Charles Stanley - A Comforting Message in Fearful Times
These are troublesome times in which we live. I remember during the Second World War the fear and uncertainty that everyone felt. The present events remind me of those days and today's message is one of encouragement to everyone, regardless of your circumstances or your age. It'll be a different kind of message, because my purpose is to strengthen your faith, remind you God is with you. I want you to get a pen and paper in order to write down some brief notes. I will give you time now to get your notepad. Get it now. These texts you will treasure. You will understand why when I begin the message. Trust me, you will wish you had when we begin. The promises of God belong to the children of God. We have the right, the authority to claim them.
The purpose of this message is to encourage you, strengthen your faith, make you fearless, and to comfort you. This is God's message to all of us in the midst of these trying times, sometimes fearful times. I'm going to give you a series of passages of Scripture. They will encourage you, strengthen you, and make you fearless. Are you ready? Jot down the reference, not the entire text. I just want you to know where it came from.
And the beginning is Philippians 4:6-7 - "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus".
Psalm 16:7-8 — "I will bless the Lord who has counseled me; indeed, my mind instructs me in the night. I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken".
Psalm 4:8 — "In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety".
Psalm 27:1 — "The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread"?
Psalm 139:23 — "Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there's any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way".
Psalm 138:7 — "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me".
Psalm 138:8 — "The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting".
Psalm 138:3 — "On the day I called, You answered me; You made me bold with strength in my soul. Philippians 4:19 My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus".
Isaiah 41:10 — "Do not fear for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you with my righteous right hand".
John 3:16 — "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that who ever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life".
1 John 1:9 — "If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness".
Psalm 121:1-8 — "I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He will keep you and He will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper, the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever".
Isaiah 54:17 — "No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment, you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication is from Me", declares the Lord.
Psalm 32:7 — "You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble. You surround me with songs of deliverance".
Psalm 94:19 — "When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delights my soul".
Psalm 23:4 — "Even though I walk through the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me. Your rod and Your staff they comfort me".
Psalm 139:3 — "You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways".
We're in a spiritual war and I've given you the spiritual ammunition you need for spiritual victory every day. Read these verses daily. They'll become a shield to your thinking and your emotions. You will find yourself becoming stronger, more bold, and courageous in your daily walk with the Lord. Not a normal sermon you will listen to but it's all the Word of God and my primary objective is this: soak your mind and heart in the Word of God.
Let your life be not only surrounded by Scripture, but absolutely covered by it. Because you see, the more of God's Word that is within you, the stronger you're going to be. And many of these verses you've heard and read many times, but in these particular times in which you and I live in, these verses of Scripture are extremely important. When you're tempted to be afraid, pull them out. When you hear news that's bad, pull them out and read them. And how often should you read? You should read some every day, because they are verses that encourage you, strengthen you, remind you who is in control of your life.
The circumstances that are going on in our country right now, they don't control you. What controls you is who controls you and that's God. Remember that He's always with you and remember what He said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you". You can always trust the promises of God. Listen to that. "I will never leave you nor forsake you". So when you are prone listening to bad news to become afraid, you go back to the Word of God and remember, the promise of the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God said, "Trust me". "Believe in me. Do not be afraid". And God will do something in your life nothing else can do. It's the power of the Word of the living God.
Now, many of your friends don't know these verses. Many people that maybe you work with don't know these verses. Write them down, pass them on and explain to them if they say, "I don't know what that means"? You understand what it means. So don't hesitate to give a personal testimony to your friends of how the Word of God strengthens you, comforts you, and protects you from being afraid. There are many human reasons to be afraid, but with Christ Jesus as my Savior and the Word of God in which I can stand upon, I have no reason to be afraid of anything. "Trust me", the Lord says in so many ways. "Trust me, trust me, trust me".
And as I think about those two words, how many times I've been in situations and circumstances and get on my knees and what do I hear? "Trust me". "No weapon formed against you will harm you". "Trust me, trust me, trust me". And I think of all the times when that's all I've had to depend upon. The simple Word of God. You can trust Him to protect you, encourage you, watch over you, uplift you, uphold you in every circumstance and provide everything you need. Don't let your mind begin to wander to think, "Oh, if this and if that and if the other". Remember, you are living by the Word of God, not by what other people are saying or whatever they may be doing or what they believe.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. God's awesome message of protection and joy which He intends for us to have no matter what's going on around us and I pray that you will take advantage of these messages, take advantage of these verses and go to them not just once, but all during the day, you might having written down the Scriptures, return to the Word of God and begin to look over a verse here and a verse there.
Keep feeding yourself on the Word of God and you will soon sense this sense of awesome courage, confidence, boldness and assurance that God intends for you to have. And that's my message to you today of love, message of caring and message that I trust that you will treasure. And I did not go from one verse to the other, because I want you to look at verses all through the Scripture and remember, a promise from God is an awesome powerful gift from God. Don't forget it. Let me pray for you.
Heavenly Father, I pray the Holy Spirit will take Your precious Word, drive it home to every heart who watches, who listens and remind them of these verses. Even if it's a portion of the verses. Given them the wisdom to open their Bible, read these verses from their Scriptures and remember in their hearts that the Holy Spirit is there to enable them to understand and maybe sometimes they won't understand all of these verses, but You will give understanding, especially of those You know they need. We are trusting You. You said Your Word will not return void. May the fruit of Scripture, the fruit of the Word of God surround, uphold, overshadow every person who has heard these verses and we pray this in Jesus' name, amen.