A Strange Time for Fear

Read | 1 Kings 19:1-4

Normally, we think of fear in terms of failure. We tend to become afraid when we experience a major setback and feel inadequate. Or we may be shaken when we’ve made a big mistake and believe that our judgment is flawed. At such times, we would almost expect fear to strike, right?

We find a radically different situation in 1 Kings 18, where Elijah experienced one of the most dramatic triumphs in all of Scripture. Armed with only his unflinching faith in the Lord, he faced down 850 priests of the local false deities. God moved mightily, destroying the idolaters and bringing glory to Himself throughout Israel. It was a fantastic win.

But right after this confrontation, when the exuberance of his faith should have been at its height, Elijah became scared. In 1 Kings 19, the prophet learned that the evil queen Jezebel had called for his death. Apparently forgetting God’s mighty victory just moments before, Elijah ran away. How could this be?

Elijah’s story reminds us that our failures may not pose the greatest danger to spiritual growth after all; potential for destruction may actually lie hidden within our successes. That’s when our confidence is at its peak, which often leads us to turn our eyes away from the Giver of strength and toward our self.

Your victory is always in God’s hand. Don’t be fooled: He may work in, around, or through you to achieve His purpose, but it is always His victory. Have you been distracted by success? Turn your eyes back to the Lord. All praise and glory are His. And fear need not be yours.

Written by Dr. Charles Stanley