Day 7: Resting is Refusing to Fear
How do we Rest in Christ?
Years ago, we purchased an older home with a very tall brick chimney than leaned toward our roofline where it should stand straight. We called someone to repair it numerous times, but they never seemed to get around to us. One afternoon that chimney came crashing through both floors of our house, devastating our bedroom and the living room below. Fortunately, we were not hurt even though we were in one of those rooms when the chimney finally gave out.
Although there was not a chance of anything else falling into the house, my young daughter was shaken by the event. We found her wide awake night after night, afraid of cataclysmic possibilities that could crash through her ceiling and devastate her room with her in it. She could find no rest because of her fear.
I have found that I am much like my daughter when it comes to my own fears and inability to rest in Christ. That is why I relate so well to the Scriptures that call us out of fear and into rest.
I need the promise of sweet sleep offered in Proverbs 3.
If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught. Prov. 3:24-26
I cling to the reality that my God is stronger than anything that can come against me, as pointed out in Psalm 27.
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Ps. 27:1
And I drill in my head the assurance offered in Psalm 34 – that the LORD can deliver me from all of my fears.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Ps. 34:4
This equipping of promises and assurances provides the strength to embrace the command to do what I’m afraid most to do:
NOT BE AFRAID—BUT REST IN HIM.
You and I are called into His rest by refusing our fears and insecurities. Across the board, when you look at what keeps people from achieving their goals – fear is always at the top of the list.
Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains be shaken into the midst of the seas… Ps. 46:2-7
The reality is —the fear could be real. The earth really could be giving way. There really could be giants across the river. Just look to Joshua. In his debut call to lead, six times God instructed him NOT to be afraid.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
And even before that, Moses had been pouring this same message into him. The giants and difficulties were real and humanly insurmountable. And Joshua knew it. They all knew it.
Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it. Deut. 31:7
It could be appearances. Some of the top fears noted by experts are the fear of spiders, fear of heights, and public speaking. In fact, most people fear speaking in public more than they fear death. These may seem somewhat irrational, especially to a public speaker, but it fits well with a popular acronym for fear:
Most of us know from experience what it is like to be afraid to the degree that we cannot rest. Whether our fears are real or unjustified–we have all been afraid. In fact, fear is one of the most debilitating factors that keep people from attaining their goals, and certainly from accomplishing great things for the Kingdom. The difference for the Believer in Christ facing any fear-– real or imagined, is that God promises to be with us.
It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
Don’t miss the magnitude of His presence! What actually brings the rest? What is going to give you and me the strength to refuse our insecurities? God lays it out for us in His Word time and time again: Confidence in the promised presence of God!
He knows it is scary. He knows you are afraid.
He will be with you. From the Old Testament to the New—the same promise remains.
Let your character or moral disposition be free from the love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [assuredly not]! Hebrews 13:5
Could it be that the state of unrest our fears draw out is really what God uses to drive us to a deeper dependence on Him alone?
No soul can be really at rest until it has given up all dependence on everything else and has been forced to depend on the Lord alone. As long as our expectation is from other things, nothing but disappointment awaits us.
Author: Hannah Whitall Smith
Sweet friend, refuse your fears. Deny your insecurities. He will not, will not, will not – let you go.
With much affection,
For His glory,