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Vol. XX No. 7
13 November 2022

NEEDLESS FEARS (II)

C H Spurgeon

My second observation is this. There are some fears which would die at once if we dared to question them.

Did you notice that the text is a question? “Who art thou that...hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor?” Did you ever question your fears, my dear friends? I mean you, Miss Despondency over there, and you, Mr. Much-afraid. Did you ever question your fear? If not, catechize it now, put it through the catechism.

Suppose it is the church of God that is afraid of the oppressor, let the church ask, Where is the oppressor of which she needs to be afraid? Is it a doctrinal error? Well, the church was once over-run with Arianism, and it seemed as if the heretics had killed the doctrine of the deity of Christ, but the Lord was pleased to raise up His valiant servant Athanasius, and very soon Arianism was put to the rout. The church of Christ scarcely perceives the scars of all the conflicts through which she has passed. That which threatened to destroy her has never really injured her, but she has come out of the furnace all the purer.

As for persecution, has it not commonly proved that the more the saints have been persecuted the more they have prospered, and that the blood of the martyrs has been the seed of the church?

God Is in Control

Ask the question again, “Where is the fury of the oppressor?” And the answer comes, it is under the control of God. Even Satan, your fiercest foe—God created him, God governs him, God can do with him just as He pleases. Then as to that poverty of which you are afraid, it will not come unless God permits it, and if it does come, the Lord can alleviate it. You are afraid you will lose a very dear child, but you will not lose her unless the Lord takes her. You are fretting because you fear that a special friend of yours will soon be taken away, but he cannot be taken away till the Lord takes him. What are you afraid of? Is it your own death? Learn to sing good old John Ryland’s verse—

Plagues and deaths around me fly!
Till He bids I cannot die;
Not a single shaft can hit
Till the God of love sees fit.

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Then, again, the Lord asks, “Where is the fury of the oppressor?” as if it was so soon gone that one might look in vain for it. Some man oppresses you, well, he shall die, perhaps soon. The trouble that now frets you will be gone in the twinkling of an eye. If not soon so far as this life is concerned, yet, when you get to heaven (and that will not be long), how short a time will your trial seem to have lasted! “Our light affliction, which is but for a moment,” says the apostle, “worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” You fret about your trouble and worry yourself continually concerning it, but the text seems to ask you, “Where is it?” It is a meteor that flashes across the sky and is gone. Ask your troubles such questions as these, and they will soon vanish.

The Love of God

I will ask you a few more questions. You have fears with regard to a great trouble that threatens you. Well, will it separate you from the love of Christ? If you cannot answer that question, let Paul answer it for you, “I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” You say that your enemies slander you, but will Christ believe them? They are trying to take away your character, but will your Lord think any the less of you? Will HE be deceived by their falsehoods? You say that friends are forsaking you, but will they take Jesus away, and make Him forsake you?

The Promises of God

You say that your enemies are doing all that they can to destroy you, but can they destroy the divine promises? The Lord has promised to give unto His sheep eternal life, can they take that promise from you, or make it of no value? They may frown at you, but can they keep you out of heaven? They may threaten you, but can they make the covenant of grace to be of no effect? While eternal things are safe, we may well be content to let other things come or go just as God wills.

Again, can anyone do anything to you which God does not permit? And if God permits it, can any real harm come to you? “Who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?” “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Then how can anything work for your hurt if you are really the Lord’s? Can anyone curse those whom God blesses?

If God Be for Us

Are you like those foolish persons who are afraid of a witch’s curse, or of some spell that the wicked may cast over you? Even Balaam said, “Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel.” Balak might summon Balaam to his aid, and the two together might stand and look on Israel, and wish to curse them, but they could not curse those whom God had blessed.

If all the devils in hell could fill your house, and seek to injure you, there is no need for you to fear or tremble more than Martin Luther did when his friends were afraid for him to go to Worms, but he said, “If there were as many devils there as there are tiles on the roofs of the houses, I would face them all in the name of God.” And you may say the same.

If earth were all in arms abroad, and hell, in one vast hurry-burly, had come up to join with the world against you, you might still say, “The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge,” and charge them in the name of the Most High, and put them all to rout, for greater is He who is with you than all those that are against you.

Pray to God

Now lastly, dear brethren and sisters in Christ, if these fears are groundless, and if a few questions will scatter them, I appeal to you who are cast down to cry to God to deliver you from this state of bondage.

If there be no ground for your fears, what is the use of tormenting yourself for nothing at all, and if God is indeed with you, do you not dishonor Him by your fretfulness and your fears? What would you think of a little child, in its mother’s arms, who was always afraid that it was not safe there? Would it not look as if there were some defeat in the child’s loving confidence in its mother? “Safe in the arms of Jesus, you may well be—Safe from corroding care.”

He Is Able to Keep You

He is able to keep that which you have committed unto Him, so, if you do not trust Him, you really dishonor Him. The commander of an army who saw his soldiers turning white with fear and trembling as they marched to the conflict, would say within himself, “These soldiers of mine are no credit to their leader,” and will you, who have a Captain who is so well able to protect you, show the white feather? Shall a cowardly spirit be permitted in the service of God? Shall the Captain of our salvation have to lead a craven host to the fight with the powers of darkness?

I have sometimes thought, when I have heard about the fears of God’s people concerning the times in which we live, and what is going to become of us, that surely they did not know that the King is in the midst of us, that the Lord is as a wall of fire round about us, and the glory in our midst, for if they did but know that He is our Protector and Defender, they could not be so cast down as they are.

Don’t be Fretful

Besides, you who are of a fretful spirit, often grieve other Christians.

“Rejoice in the LORD alway, and again I say, Rejoice.” We have plenty of troubles and trials, and if we like to fret over them, we may always be doing it, but then, we have far more joys than troubles, so our songs should exceed our sighs. We have a good God, who has promised that as our days, so shall our strength be.

And once again, do you not think that a dull, heavy, murmuring spirit is a great hindrance to the unconverted? If they find you in this state, they will say, “This person’s religion does not appear to do him much good.” Worldlings often say that Christians are the most miserable people in the world. I think that is a great mistake on their part, and that they do not really know us, for if they knew some of us, they would find that we have cheerful spirits notwithstanding a good deal that might depress us.

Sinner, believing in Jesus, you would have a perfect peace, and a bliss that nothing can destroy, you would have a little heaven below, and a great heaven above. You would be able to take your troubles to your God and leave them there, and you would march along with songs of rejoicing till you come to that blessed place where there are pleasures for evermore.

[The above is an abridged version of the sermon. The full sermon is available at www.spurgeongems.org.]

NEW LIFE STUDENT CENTRE

Dear Pastor,

By the grace of God and your prayers and cheerful love gifts, we at NLSC are fine and doing well till today. Praise the Lord.

All the children have completed their mid-term exams and holidays (the school term is from June 2022 to March 2023). The children are in good health and very happy and peaceful. Our good health is the greatest blessing for us because when we got sick the last time, we were so worried and had a heavy burden always. Despite the dangers everywhere, we trust only the Lord to keep us safe and sound. I send group photos.

We at NLSC always pray for you and for True Life BPC and FEBC.

Yours in Christ,

Thangno
Yangon, 17 Oct 2022

Students of New Life Student Centre, Yangon, Myanmar

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