Summary: Believe God and face adversity with courage, face the adversary with confidence, and face achievement without conceit.
In our day, when a lot of people are worried about staying safe, Mark Moring from Elburn, Illinois, has some suggestions:
1st, Avoid riding in automobiles because they are responsible for 20 percent of all fatal accidents.
2nd, Do not stay home because 17 percent of all accidents occur in the home.
3rd, Avoid walking on streets or sidewalks because 14 percent of all accidents occur to pedestrians.
4th, Avoid traveling by air, rail, or water because 16 percent of all accidents involve these forms of transportation.
5th, Of the remaining 33 percent, 32 percent of all deaths occur in hospitals. Above all else, avoid hospitals.
Mark says, “You will be pleased to learn that only .001 percent of all deaths occur in worship services in church, and these are usually related to previous physical disorders. Therefore, logic tells us that the safest place for you to be at any given point in time is at church! Bible study is safe, too. The percentage of deaths during Bible study is even less. So, for safety sake, attend church and read your Bible… it could save your life!” (www.PreachingToday.com)
Perhaps, but it could definitely save you from needless worry. These are scary times for a lot of people, but YOU don’t need to live in fear. YOU don’t need to be consumed with worry. YOU don’t need to let anxiety control your life.
“How?” You ask. How can I live life these days without fear or worry? Well, if you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Judges 6, Judges 6, where we see how God changed a coward into a man with great courage.
Judges 6:1-6 The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD gave them into the hand of Midian seven years. And the hand of Midian overpowered Israel, and because of Midian the people of Israel made for themselves the dens that are in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds. For whenever the Israelites planted crops, the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the East would come up against them. They would encamp against them and devour the produce of the land, as far as Gaza, and leave no sustenance in Israel and no sheep or ox or donkey. For they would come up with their livestock and their tents; they would come like locusts in number—both they and their camels could not be counted—so that they laid waste the land as they came in. And Israel was brought very low because of Midian. And the people of Israel cried out for help to the LORD. (ESV)
The Israelites are hiding in caves, because they’re afraid of the Midianite raiders, who steal all their crops. Well, after seven years of this, Israel cries out to the Lord.
Judges 6:7-10 When the people of Israel cried out to the LORD on account of the Midianites, the LORD sent a prophet to the people of Israel. And he said to them, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: I led you up from Egypt and brought you out of the house of slavery. And I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out before you and gave you their land. And I said to you, ‘I am the LORD your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.’ But you have not obeyed my voice.” (ESV)
When Israel cried out to the Lord, the Lord at first sends a prophet to let them know why the Midianites have laid them low. It’s because Israel has turned away from the Lord to serve the Amorite gods.
You see, when God disciplines His people, He makes it very clear why they’re suffering. You never have to wonder if you’re under God’s discipline. He’ll make that very clear to you. That’s why God first sends a prophet to Israel. Then He sends a savior.
Judges 6:11 Now the angel of the LORD came and sat under the terebinth at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites. (ESV)
Like everybody else in Israel, Gideon is a coward. He’s threshing wheat, hidden in a wine press, so the Midianites don’t see him. Normally, people in Bible days would thresh wheat out in the open, so the wind could blow the chaff away. Gideon is threshing wheat in a hole in the ground, because he’s afraid of the Midianite raiders.
Judges 6:12 And the angel of the LORD appeared to him and said to him, “The LORD is with you, O mighty man of valor.” (ESV)