#FEARLESS365 is a yearlong study of God’s commandment to us to live without fear. For 365 days, we will focus on one scripture and volunteers from all over the world will share their personal thoughts and what God has shared with them on the specific verse. For more info… go here.
And you would be secure, because there is hope;
Yes, you would dig around you, and take your rest in safety.
19 You would also lie down, and no one would make you afraid;
Yes, many would court your favor.
Such words of hope. To rest in security. To be fearless. To have others court our favor because we have God’s favor.
Except this is the book of Job and these words were spoken by Zophar, one of Job’s three “friends.” His message is not one of hope and encouragement. It is one of condemnation. He stands as accuser before a man who has lost everything. And rather than sharing in Job’s troubles, grieving alongside him and lifting him up in prayer before the Almighty, he tells Job that he deserves worse. He must deserve worse because a just God punishes iniquity and rewards righteousness. Job is being punished mightily so he must have sinned mightily. If only Job were as righteous as he claims, then these promises we read in verses 18 and 19 would be his.
I have lost a child. I am well-acquainted with these friends of Job. They speak often from the mouths of well-meaning Christians who have never suffered any real trials. Sometimes I hear these friends of Job as direct quotes from people who are not acquainted with the Book of Job enough to realize their words are examples of what not to say to hurting people.
After all, we know that Job is indeed a righteous man. That these trials were placed upon him precisely because of his righteousness, in order to demonstrate to Satan and to all of us that the love of a righteous man toward God is not dependent on his circumstances.
And this is where real freedom, hope and fearlessness come in. God’s goodness is not dependent on our circumstances. It is revealed in His sacrifice at the cross. The death of His perfect son at the cross in payment for our sins. All of them. Death was conquered and heaven is our reward. No matter the trials we face here on earth and no matter the sins we have committed, once we accept what Christ sacrificed for us, heaven is ours.
That is what it means to live in Christ. That is what it means to live fearless.
Dana Hanley homeschools her six children in rural Nebraska and writes about their adventures and misadventures at Roscommon Acres. After losing a child, there are days when just getting up in the morning seems like a victory, but “joy comes in the morning” and His mercy abounds.