We live in a fearful world where chaos reigns. Sometimes it seems as if everything around us is falling apart. We may feel that we are the only one who has to suffer and struggle with life; others around us seem to have everything together, and are on top of the world. Not true! Each person has their share of problems in this life, whether they are poor and unknown or rich and famous. No person is immune to the trials of life which cause fear, and gives a feeling of weakness and helplessness. Sometimes it seems that all we are able to do is just survive. I’m like you. I get up in the morning and put my pants on the same way you do. I’ve experienced fear and weakness. But this I know; there is a better way!
What if there was a way to conquer fear, overcome weakness and live in peace? Would you like to discover it? There is a true story in the Old Testament of the Bible that shows how one man did by believing God:
In Judges 6:11-16 we read, “And there came an angel of the Lord, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt? but now the Lord hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites. And the Lord looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee? And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house. And the Lord said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.”
Gideon was a person like you and me. His whole world seemed to be falling apart. The enemy had over run and destroyed his country. He was fearful and weak, and hiding out in the winepress trying to gather the scraps that the enemy had left behind just to survive. And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him and said unto him, “The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.” I imagine Gideon had to look around to make sure that it was he that was being addressed. He was probably thinking, “man of valour”, no way, not me; I’m scared to death, and too weak to do anything about it. He probably thought, Lord you’ve come to the goat house looking for wool if you expect me to take on the enemy and save Israel. He said, my family is the weakest of which I am the least. What he meant was, go look somewhere else; I’m not your man because I’m fearful and weak.
So here’s the deal: The choice we have to make is the same as Gideon, who by the way choose to obey God and fulfill His will, and as a result overcame his fear and weakness and discovered the peace of God. Just as Gideon we must choose; do we want to continue to live in the winepress of fear and weakness, or do we want to live in the power and peace of almighty God? God said in Deuteronomy 30:19-20, “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days…”
A new way of living
Gideon needed what many of us need, and that is a new way of life. There was a time when the disciples of Jesus needed a new way of life also. At the time of the death of Jesus his disciples were fearful and weak and ran and hid. But after the resurrection of the Lord, when they realized that the same power that resurrected Jesus from the grave was also with them, they became mighty men of valour, living in the power and peace of God. The Apostle Paul said, “We were buried with Him (Jesus) through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father even so we also should walk in the newness of life.” (Romans 6:4) The newness of life means that we no longer have to fear and tremble in weakness.
That word newness in the scripture above means renewal. We are renewed that we should walk in newness of life. This isn’t a onetime event that just happens every now and then. Renewal becomes a new way of life. The same resurrection power that raised Jesus is given through the Holy Spirit to every believer. If we accept, it will flow through us as a mighty river of life bringing victory over fear and power over weakness. Paul said, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” (Romans 8:11) Once again, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is in all believers.
The power to conquer fear and weakness is the resurrection power that is in you through Jesus Christ. Jesus is the source of our power and our peace. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die…” (John 11:25-26) Jesus is not only talking about the power to live this life but also the power over death, or the gift of eternal life.
Living in peace
I don’t claim to have all the answers. Many of the problems we face in life are very complex, and extremely difficult to deal with. But this one thing I know: There is peace in God. No doubt Gideon longed for peace, but he had no idea of how to get it, and he sure didn’t believe that the source of peace was right within his own heart, until God reminded him through the angel of the Lord, “The Lord is with thee.” To live in peace is the wish of most people who live on this earth, but few there are who learn the source of it. God is the source of all peace. God has many names in Scripture to convey his various attributes. One of those names is “Jehovah Shalom”, which means “God of peace.” “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)
Here’s a question for you to ponder: If you had a choice; you could either have all the money you wanted, but you would have no peace, or have no money and live in perfect peace; which would you choose? Of course anyone in their right mind would choose peace. Many of those who are wealthy would give it all just to live in peace. Peace is available to all who will seek it in Christ the Lord.
ConclusionIf you are weary in heart, and walk in fear, and feel weak, and unable to do anything about the circumstance in your life, I have good news for you; Jesus is waiting; He wants to come into your life and be your strength and your hope. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life…” It is your choice, choose life!
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves ‘who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” –Maianne Williamson
Written by Jimmie Burroughs