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The Root and Fruit of Fear

“Faith looks not at what happens to him, but at Him Whom he believes.”

Watchman Nee

Fear is one of the by-products of the Coronavirus and our time of self-quarantine. If we understand the root cause of fear, we will be able to choose faith over fear. The Israelites in Deuteronomy 1:27 grumbled to Moses, “The Lord hates us; so He brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us.” The Israelites had a wrong perception of God and how He felt toward them. They thought God hated them and was against them; when the truth was, He loved them, was for them, and had their best interests at heart.

The root of fear is a lie. The conception of fear begins with a wrong belief about God and who He wants to be for us. The lie leads to feelings of fear, which can cause us to give fearful reports to others (Deut. 1:28). Moses gave the Israelites an accurate version of God in Deuteronomy 1:29-31. He said they didn’t need to be afraid because God would go before them and fight for them. He described God as being strong and gentle, like a Father who carries His son. The truth was God was with them. His presence was displayed as a cloud by day and a fire at night providing protection for them.

The fruit of fear is sin. If we allow our fear to go unchecked, we will murmur and complain. If we allow our misconceptions of God to take root, we won’t place our trust in Him, which then leads to sinful rebellion. “But you were unwilling to go up; you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 1:26).

Fear occurs when we place our trust in ourselves, in our own power. When we think it’s all about us and we have to fight our enemy alone, fear grips our hearts. But faith is trusting in God, His presence, and His power. We have faith when we realize it’s all about God, His sovereignty, and His covenant with us.

May these insightful words by Francis Frangipane encourage your heart. “Beloved, I say, let your fears go, lest they make you fainthearted. Stop inspiring fear in those around you and now take your stand in faith. God has been good and He will continue to manifest His goodness. Let us approach these days expecting to see the goodness of the Lord manifest. Let us be strong and of good courage, for the Lord will fight for us if we stand in faith.”

“The presence of hope in the invincible sovereignty of God drives out fear.”

John Piper

Relevant Reflection:

Look back on the last time you were fearful. What were your misbeliefs about God?

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