“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” – 2 Timothy 3:1
The world that we live in is a dangerous place and now more than ever we are faced with many opportunities to be afraid. In 2 Timothy 3:1-17, the Bible explains that there will be dangerous times and that evil people will become worse and worse. In that passage, the Apostle Paul lists in great detail the corrupt attributes of man’s fallen nature, attributes that can be traced back to the garden of Eden. There, God originally created mankind in His image and likeness and man was very good. Adam and Eve were God’s children and were carriers and revealers of His life, light and love. When Adam turned away from God, his Creator, he also turned away from his true identity and purpose. Romans 5 explains that at that time, sin entered into the world through Adam along with spiritual death and darkness. Then, in the very next generation, the heartbreaking destruction began. Cain, who should have been his brother’s keeper and friend, murdered innocent Able instead. By the time you get to Genesis 6, God’s creation had moved far away from His original plan, so much so that His heart was grieved over the violence that had filled the earth through man. So, how does He feel about the violence taking place today? God is love and He continues to be only good. There is no one more grieved by the violence and evil that exists in the earth than He is. He is not the originator of it and He is not behind it. He is the One who, in His great love, sent Jesus to restore us and to rescue us from the evil effects of Adam’s Fall.
“But as for you, continue to hold to the things that you have learned and of which you are convinced, knowing from whom you learned them.” – 2 Timothy 3:14 AMPC
Even though we live in dangerous times where evil is present, we don’t have to live our lives intimidated by fear. In 2 Timothy 3:1-17, Paul not only describes the dangers and evils that we will face, he also teaches us how to respond to them. Beginning in verses 13 and 14 he says in affect, these evils exist but you’re to give your attention to the Scriptures that will empower you to be the person that God has created you to be. In other words, don’t be distracted or intimidated by the darkness. Instead, keep moving forward, keep shining, keep believing in God and continue to pursue the plan He has for your life. We don’t have to be paralyzed by fear! God has promised to protect us from evil. Our part is to respond to His promises of protection with genuine faith and to overcome evil with good.
“What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” – Psalm 56:3 KJV
Whatever we look at, listen to and talk about has an impact on our heart, either in the positive or in the negative. We can focus on the darkness or we can focus on the light. The choice is ours. If we make an intentional decision to put the light of God’s word before our eyes, it will strengthen us and bring peace to our hearts and minds. We must not be silenced by fear. If what God has said to us in His word is really true, it must affect the way we talk about our future. All of the promises of God belong to us now that we are in Christ Jesus, so let’s hear God’s promises preached, let’s read them and let’s declare them with trust and confidence in the One who gave them to us. 2 Corinthian 4:13 says, “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak.” Listed below are some promises found in God’s word that you can personalize, believe and speak.
I would encourage you to think about these and make them your declaration in the face of fear:
1. “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” – Romans 12:21 (KJV)
Declaration: I will not be overcome by evil but I will overcome evil with good.
2. “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” – Galatians 1:4 (KJV)
Declaration: Through Jesus, I am delivered from this present evil world according to the will of my Father in Heaven.
3. “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” – John 17:14-17 (KJV)
Declaration: God keeps me from the evil that is in the world and my life is sanctified by the truth of God’s word.
4. “But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:3 (KJV)
Declaration: The Lord is faithful. He establishes me and He keeps me from evil.
5. “Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” – 2 Timothy 4:17-18 (KJV)
Declaration: The Lord stands with me and He strengthens me to do His will. He delivers me from danger and He shall deliver me from every evil work. He will preserve me unto His Heavenly Kingdom.
6. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord , He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.” – Psalm 91:1-16 (KJV)
Declaration: I will live in the secret place of the Most High and I will abide under the shadow of the Almighty, the One Who is my source and my abundant supply. The Lord is my refuge and my fortress, my God; in Him will I trust. He delivers me from the traps of the enemy and from deadly diseases. He covers me and I trust in Him. His truth and His faithfulness are my shield and buckler. I will not be afraid of the terrors of the night nor of the dangers of the day. Neither will I fear destruction or diseases. A thousand may fall at my side and ten thousand at my right hand but it will not come near me. I have made the Lord my refuge and the most High my habitation, so no evil will befall me and no plague will come near my home. God has given His angels charge over me and they protect me wherever I go. I overcome every enemy and trample them under my feet. Because I have set my love upon the Lord, He will deliver me. He will set me on high because I have known His name. I will call upon Him and He will answer me. He will be with me in trouble. He will deliver me and honor me. With long life will He satisfy me and show me His salvation.
7. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” – Psalm 23:4 KJV
Declaration: The Lord is my shepherd. He loves me and He is with me. Therefore, I will fear no evil.
We hope that these promises have encouraged your heart today. We sincerely believe that God has great things in store for you and your family!
We love you and we’re praying for you,
Jordan & Melissa Gash, Pastors
Oswego Family Church
Earlier this year, I preached a message about being either a prisoner of HOPE or a prisoner of FEAR. The link to that audio message is above. I hope that it is a blessing to you! – Pastor Jordan