Feelings and Fears


Genesis 15:1-6 NIV

[1] After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, a your very great reward. ” [2] But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus? ” [3] And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.” [4] Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir. ” [5] He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars-if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” [6] Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.



We're going to take a few days in these verses as I believe there is so much the Holy Spirit wants to show us.

The chapter begins with the words: "After this...." It is pointing us back to what has just happened in Abram's life.  He has just fought against numerous enemies to rescue his nephew Lot and has also just turned down an offer of wealth from the King of Sodom.  It's been an eventful few days.

After this all happens, God speaks to him, and notice the first thing God says: "Do not be afraid...."

As I read back I don't see anywhere that Abram verbally expresses his fears.  God sees his heart however, and growing deep inside Abram's heart is fear and discouragement and frustration.

God doesn't just hear our words or see our actions.  He senses our emotions.  Behind the smiles and extroversion that fool everyone else can hide pain, tears, heartaches, disappointments and fears.  We try to look strong when inside we feel anything but strong.

Abram here, externally at least, looked like a model of faith and courage.  After all, he's just won an incredible military victory.  Inside however, he's struggling.

Often our greatest highs in life can be followed by the deepest lows.  During the battle we fight with boldness and perseverance.  However, in the weeks that follow, we feel like we're falling apart.  We see this elsewhere in the Bible.  Think of Elijah in 1 Kings 19.  He's just called down fire from heaven and taken on hundreds of false prophets.  Yet one threat from Jezebel sends him running for his life, terrified, depressed, almost suicidal.

I've experienced it in my own life in recent years.  5 years ago my wife and I moved to inner-city Dublin to lead a church which had gone through a very difficult season.  During our time there we saw God do incredible things, we witnessed miracles before our eyes, the church grew rapidly, many people came to faith and people were set free and released into their callings and destinies.  On the outside we could have been seen as hugely 'successful'.  Yet, the so-called 'success' actually took its toll on us, physically and emotionally.  In fact, we've just returned from a 4 month sabbatical which we needed to be renewed and recharged for the next assignment the Lord has for us.

One of the most important things in life is to be aware of our emotions, they are trying to tell us something.  What is really going on in our hearts?  Behind the facade, what are we honestly feeling?

I'm so glad that God cares enough about our emotions that He speaks directly to them, even if we aren't really sure what's going on ourselves.  He speaks to Abram's fear and brings a word of great comfort which we will look at tomorrow.  Ask Him today to speak to your deepest place of need.  To whisper healing into your wounds.  To declare His peace into your pain.  Listen..... He sees... He cares...  He's speaking.