But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them. (Genesis 50:19-21)
(20/365 days of Fear Not)
In the span of three sentences, Joseph tells his brothers not to be afraid.
But the motivation behind the words is different the second time, isn’t it?
In the first instance, Joseph quells his brothers’ fears that he will take vengeance on them for what they did to him. In the second instance, Joseph promises to take care of his brothers and their families. In effect, he tells them everything’s going to be okay.
But they won’t hear that until they are no longer afraid of retribution or suffering.
Have you ever been in that situation?
Ever been so afraid of what you think might happen that you can’t hear the promise of good things to come?
Ever been so afraid of what you think someone’s going to do or say to you about your past or something you did to them that you can’t hear the assurance of love or forgiveness or care?
Ever been so afraid of something you anticipate that you miss what’s actually happening, the blessing being poured out in your life?
Guilt can do that.
So can regret.
And doubt contributes to this exponentially. Because doubt creates the fertile soil for fear to take root.
And these are the things the enemy covets in our lives.
He wants to distract you with being afraid so that you do not hear, receive, accept and live out the assurances of blessing and goodness that are yours in God every day.
He wants to distract your with being afraid so that you do not live out your God-given purpose in your life.
But the Good News is that God knows this about the enemy (after all, remember He created the enemy so He knows all about him and his wily ways).
And God is always with us, so He knows what we’re facing when we’re facing it.
In other words, God knows what we need.
He knows if we need Him to remind us not to be afraid before He reminds us that His mercies are new every morning.
If you’re afraid or doubting or wrestling with regret or guilt, take heart, God is with you.
He is always with you.
He will never leave you or forsake you.
His mercies are new every morning.
And if you are still, if you listen, you will hear His still small voice reassuring you and speaking kindly to you: I will provide for you and your children.
Do you hear Him?