Today’s Scrip-Bit   1 March 2023 Psalm 118:6.

Psalm 118:6.       The Lord is on my side: I will not fear: what can man do unto me?

And then it was a damp, cloudy, middle of the week Wednesday, the first day of March 2023. Can you believe it, February’s already over and done with, assigned to the annals of history! The days are certainly not waiting on anyone, they’re just ploughing ahead unceasingly in their God-given duties. And so should it be with us Christian believers; we ought to be relentlessly moving forward with the spreading of Christ’s marvellous gospel, the good news of salvation, forgiveness and eternal life! 

Nothing ought to stop us, least of all the devil and his evil doing cronies. And why do we allow those evil doers to prevent us from doing Christ’s work eh? A lot of it is based on fear. But one of the biggest repeated commands in the Bible is ‘Fear not!’ And Jesus also asked several times, ‘Where is your faith?’ Then He also admonished ‘O ye of little faith!’ So, I guess a lot of our hesitation in doing Christ’s work is based on fear and lack of sufficient faith to overcome our fear. But we have to realize that FAITH is the ONLY thing that overcomes FEAR. 

And today, it seems like a faith versus fear day, with scriptures that will enable us to build our faith and thus lessen our fear. And I guess the most alluring and confidence building scripture to start our journey is that marvellous one from the prophet Isaiah, where he instructs the nation of Israel, God’s chosen people thus: ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded (disgraced): they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.’ (Is. 41:10-11) 

Wow! What awesome words of encouragement my people! That’s the Creator and Controller of the universe, the Almighty God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob telling us not to fear, that He will look after us with His mighty right hand! What more do we want eh? And please don’t tell me that that’s from the Old Testament and that the Lord was speaking to His chosen people of Israel, for who are you? 

You are also His chosen. He sent His sinless Son Jesus Christ to sacrifice himself on the rugged cross of Calvary so that all of His creation, both Jews and Gentiles could be forgiven, reconciled to Him, and receive salvation and eternal life. That means, in no uncertain terms, that those scriptures on fear in both the Old and New Testament apply to all supposed believers in Christ Jesus! 

And having cleared that up, (smile) let’s move on to this interesting scripture from Psalm 118, which says: ‘I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large (broad) place. The Lord is on my side: I will not fear: what can man do unto me? The Lord taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.’ (Ps. 118:5-9) 

Yes friends, when you trust in the Lord, put your faith in Him, He works out everything for your good. The only problem is that you first have to put your faith and trust in Him, before you can see Him working in your life. And the more you trust Him, the more you will see His good works, and the more your faith will grow. Remember, Christianity is not for cowards. 

Please note the strong tone the Lord used with Joshua when he made him the leader of the Israelites after the death of Moses. Having already told Joshua to be strong and courageous several times, (Josh. 1:2-8) He admonished him one last time for good measure. ‘Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh. 1:9) Now, I can’t say exactly why, but those scriptures from Joshua 1:7-9 are some of my favourite scriptures. They just light a fire in my bones. (smile) 

And Bruh David adds his two cents worth to the situation, when he writes in Psalm 56, after the Philistines took him in Gath. ‘What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God have I put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me…When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.’ (Ps. 56:3-4, 9) 

Oh my fellow believers can we sincerely utter those words? Do we know without a doubt that our great and wonderful God is for us? I certainly hope so. For until we do, we will not enjoy all of the many blessings available under His most generous umbrella of care and compassion. 

And what does Jesus say about fear, you ask? Listen up as He warns. ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both the soul and body in hell.’ (Matt. 10:28) And that person my friends is none other than the Lord God Jehovah; the ONLY ONE who can destroy both body and soul. So that’s where our first fear should lie, not in Satan and his evil doers. But even then, it’s not so much fear of God, but more a reverential awe of Him, because we know His awesome power. 

By the way, here’s an interesting point from the scholars. They say: ‘Notice that God is the One who has authority to cast men into hell, and not Satan, who will himself be ultimately cast into everlasting fire.’  Now that’s something we should also consider, Satan can’t cast us into hell, but he can certainly help us get there, which is his raison d’etre, his reason for being, to inveigle us to go against God and eventually end up with him in hades. Conversely, Jesus wants us to end up with Him in heaven, so whom will you choose eh? Let’s hope Jesus. 

And it seems like there’s so much to say on the subject of faith versus fear that we’ve run out of time and space today. That means, the Lord willing, we’ll continue this most important topic tomorrow. In the meanwhile, let’s go home declaring (yesss!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting all and sundry know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. 

Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

Yes friends that’s the gospel truth! And when you add this langniappe, this li’l extra to it, that if we endure to the end, that future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine, it encourages us even more to stick with Jesus to the very end. Now, that’s wisdom to the nth degree! Much LOVE!

…when fear comes a knocking…the best response…send faith to answer it… 

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