Saturday, March 4, 2017, 9:22 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “When I Am Afraid.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Revelation 1:9-20 (NASB).
A Fellow Partaker (vv. 9-11)
I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet, saying, “Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.”
I, Sue J Love, your sister and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus Christ, to those who are followers of Jesus Christ, and who are also suffering persecution for the sake of His Name, and for the gospel of Christ. I empathize with you in your suffering.
It was in a time of great suffering and persecution that God called me to this ministry. He used the passage in Habakkuk 2:2 in 2004 to call me to write what he teaches me from his Word, and to post it on the internet.
Then the LORD replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.” (NIV)
The “revelation” for me was whatever he taught me from his Word each day. To make it plain was to write it in such a way that it was practical and understandable and applicable to our daily lives, and to the church of today, and to the world in which we now live. I believe the Holy Spirit guides me in what to say. My “tablet” is a laptop computer, and the “herald” is the internet, which runs with it. And, thus, the name of my blog is “Run With It.”
I Turned to See (vv. 12-16)
Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.
In the years since God called me to this ministry, he has revealed so much of himself to me through His Word and through the witness of the Holy Spirit in my heart, as well as through my own life experiences and tribulations.
I don’t see him in such a physical way as did John, though, but I have grown to know his character, his heart, his passion and his compassion. As he has allowed me to go through much suffering, I have learned to feel what he feels and to share many of his passions (zeal) for truth, righteousness, holiness, godliness and faithfulness. I have also known his comfort, encouragement, counsel, love, mercy, and faithfulness to me, his servant, especially during times when I was (or am) hurting deeply.
My God is a God of love, mercy, kindness and forgiveness, but he is also a God of justice and righteousness, and one who keeps his Word. He is completely faithful in all that he does. He has a purpose for everything he does in this life and in this world, too. And, he will accomplish his purposes in human hearts in His Way and according to His Will and His Timing. He demands obedience and repentance. They are not optional. He commands honor, respect, reverence and regard for Him and for His Word, too, and he does not take our sins lightly or smile at us when we rebel against him. Yet, he gives us all we need in order to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to him.
Do Not Fear! (vv. 17-20)
When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades. Therefore write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after these things. As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.
I read a secular book a few years back titled, “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.” The title says it all! It is not a sin to feel fear. That is a natural human emotional response to troubling situations. Hey, I even jump out of my skin (not literally) when I hear a sudden loud noise, or when I am deep in concentration and someone sneaks up on me and all of a sudden I notice someone is there. I feel fear, but I then have a choice as to what to do with the fear. I can allow it to overtake me, or I can overtake it in the power of God’s Spirit living within me. I can even feel it, but then go against it.
I can recall numerous (too numerous to mention all) situations in my life where I felt fear but I went against the fear and did what was right and necessary anyway, and the feeling of fear then dissipated when I obeyed God and I didn’t let fear get the best of me. Sometimes we may obey God while “shaking in our boots,” you know. Fear has a way of humbling us and making us realize our absolute dependence on God, and not on ourselves, when in weakness we rely on his strength in order to do what he says.
Writing or speaking or teaching things that many people don’t WANT to hear, but that they NEED to hear, and that will get you rejected, hated, ostracized and persecuted (ill-treated) takes much courage and determination to obey God and to love people enough to share with them what they NEED and not necessarily what they WANT, i.e. what is best for them instead of what necessarily makes them feel good all the time.
The main antidote to fear, though, is to trust in God, even if the feeling of fear is still persisting, for a time. We must recall that our Lord Jesus is absolutely sovereign and in control over all things and all powers, including he has the keys of death and Hades, so we should never fear death or what humans may do to us, because God has it all under his control. We must continue to obey him, submitting our lives to his will, and to do what he has called us to do, which for me is to write what he teaches me, even if what he has me write is not popular and if only a few read it. Still, I trust Him!
When I Am Afraid / An Original Work
October 17, 2016 / Based off Psalms 56-57
When I am afraid, Lord, I will trust in You.
Your Word, Lord, I praise. I yield my life to You.
Enemies pursue me, slandering Your Name.
Lord, have mercy. I trust in You. Hear my cry today.
Lord, I love Your Word. It comforts me today,
As I look to you, and bow my head and pray.
You are Christ, my Lord. You saved me from my sin,
That I may walk, Lord before You, purified within.
Steadfast is my heart, O God, I sing of You.
I will praise You, Lord. To You, I will be true.
Oh, how great Your love. Your faithfulness endue.
Be exalted, God of heaven. Glory be to You.