on the basis of God’s promises found in His word. Every time you do, you’ll strengthen those casting muscles of faith. Follow Jesus. He is just one big cast away.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/photosofsrilanka/3723230001/”>Dhammika Heenpella / Images of Sri Lanka</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>