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Fear the Lord, and You Need Not Fear Anything Else

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Fear the Lord, and You Need Not Fear Anything Else 

Loved ones, 

Stability in adversity is a testimony to God’s dependability. 

Last night a godly friend (one of our elders) spoke some words of encouragement into my life. He reminded me that no matter what happens, the LORD is the source of my strength. This was just what I needed to hear. 

Then when I woke up this morning and spent some time in prayer, these words from the Psalms bolstered my heart in the Lord: “Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!” (Psalm 95:1). 

The Lord is my Rock and my Redeemer! A rock is strong, steady, stable, and immovable. In Devil’s Lake State Park in Wisconsin, there are certain rocks on the bluffs that I’ve observed since my earliest years. They were there when I was a little toddler, and they’ll be there when I’m an old man. For thousands of years, storms have come and trees have fallen — but those huge rocks continue to mount their stubborn resistance against the elements. 

It was a year ago now, on January 29th, that we heard the news of Kate’s cancer. I remember sitting in my study with the doctor on the phone, barely able to hold onto the phone with my trembling hands —knees knocking, legs quivering. 

But then came God’s promised peace: “Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest — finding as He promised, perfect peace and rest.” There was a confidence even then — especially then — that God is dependable, God is unfailingly good. Stability in adversity rests on God’s dependability. 

I will glory in my Redeemer 

His faithfulness my standing place 

Though foes are mighty and rush upon me 

My feet are firm, held by His grace 

My feet are firm, held by His grace 

The testing of our faith does not end until we stand with Christ in glory. But we will indeed stand there with Him, for our Heavenly Father in great mercy “has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for [us], who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this [we] rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, [we] have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of our faith — more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire — may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:3-7). 

Here’s how my faith is tested now: will I trust that the God who has been a Rock to my family throughout the trials of this past year will continue to be the Rock of our salvation in whatever trials may come? Do I believe that “in every high and stormy gale” my anchor will continue to hold “within the veil”? Will I magnify Christ the Solid Rock by forsaking fear and fretfulness and cultivating a life of unceasing prayer and thanksgiving? 

The least anxious person I ever knew was my great-grandmother, Gertrude McNaughton. Born in 1895 in McHenry County, and home with the Lord in 1998, Nana Gert was a Rock of Constancy in my life. 

To say that times had changed in her 103 years would be a gross understatement. Nana Gert never typed on a typewriter, let alone a word processor or a computer. For her, the ball point pen was a new enough invention. 

She never used a credit card or an ATM machine. Indeed, she never even opened a checking account — everything was done in cash, including transactions via US Mail! 

Nana Gert never left a message on voice mail. To talk to her about the internet or email, you might as well be speaking in a foreign language. She loved to fish, but she refused to use a spinning rod pole. For her, nothing could compare with the old bamboo cane. 

The Nana Gert I knew was a very old woman who seemed eternally young. She loved sweets, and she once said that her dream would be to eat a whole bowl of real whipped cream — so on her 100th birthday, guess what we gave her? She gobbled it down with glee! 

Nana Gert had a childlike cheerfulness and trust that would have made you think she never worried about a thing. Yet her life was touched by enormous adversity: two World Wars, the Great Depression, losing her first husband at around age forty, living alone for long periods of time, and then remarrying, only to lose another husband. In all these afflictions, her soul was conditioned to cast her burdens on the LORD. She dwelt in the secret place of the Most High, and her life was constantly overshadowed by the Almighty’s faithful presence. 

That’s why Nana Gert was a rock in our family. She feared the Lord. She depended on Him. She looked to Him for her every need. And she made it her aim to please Him at all times. 

Fearing the LORD is the foundation for a life of stability and security. Those who fear the LORD have no need to fear anything else. 

Let your heart be encouraged by this word from God’s Word as we close out our month of praying for a breakthrough in the fear of the Lord: 

O LORD, be gracious to us; we wait for you. 

Be our arm every morning, 

our salvation in the time of trouble... 

The LORD is exalted, for he dwells on high; 

he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness, 

and he will be the stability of your times

abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; 

the fear of the LORD is Zion’s treasure (Isaiah 33:2, 5-6). 

 

Treasuring the fear of the Lord with you, 

Pastor David Sunday