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Summary: A Remembrance Day message to encourage the people of God to stand firm in the grace we have received.

“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?

“When evildoers assail me

to eat up my flesh,

my adversaries and foes,

it is they who stumble and fall.

“Though an army encamp against me,

my heart shall not fear;

though war arise against me,

yet I will be confident.” [1]

“No Fear!” The slogan seems well-nigh ubiquitous today. This slogan is a declaration popularised by a clothing line favoured by many youths. You sometimes see it displayed on the rear window of cars, especially cars driven by younger drivers. “No fear” sounds pretty good, until people actually meet something that can cause fear.

To be certain, we find many expressions denouncing fear in the Psalms. For instance, among the Psalms is one which declares,

“The LORD is on my side; I will not fear.

What can man do to me?”

[PSALM 118:6]

Another Psalm declares,

“The righteous will never be moved;

he will be remembered forever.

He is not afraid of bad news;

his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.

His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,

until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.”

[PSALM 112:6-8]

Among the Psalms, one in particular stands out. Some have referred to this Psalm as “The Soldier’s Psalm.” The psalm speaks of the confidence that is required and exhibited by those who stand for righteousness, opposing evil and serving the Lord God.

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High

will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress,

my God, in whom I trust.

“For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler

and from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with his pinions,

and under his wings you will find refuge;

his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.

You will not fear the terror of the night,

nor the arrow that flies by day,

nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,

nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

“A thousand may fall at your side,

ten thousand at your right hand,

but it will not come near you.

You will only look with your eyes

and see the recompense of the wicked.”

[PSALM 91:1-8]

Nevertheless, the Psalmist confesses that he did experience fear, as do all of the saints of the LORD. In this Psalm, David is seen pleading with the LORD,

“Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me;

all day long an attacker oppresses me;

my enemies trample on me all day long,

for many attack me proudly.

When I am afraid,

I put my trust in you.

In God, whose word I praise,

in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.

What can flesh do to me?”

[PSALM 56:1-4]

David had ample reason to be afraid. The Psalm was written at a time when David was fleeing from Saul who had sent his army to hunt down God’s anointed and kill him. The young general had nowhere to flee in his own land, so he fled to a city occupied by the enemies of Israel. There, his life hung by a thread, until he employed a ruse, pretending that he was mad. The ruse worked, allowing him to escape from the hands of his enemies.

Fear is inherent in all dangerous undertakings. No soldier, sailor, airman or Marine has ever gone into battle without feeling fear; the only warriors who have no fear are those who have never seen combat. No law enforcement professional has ever attended a reported break-in or a homicide without a measure of trepidation. No man of God enters into the pulpit without a sense of fear. No parent has ever released a child without fear for what the future holds.

Fear is very much a part of our life. I insist that if you don’t experience a measure of fear, it is because you have yet to stand in the place of danger. A young man should be fearful of destroying his testimony should he allow his emotions to rule over his mind. A young woman should fear sullying her reputation through one moment of buying into the lie that she must surrender to a man’s insistent plea for her to “prove” her love. A mature man should fear that he will betray the Saviour through selling out his honour in order to advance himself in the world. A mature woman should be fearful that she will dishonour her marriage and her family in a mistaken belief that the excitement of a brief indiscretion will spice up her life. Fear should be a part of every Christian’s life. Assuredly, each follower of Christ the Lord should fear the Living God—fear disbeying Him, fear dishonouring His cause, fear failing to rely on His grace.

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