Do Not Panic -- Trusting God in Hard Times

God is God and He is Able -- Mo Matter What the Circumstances Are God Can Do It

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Fear is the believer's greatest enemy. When a believer has fear, he cannot have believing faith. Fear paralyzes, frustrates and cripples. Fear also involves torment as as 1 John 4:18 states. Someone said, “Fear is the prison of the heart.” Trusting God in hard times requires refusing to be frightened, refusing to be immobilized, refusing to panic.

In his first Inaugural Address in 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt said these famous words: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself -- nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” Regardless of one's partisanship, these words still ring true.

God's Word is filled with powerful exhortations to not be afraid. In Deuteronomy 31:8, Moses said, “And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” Isaiah was told to “Say to those who are fearful-hearted, “Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you. For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, 'Fear not, I will help you.'” (Isaiah 35:4; 41:13)

In Genesis 26:1 and following, God's Word records that there was a famine in the land. Abraham may have told his son, Isaac, about the famine he had experienced years before as recorded in Genesis 12:10, and how he had gone down to Egypt. Now Isaac was experiencing for himself a severe famine, and may have considered taking the same action. But God told Isaac, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I will tell you. I will be with you and will favor you with blessings.”

Isaac obeyed the Lord and stayed where he was, trusting God. Verses 12 through 14 state that “Then Isaac sowed seed in that land and received in the same year a hundred times as much as he had planted, and the Lord favored him with blessings. And the man became great and gained more and more until he became very wealthy and distinguished; He owned flocks, herds, and a great supply of servants, and the Philistines envied him.” Isaac could have panicked and reacted out of fear. Instead, he trusted and believed God, and defied the negative circumstances surrounding him.

God is God, and He is able. Period. No matter what the prevailing conditions are, God can still do “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20 promises, “And [God] Who provides seed for the sower and bread for eating will also provide and multiply your [resources for] sowing.” (2 Corinthians 9:10 Amplified Bible)

The lesson in Genesis is to not thoughtlessly react, but to listen for God's quiet whisper and to have a hearing ear to hear His specific guidance tailor-made for the given situation. What worked before may not work now. Isaac could have just packed up and gone to Egypt, but God told him to stay right where he was and plant, even in famine. The results were fantastic, but God is the God of the fantastic.

Author and speaker Dale Carnegie once said, “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”

Today's hard times necessitate trusting God. It may be disastrous not to. Whatever happens, refuse to fear, don't panic, but first seek God's counsel. If it is unclear at the time, seek the counsel of proven Christian people. God can speak through them, too. No matter what is going on, remember what Jesus said. “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)

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Written by: Pete Miller