July 23, 2017

Fear Not, My Child

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In myself I’ve failed the Lord
Then was afraid to try once more
That fire in my soul had fled
That’s when Jesus came and said

My spirit gives the strength you need
To raise you up and to succeed
And for vision in the night
To you, I’ll give these words of light

Fear not, my child
I’m with you always
I feel every pain
And every tear I see

Fear not, my child
I’m going to be with you always
I know how to take care of
What belongs to me

He said, My child, don’t look behind
Discouragement is all you’ll find
Don’t watch the waves that roll the sea
But just focus your eyes on Me

And I will make you strong and then
Your shattered courage I will mend
And if you fall and should get hurt
Remember these eternal words

Helen Baylor
written by Carman Licciardello with Kim Boyce
*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~   ♥   ~   *
There are more than 100 records in the Bible where God spoke these words of comfort and encouragement—“Do not fear…” and “Fear not….”  A clear statement of His heart towards His people, wouldn’t you say?  But being fearful (afraid, worried, scared) is a temptation that almost everyone falls into at one time or another.  For some of us it takes determined effort to cling to God’s promises that He will always be with us and that He will take care of us.  Me…I find myself falling into this category.  Anyone else?

But we DO have God’s promises…so knowing the Truth, and acting on it, is critical to dealing with our fears and worries.  And we DO know where to find the Truth—in the Bible.  Below are just a very few…oh, there are SO many…Scriptures to hold in our minds and our hearts. Perhaps you could write them out on index cards and keep them where you can find them easily—in your Bible, or on your desk, perhaps tacked up where you can see them easily.  The point is to be reminded and to be encouraged and to ‘fear not.’

Serve only the Lord your God and fear Him alone.
Obey His commands, listen to His voice, and cling to Him.
Deuteronomy 13:4

The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him,
and He delivers them.
Psalm 34:7

So don’t be afraid;
you are worth more than many sparrows.
Matthew 10:31

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart.
And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.
So don’t be troubled or afraid.
John 14:27

This is My command—be strong and courageous!
Do not be afraid or discouraged.
For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9

When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.
Psalm 56:3

In God, whose Word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?
Psalm 56:4

He will cover you with His feathers.
He will shelter you with His wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
nor the arrow that flies in the day.
Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
Though a thousand fall at your side,
though ten thousand are dying around you,
these evils will not touch you.
Psalms 91:4-8

They do not fear bad news;
they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.
Psalm 112:7

David, who God called ‘a man after My own heart,’ dealt with much temptation to fear throughout his life.  But David was sure that his LORD was always with him, even when he was (actually) alone.  Listen to his confession of trust and confidence in his Lord:

The Lord is my Light and my Salvation—whom shall I fear or dread?
The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked, even my enemies and my foes,
came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
Though a host encamp against me, my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me, [even then] in this will I be confident.
For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His shelter;
in the secret place of His tent will He hide me; He will set me high upon a rock.
And now shall my head be lifted up above my enemies round about me;
in His tent I will offer sacrifices and shouting of joy;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.
[What, what would have become of me] had I not believed
that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living!
Wait and hope for and expect the Lord;
be brave and of good courage
and let your heart be stout and enduring.
Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.

Excerpts from Psalm 27

May we each also confess, as David did, that ‘the Lord IS my Light and my Salvation…the Refuge and Stronghold of my life’.   May we also be assured that ‘my heart shall NOT fear…and in this will I be confident’.  May we ‘offer sacrifices and shouting of joy…and sing praises to the Lord’.   I pray for each of you that you, too, will ‘wait and hope for and expect the Lord; that you will be brave and of good courage…and that your heart will be enduring’.

And that you will know that this is God’s heart toward you…

Fear not, my child
I’m going to be with you always
I know how to take care of
What belongs to me

Fear Not, My Child

In myself I’ve failed the Lord
Then was afraid to try once more
That fire in my soul had fled
That’s when Jesus came and said

My spirit gives the strength you need
To raise you up and to succeed
And for vision in the night
To you, I’ll give these words of light

Fear not, my child
I’m with you always
I feel every pain
And every tear I see

Fear not, my child
I’m with you always
I know how to care
For what belongs to me

He said, My child, don’t look behind
Discouragement is all you’ll find
Don’t watch the waves that roll the sea
But just focus your eyes on Me

And I will make you strong and then
Your shattered courage I will mend
And if you fall and should get hurt
Remember these eternal words

Singer / Songwriter Carman Licciardello with Kim Boyce
*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~   ♥   ~   *

There are more than 100 records in the Bible where God spoke these words of comfort and encouragement—“Do not fear…” and “Fear not….” A clear statement of His heart towards His people, wouldn’t you say? But being fearful (afraid, worried, scared) is a temptation that almost everyone falls into at one time or another. For some of us, clinging to God’s promises that He will always be with us and that He will take care of us, takes determined effort. Me…I fall into this category. Anyone else?

But we DO have God’s promises…so knowing the Truth, and acting on it, is critical to dealing with our fears and worries. And we DO know where to find the Truth—in the Bible. Below are just a very few…oh, there are SO many…Scriptures to hold in our minds and our hearts. Perhaps you could write them out on index cards and keep them where you can find them easily—in your Bible, or on your desk, perhaps tacked up where you can see them easily. The point is to be reminded and to be encouraged and to ‘fear not.’

Serve only the Lord your God and fear Him alone. Obey His commands, listen to His voice, and cling to Him.
Deuteronomy 13:4

The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them.
Psalm 34:7

So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Matthew 10:31

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.
John 14:27

This is My command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9

When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.
Psalm 56:3

In God, whose Word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?
Psalm 56:4

He will cover you with His feathers. He will shelter you with His wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you.
Psalms 91:4-8

They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.
Psalm 112:7

David, who God called ‘a man after My own heart,’ dealt with much temptation to fear throughout his life. But David was sure that his LORD was always with him, even when he was (actually) alone. Listen to his confession of trust and confidence in his Lord:

The Lord is my Light and my Salvation—whom shall I fear or dread?
The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked, even my enemies and my foes,
came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
Though a host encamp against me, my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me, [even then] in this will I be confident.
For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His shelter;
in the secret place of His tent will He hide me; He will set me high upon a rock.
And now shall my head be lifted up above my enemies round about me;
in His tent I will offer sacrifices and shouting of joy;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.
[What, what would have become of me] had I not believed
that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living!
Wait and hope for and expect the Lord;
be brave and of good courage
and let your heart be stout and enduring.
Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.
Excerpts from Psalm 27

May we each also confess that ‘the Lord IS my Light and my Salvation…the Refuge and Stronghold of my life’.  May we also be assured that ‘my heart shall NOT fear…and in this will I be confident’.  May we ‘offer sacrifices and shouting of joy…and sing praises to the Lord’.  I pray for each of you that you, too, will wait and hope for and expect the Lord; that you will be brave and of good courage…and that your heart will be enduring.  Yes, may we wait for and hope for and expect the Lord!

Captivating: Chapter 10 – “To Mother” – “My Sister, My Friend” (pgs 176-181)

So, if you don’t already know, I’m single.  I’ve never been married, and I don’t have any children.  Furthermore, if you know me at all, you know that little kids fascinate me.  I’m one of those creepy people who will stare at your kids just because they always put a smile on my face.  Nothing brings me more joy than when I wave to a little baby and get a great big smile in return.  Children are life in its most simple, pure, and innocent form.

Deep down, beyond all the outward fascination, I struggle with jealousy.  Oftentimes, I watch a mother take her toddler’s hand to “go find a book to read before bed tonight,” and I get jealous.  I want that.  I want to take a little mini-me and read bedtime stories to her.  I want to watch my son play baseball or score his first goal playing soccer.  I want to get lost in an imaginary world, dress up like a superhero and fly around my living room with my little ones. I want to listen as they try to pronounce words like “popsicle” and “spaghetti.” I want to snuggle with my baby as she falls asleep in my arms.  I want to mother.

When I find the jealousy creeping in, I have to turn it over to God.  He’s faithful, He knows these desires of mine, and I know He will give them to me in His time.  And when it is my turn to mother, I want to encourage my children to live a life from their heart, as our authors state.  I want to encourage them to be the person God has created them to be—nothing more, nothing less.

But, even if you don’t have children of your own, you do have opportunities to mother not only other people’s children, but other people in general.  All you have to do is care about someone, offer a listening ear to that person, and encourage him or her to simply be who God created them to be.  Let the following passage from Philippians resonate in your hearts:

“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”  Phillipians 2:1-4 ESV

Count others more significant than yourself? Really? I mean, who does that?

Mothers. Mothers do that.  Or, at least they should do that.  If you haven’t had a mother who sacrificed and loved you the way she should have, I’m sorry.  But there is Someone who has filled her role. There is Someone who counts you more than He counts Himself.  There’s Someone who died to save you from your sin so that you can live forever with Him in Heaven.  That Person is Jesus, and He loves you unconditionally.  I love this quote by Jerry Bridges, a notable Christian author.  It reminds me of a mother’s love for her children:

“God’s unfailing love for us is an objective fact affirmed over and over in the Scriptures. It is true whether we believe it or not. Our doubts do not destroy God’s love, nor does our faith create it. It originates in the very nature of God, who is love, and it flows to us through our union with His beloved Son.” — Jerry Bridges, Christian author

Right in suit with caring more about others than yourself falls our friendships with other women.  Do you have those? How are they? Can you think of a girlfriend who you know would be there for you if you needed someone to talk to, cry to, receive godly advice from, or just goof around with? If you don’t have a friend like that, I encourage you to seek one.  My mother told me that when I was a toddler, she didn’t have many girlfriends.  When I entered preschool, she had been praying for a good friend to come into her life.  God was faithful! Through a fun course of events, He placed another family into my family’s life, and our friendship continues to this day.  Not only did we gain a friendship, but this family led my family closer to God.  Our faith was strengthened through that friendship.

Do you have a friend who causes your relationship with God to deepen?  Does she encourage you to grow and walk closer with Him daily?  If not, I pray you seek, invest, and spend time with godly women in your church, Bible study, or even with this group online!  Proverbs 27:17 reminds us that “iron sharpens iron.”  Do you have an “iron” friend in your life? Friendship with like-minded women is crucial to your spiritual growth, and I’ve seen it create accountability and a safe place in my own life.  If you already have your “iron” friend or two, then don’t forget to nurture those friendships with love and attention.

Praise Him!

Carissa

 

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Let’s Pray:

Heavenly Father, thank You for our innate desires to mother, care for, and encourage those in our lives.  I pray that we will apply these desires in the lives of our children, future families, marriage, friendships, and even acquaintances.  I pray that Your love that dwells in each of us will overflow to those around us.  Father, thank You for the gift of girlfriends and friendships.  Lord, I pray that our friendships will grow as we all seek to know You and serve You better each and every day.  In your Holy Name we pray, Amen.

Your Assignment:

Do you like kids as much as I do? I can’t be the only creeper out there! What does your heart desire with regard to children and a family?  Do you feel the desire to “mother” as our authors discuss?   In the past, what has held you back from forming friendships with other women? How do you plan on changing that for the future?

 

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GWS

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