The providence of God has brought to my spirit today this well-known Hymn
– Give to the Winds Thy Fears
Translator: John Wesley (1739); Author, Paul Gerhardt (1653)
1 Give to the winds thy fears,
hope and be undismayed;
God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears;
God shall lift up thy head.
2 Through waves and clouds and storms,
He gently clears the way;
wait thou His time, so shall this night
soon end in joyous day.
3 Still heavy is thy heart,
still sink thy spirits down?
Cast off the weight, let fear depart,
and ev’ry care be gone.
4 What though thou rulest not,
yet heav’n, and earth, and hell
proclaim, God sitteth on the throne,
and ruleth all things well.
5 Leave to His sov’reign sway
to choose and to command,
so shalt thou wond’ring own His way,
how wise, how strong His hand!
6 Far, far above thy thought
His counsel shall appear,
when fully He the work hath wrought,
that caused thy needless fear.
7 Thou seest our weakness, Lord,
our hearts are known to Thee;
O lift Thou up the sinking heart,
confirm the feeble knee.
8 Let us in life, in death,
Thy steadfast truth declare,
and publish with our latest breath
Thy love and guardian care.
Proverbs 29:25 Amplified Bible
The fear of man brings a snare,
But whoever trusts in and puts his confidence in the Lord will be exalted and safe.
The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
There are many pressures in our 21st century life that causes us to be fearful more than we are trusting, and all too often it is fear that causes man to seek to escape life’s problems through less than desirable means. If anxiety or worry causes a person to be controlled or to be restricted by their circumstances, or if they seek to, “any way possible” escape the cascade of consequences of life’s pressures by committing some sort of acts contrary to the laws of mankind and God, then that person sets a trap for themselves.
They become ensnared and embroiled in their own wrong responses, in their own limits of wisdom. However, the Word of God for the Children of God gives us a wonderful reassurance the one who implicitly trusts the LORD, with all of his heart and all of his soul and with all of his strength, is both safe and secure.
Many passages throughout the Word of God give a believer encouragement and “God” confidence and blessed reassurances, but they often come in the form of contrasts, sinners and the saved, death and life, darkness and light, carnal and spiritual, unbelief and trust. Here inside the book of Proverbs the little word but peppers its pages with many such glorious contrasts. One verse reads, “The fear of man brings a snare, BUT he who [1000%] trusts in the LORD will be exulted.”
This short verse has an undiscovered, unplumbed, depth, a richness of meaning and much to teach us because it first describes a problem, ‘the fear of man’, yet concludes with ‘the GRACE principle’ – “but the Lord…”
The inevitable outcome for the fear of man is a snare which entraps both the heart and soul and without warning results in disappointment, deep despair.
However, Proverbs 29:25 teaches the opposite of fear is faith, which ironically is sometimes called ‘the fear of the Lord’ which is the beginning of wisdom.
As the fear of man and dread of circumstances increases, so, conversely, faith in the Lord decreases. But as our faith stands firm on the promises of God, so fear is likewise and equally dispelled. When faith in God is practiced, fear is snuffed out like a candle and vaporizes like the morning mist. The result of trusting the Lord and reverencing His holy name brings with it wisdom, exaltation and joy.
There is a world of difference between the ungodly ‘fear of man’ and godly ‘fear of the Lord’. Reverence for the Lord brings with it wisdom and strength, hope and joy, humility and purpose while esteem for fallen man too often entraps the soul and is accompanied by a whole host of anxieties and worry. How important then, in these precarious of 21st century circumstance to take this warning in Proverbs to heart, “fear of man is a snare while trusting the LORD brings praise?”
Placing implicit, unquestioning trust in anyone other than the Lord, brings in its wake problems and pain, disappointments and despair. However, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” and we have the assurance that the man who trusts in Him will be lifted up and certainly receive many blessings.
The fear of man over the fear of God often comes when we are trying far too hard to be a ‘people pleaser’ instead of honoring the Lord and pleasing Him.
The Bible clearly teaches that you and I cannot reverence God and man at the same time, and Paul addresses this issue in Galatians 1:6-10 when he asks, “Am I now seeking the favour of men, or of God? Am I striving to please men or the Lord?” And in Psalm 56, the writer shows that fear of man evaporates when we place our trust and confidence in the Lord. “In God I have put my trust,” he declares. “I shall not be afraid! What can man do to me?”
In every situation in which we find ourselves, in each life-problem we meet, we have irrefutable assurance in God’s Word that He is able and willing to deliver those that trust in the name of His only begotten Son – our Savior Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 5:8-11 New American Standard Bible
8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 [a]So resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your [b]brothers and sisters who are in the world. 10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Please make no mistake here! Fear is an “up close in your face” sobering and dangerous emotion which entangles man in deep dark problems, and fear is also a favorite tool used by the enemy… who seeks to bring saved men down into his chaos, imbalance, ‘Slough of Despondency’ and entrap them in his ‘Pit of Despair’ which can over time, subtly, suddenly cause a believer to doubt the power and veracity of God’s Word and the Gospel truth of God’s Holy Scriptures.
Never forget somewhere in the Bible there is always a resounding, ‘BUT GOD…’
Purely as an illustration, suppose the Lord Jesus told you that “I am coming back very soon!” Do you think or believe He would then tell you to spend your time stockpiling provisions? Adding an addition to your home just for storage?
Hardly! I believe He would say “give all that you have to the homeless person who has nothing or go up and down the highways and by-ways and dark and darkened corridors and alleys and share the Gospel of His pending arrival. Give everything you have to those who do not have and declare the glory of what God has done for you, so they too may find someone to share the Good News also.
It is not my task or purpose to make people feel guilty or self-conscious. Every one of us knows they could be doing a better job of telling other people about our Savior. I am not talking about cornering people, backing them up against a wall and being “in your face” obnoxious. That only risks alienating someone.
I am here talking about starting everyday by praying this prayer: “Lord, today I am going to live solely for you. Today, if you would please just bring someone across my path who needs you, I will try hard to help them by pointing them unto you!”
Please, never allow any fear, as being conceived in your mind, to be birthed into a slice of terror which destroys the inner peace God gives to those who love Him. Rather, be too quick, be sober minded to dispel those thoughts which threaten to bring down your heart and soul, as soon as they come to mind, by setting your heart on the face of Jesus, taking those thoughts captive to Christ.
Our God of GRACE and peace in Whom we trust, has promised us all temporal, spiritual, and eternal mercies. Remember, it is fear of man that spawn’s death and dis-ease BUT the one who trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ honors the Father in heaven and brings life and release. Grace! Grace! God’s Grace! is always #1!
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us pray,
Thank You, Father, for Your many beautiful promises of ‘contrast’. I begin now to understand more and more that there is nothing in life that should cause me to fear. Thank You that You have promised to be with me in every circumstance of life and have given me an assurance that Your GRACE is sufficient to counter every fear in my heart. Keep me looking UP to Jesus and trusting in His precious promises. I pray that on those occasions when doubts and fear arise within, that Your Spirit will prompt me to turn my thoughts away from the fear of man and onto trust in You. In Jesus’ name I pray, Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! AMEN.