"I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4 As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." 2 Timothy 1:3-7
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. 4 In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” Psalm 56:3-4
“I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.” Psalm 3:6
“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? 2 When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall. 3 Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.” Psalm 27:1-3
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea. . .” Psalm 46:1-2
THOSE WHO TRUST IN CHRIST SHOULD WALK IN A SELF-CONTROLLED, CLEAR THINKING MANNER, BUT NOT GIVE WAY TO DISCONSOLATE FEAR. (1 Timothy 3:2, 11; Titus 2:2)
We have reasons for grave concern but should guard against a spirit of TREMBLING FEAR.
“Those who trust in the kingly rule of Christ when true to their doctrine will live with a far more comprehensive trust in God in all circumstances and a far greater freedom from worry about the future, because they are convinced, not just that God will somehow cause his major purposes to work out right in the end, but that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). They will also be thankful to God for all the benefits that come to us from whatever quarter, for the one who believes in providence is assured that the ultimate reason for all things that happen is not some chance occurrence in the universe, nor is it the “free will” of another human being, but it is ultimately the goodness of God himself. They will also have great patience in adversity, knowing that it has not come about because God was unable to prevent it, but because it, too, is part of his wise plan. So the differences are immense.
Calvin says: ‘Gratitude of mind for the favorable outcome of things, patience in adversity, and also incredible freedom from worry about the future all necessarily follow upon this knowledge. Ignorance of providence is the ultimate of all miseries; the highest blessedness lies in the knowledge of it.’” Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, p.347
WE ALWAYS TRAVEL HOPEFULLY IN THIS LIFE:
1. TRUSTING the GOODNESS of the triune Lord (Heidelberg Catechism Q1 and Q2)
“Because the Lord is near, attend to today and leave tomorrow to him. Only God knows what will happen in the future. He calls us to focus on today and trust him for tomorrow.” The Journal of Biblical Counseling, Vol. 34, 3, P. 70
2. On a daily basis, we embrace a renewed, biblically-informed and prayerful approach to living. (Philippians 4:6-7)
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
3. With a growing, cheerful acceptance of the kingly rule of Christ.
Q 28: What does it benefit us to know that God has created all things and still upholds them by his providence?
A: We can be patient in adversity, thankful in prosperity, and with a view to the future we can have a firm confidence in our faithful God and Father that no creature shall separate us from his love; for all creatures are so completely in his hand that without his will they cannot so much as move.
4. Living EXPECTANTLY in light of the progressive nature of the kingdom of God.
1. What is the difference between being “gravely concerned” and trembling with fear regarding the future?
2. What did King David say regarding the valley of the shadow of death in Psalm 23?
3. What was Eric Liddell’s (British Olympic Gold Medalist and Missionary to China) response in being placed in a WW2 prisoner of war camp? (Liddell died February 21, 1945 at age 43)
4. Why is the Christian life an ongoing understanding of a “growing cheerfulness” as we submit to the kingly rule of Christ in our life?
5. How do we “attend to today and leave tomorrow to God” look like?