Did you know that termites cause billions of dollars worth of property damage each year? I’ll never forget what a colony of those silent destroyers did to a corner of my childhood home. As it turns out, my favorite room of the house was also the favorite room of a wood-munching army. Thankfully, I knew someone I could rely on to exterminate our unwelcome guests.
Fear is a lot like these termites. Without invitation it can creep in and do severe damage to our spiritual condition. The tribulation and circumstances around us can be intimidating, especially when they are beyond our control. Fear can be paralyzing, especially if we don’t know who to call on for deliverance and provision of hope. These words from Proverbs 13:12 ring loud and true: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”
The Bible clearly teaches us who we can rely on to exterminate sinful fear. God’s Word gives us three promises to exterminate fear in Psalm 46:1-3.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah”
Fear-Exterminating Promise #1: God Is Our Refuge
The promise to believe here is you have supernatural protection; this is divine defense.
In the Old Testament a city of refuge was a safe place for a person who accidentally killed someone to flee to. The city provided asylum to the fugitive by sheltering and protecting them until a trial could be held to determine their guilt or innocence. If, in the judgment of the city elders, the death had occurred accidentally and without intent, the person was allowed to stay there without fear of harm or revenge by the dead person’s relatives (Joshua 20:2-6).
The innocent one who fled to such a city would be well defended by man. In contrast, O Christian, you are supernaturally defended by God himself. Wow! The immovable, invisible God is our Refuge!
This is good news for those who are in Christ. No matter how intense the turbulence gets in our lives, our divine shelter will stand firm. A billion launched nuclear missiles are like peanuts up against our Refuge. The Fortress of Jesus Christ, where God’s children have permanent asylum, cannot be collapsed! Therefore, there is always hope for you!
Fear Exterminating Promise #2: God Is Our Strength
The promise to believe here is your Protector has supernatural power; this is divine offense.
King David’s faith-filled declaration that “God is our strength” is an affirmation that those belonging to him have the benefit of having God’s unmatched fire-power with them. King David was a mere man, but with God behind him he was like an Israeli wrecking ball at war; he won military battle after battle after battle (1 Chronicles 18:1-13). To defend his sheep he even killed bears and lions, with his hands! Not to mention, he is the man responsible for slaying the Philistine giant Goliath (1 Samuel 17). I think King David knows what he is talking about.
Think about how large and powerful the seas of our world are. As intimidating as it can be when the earth’s waters “roar and foam,” they are no match for the God who is our strength.
Compared to God, the mighty forces of earth are like teething infants. For example:
1. When the Israelites were trapped between the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s army God parted the waters and saved them easier than you can blink an eye (Exodus 14:21-31, Jude 1:5).
2. By God’s Almighty hand, the sea “ceased from its raging” after fear-stricken sailors hurled Jonah overboard (Jonah 1:4, 15).
3. While Christ and his disciples were on the Sea of Galilea a great windstorm arose. Then Jesus arose from his power nap and showed his power! Mark 4:39 says, “And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.”
It’s comforting to remember that the very things we often find ourselves fearing actually have reason to fear our God; they are no match for his omnipotence. Therefore, when we believe and fill our hearts with the promise that “God is our strength,” fear has no room to remain.
What are you afraid of? Everything we fear is cub-sized compared to our Strength, Jesus, the Lion of Judah.
Fear Exterminating Promise #3: God Is A Very Present Help in Trouble
The promise to believe here is our Omnipotent Protector is always with us in times of trouble; this is divine presence.
It would matter little if we had a supernatural protector with unlimited power, if he had a tendency to flee when danger arose. We have the guarantee that he is not only present in our midst, but able and willing to help in times of trouble. This is good news because it highlights God’s unwavering commitment to those He loves (Psalm 117). Look what our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ said about himself:
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.” —John 10:11-15 ESV
Fill in the what’s missing here from Psalm 23:4: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, _________________________; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Believe the Good News
Jesus Christ has already defeated the most feared of foes! God himself declared the gospel first saying, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15). The excruciating death of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross was skull obliterating for Satan. He is a defeated foe! Then, God more than aced the stress test of his power when he performed Jesus Christ’s death-defeating resurrection.
If Jesus has already defeated our greatest enemies, surely He has enough power to deliver us from all the remaining, present, lesser foes. Not only that, the Lord Jesus Christ is soon to return and will permanently exterminate sin and evil. Until then, believe and rely on this:
Jesus Christ is our refuge and strength. Through the Holy Spirit he is a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah