No Need to Doubt or Fear
“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.” (Psalm 34:7) Those who fear the Lord have no reason to be paralyzed by fear or shackled with doubt. God is able to deliver from any situation, no matter how hopeless it appears from our point of view.
This week we considered Peter’s deliverance from the schemes of Herod as recounted in Acts chapter 12. Herod saw an opportunity to gain favor with the Jews and had Peter thrown into prison. Herod’s intention was to execute him as he had done with James. He was held in chains, each arm shackled to the arm of a soldier. At the door was another set of guards. From all appearances his situation seemed hopeless.
But then the night before his likely execution, a light shone in the prison and an angel awakened him from his sleep. This was no vision, for the angel of the Lord touched him to awaken him, instructed him to dress himself and follow. The soldiers, the guards, the prison doors, and the gate to the city were no match. (Acts 12:6-10) When he realized he was indeed freed and this was no vision, Peter was amazed at his miraculous deliverance, stating “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod.” (Acts 12:11) He located the church gathered in the home of Mary and related what happened. They were carrying on prayer in his behalf. How amazed they were to see their prayers answered in such a miraculous way.
Really, nothing our God does should be too amazing. Surprising, yes. Miraculous, indeed. Amazing, never!
Sometimes we may find ourselves shackled by fear or doubt. Culture and popular media have a way of constantly keeping tragedy and danger in front of our face. Fear has a way of over-exaggerating our perception of a situation. Negative images and emotions are highlighted and can drown out the gospel good news if we allow it. We can begin to doubt if we can carry on.
We must hold onto and remember divine promises of deliverance. Hebrews 1:14 tells us that God sends his mighty angels to minster to ‘those who are to inherit salvation.’ This is not a promise of a trouble free existence. It is an assurance though, that we are never out of reach of his strong hand.
And as the church was occupied with prayer in behalf of the apostle, we should always be burdened with prayer, entrusting all things in our life to God. The bible reminds us that we have a boldness in approaching God, and he gives wisdom to those who approach him. And we are to ask him without doubting. (James 1:6) Doubt has sometimes been described as a small faith. We know our God hears us and will answer us. Cry out for the faith which assures us that God is near. He will not leave us in the lurch. He is an ever present help at all times. Keep asking God to release you from any fear or doubt which may be lingering in your life. May you walk in his will, fearlessly and with confidence.