On Fear

7 Dec

On Fear…

As I was growing up Grandfather would teach me what he called the litany of life. Things like: Truth has a way of repeating itself throughout history and contrary to the idea that history begins at breakfast, it actually started before you were born. The one that literally burned itself in my mind is the one on fear.

Fear is the Mind Killer

He taught me from a young age and part of the training was learning to tame and use the mind. This of course is one of the purposes of meditation. In the training series, when fear appears, we would repeat an incantation to help move their minds past the fear. The Litany goes as follows:

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

Now this is a nice way to look fear in the face and to dissipate its effects when faced with a dangerous situation. It helps to focus the mind inward and to have courage. However there is a better way to look at it and know God is always there to protect us.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Psalm 23

The 23rd chapter of Psalm is one of the most quoted in the bible, most often at a funeral. But, have you really looked closely at it to see how it fits our everyday life? I have broken it down here for a bit of a clearer understanding

The Lord is my shepherd and makes sure I have everything I need. Without Him I would be lost.

He gives a me green pasture for which to graze and sleep. He provides still water for me to drink. In case you didn’t know lambs won’t drink from moving water.

He restores my soul: He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. He provides guidance in all circumstances, if we ask.

He offers me comfort and protection so that I have nothing to fear. He is always there to watch over me.

He stands with me in the presence of my enemies. He covers me with His love and blessings and my cup overflows. Goodness and mercy follows me everywhere and He has prepared a place for me in His house for me to live forever.

Psalm 91 is another good example of how God is our refuge.

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday. Psalm 91:1-6

When we open that up a bit we see: He that by faith chooses God for his protector, shall find all in him that he needs or can desire. And those who have found the comfort of making the Lord their refuge, cannot but desire that others may do so.

The spiritual life is protected by Divine grace from the temptations of Satan, which are as the snares of the fowler, and from the contagion of sin, which is a noisome pestilence. Great security is promised to believers in the midst of danger.

Wisdom shall keep them from being afraid without cause, and faith shall keep them from being unduly afraid. Whatever is done, our heavenly Father’s will is done; and we have no reason to fear. God’s people shall see, not only God’s promises fulfilled, but his threatenings.

Then we go to verse 9-16: If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angel concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him;  I will be with him in trouble,  I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation. Psalm 91:9-16

Again, let’s take a closer look at this: Whatever happens, nothing shall hurt the believer; though trouble and affliction befal, it shall come, not for his hurt, but for good, though for the present it be not joyous but grievous.

Those who rightly know God, will set their love upon him. They by prayer constantly call upon him. His promise is, that he will in due time deliver the believer out of trouble, and in the mean time be with him in trouble.

The Lord will manage all his worldly concerns, and preserve his life on earth, so long as it shall be good for him. For encouragement in this he looks unto Jesus. He shall live long enough; till he has done the work he was sent into this world for, and is ready for heaven.

Who would wish to live a day longer than God has some work to do, either by him or upon him? A man may die young, yet be satisfied with living. But a wicked man is not satisfied even with long life. At length the believer’s conflict ends; he has done forever with trouble, sin, and temptation.

Walk daily with God at your side!

Love always,

Ed

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