Fear is one of those emotions that can be very difficult to control. Often it can end up controlling us. John says, "There is no fear in love. Perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4 v 18) This is the ultimate banishing of fear from our lives, but unless we are already there, we probably need to banish our fears step by step.
Isaiah says that we should not fear what they (all the people) fear, and do not dread it. We must not follow the fears of the people around us. The people in Isaiah's day feared the king of Assyria coming to attack their land. But God very forcibly told Isaiah not to fear that, but instead, "The LORD Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread."
You see, while worldly fears can make us uncomfortable, or even take our lives or the lives of our loved ones, those fears cannot affect our eternal destiny the way God can. He is the one to fear and to dread. Fear also shows that we do not trust that he is in control of our lives. When we love God we will become the people John described for whom love has conquered their fear of punishment. Trust God. Fear God. Love God.
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Ten Great Reasons
How is your beloved better than others, most beautiful of women?
How is your beloved better than others,
so that you charge us so?
Song of Songs 5 v 9
Well ... he's funny (got a great sense of humour); Supports us as a family as the bread winner; Doesn't criticize how I spend the money he works for; Tells me he loves me - regularly; Is dedicated to God; Leads us as a family in a spiritual direction; Is so long suffering with my shortcomings; Is passionate about encouraging others to draw closer to God; he's a great listener ...!
At a recent camp we attended in Perth, Robert gave a series of talks based on the Song of Solomon. In one of the sessions he handed out a sheet of paper with "Ten Great Reasons" printed on it. It was based on the verses in the Song of Solomon 5 v 9 - 16, where the bride was asked how her beloved was better than others. Her reply gave her questioners ten great reasons that made her husband so special. Robert encouraged us - no, insisted, that we take the paper and write our ten great reasons of what we love about our husband or wife.
It was certainly a worthwhile activity. To write down what we love about our spouse, and share it with them, helps us focus positively on what we appreciate about them.
Wives, remember that our guys need and appreciate our respect and honour of them - this is one great way of showing it.
Husbands, your wives need you to tell them (and show them), how much you love them - and we love you to be specific! Again, this is another great way of accomplishing that.
So take a leaf from the bride in the Song of Songs, and give your spouse your Ten Great Reasons!
1. Write down the Ten Great Reasons you love your spouse.
2. Share your Ten Great Reasons with your spouse (and others).
3. Read the Song of Solomon 5 v 9 - 16 for inspiration and motivation.