Fear is a natural human reaction. It is built into us to keep us safe. However, fear can cause us to do very dumb things. Fear can paralyze us when we need to move. Fear can also cause us not to go along with the plan God has for us.
However, fear can be overcome. Sometimes a sense of purpose can overcome fear. Sometimes a love of those who will be hurt if we don’t act can overcome fear. But perhaps that which we identify most with and what seems to work most often is when something or someone comes along that counters the source of that fear. For instance, when we were children, if another kid was bullying us and a teacher or other authority figure showed up, we weren’t so afraid any more. This is where faith comes in.
And the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out to meet Ahaz, you and Shear-jashub your son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Washer’s Field. And say to him, ‘Be careful, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of these two smoldering stumps of firebrands, at the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria and the son of Remaliah. – Isaiah 7:3-4, ESV
Isaiah was supposed to give Ahaz some commands. Note the first two: be careful and be quiet. Ahaz was in a tough spot because nations were allying against Assyria. Israel and Syria wanted Judah to join in. Ahaz, king of Judah, had refused to join the alliance and thus these two nations were going to draw Judah in by force. There were two temptations: to give in and join the alliance or to panic and join with Assyria. God was telling Ahaz to do neither. Ahaz was to stand pat. God also told Ahaz through Isaiah that Ahaz was not to fear and not to worry, the second two commands. Syria and Israel were all bluster. They couldn’t accomplish their threats. They would not succeed.
Why not? Simply because the Lord wouldn’t allow it. Verse 7 captures these words, “It shall not stand, and it shall not come to pass.” God would protect Judah. Therefore, Ahaz needed to trust God. He needed to have some faith. God was stepping in as the authority figure and He was the One would protect Judah from the bullies.
We should expect to be afraid. We should not beat ourselves up when fear strikes us. It’s natural. However, if we are following God’s plan, we must deal with and overcome our fear. Often times the answer to beating back fear is relying more on God. Faith will overcome fear. God gave this message to Ahaz. He also gives this message to us throughout His Scriptures. Are you trying to walk on the path God has called you to but you’re struggling with fear? Ask for His help. Ask Him to help you overcome fear and the panic that can come from it and to give you His quiet and His peace. If you find your faith too weak, ask Him for that, too. He is the business of increasing the faith of those who desire it. He is the reason we don’t have to be afraid. He can overcome anything that would cause us fear. We simply have to have faith in Him.