Our Bible study for today takes us through the Scriptures to a variety of passages that deal with similar admonitions. If we were to consider the Ten Commandments, we would soon discover that of the ten, nine are negative admonitions; that is, they are prohibitions against an action (Exodus 20:1-17). But when followed, these negative admonitions result in a very positive result for society. Likewise, our study for today is focused on negative admonitions, which, if followed, will result in a positively wonderful life for the Christian, especially in days of crisis. I want to encourage you to get your Bible out and mark each of these admonitions for future reference as we discover these negative admonitions which are so essential.
First, we begin with the admonition to Fret Not
“Fret not thyself because of evildoers” (Psalm 37:1). According to Webster’s Dictionary, the word fret has to do with worry or anxiety. According to the Strong’s Concordance, the word fret as used in this verse, comes from a root which means “to heat up.” We must not allow things to cause us to be heated up with anxiety or worry. Fret not over wicked people—“because of evildoers.” Do not let the actions of the ungodly cause you to be anxious. But also, according to Paul, we should fret not over worrisome problems—“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6). Let’s determine that in the midst of any situation we will “fret not.”
Next, we find the Bible instructs us to Fear Not
“Fear not; I will help thee” (Isaiah 41:13). We must not fear the possibility of difficulty—“In this world ye shall suffer tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). These are the words Christ spoke to His followers. Difficulties are not an obstacle, but an opportunity—an opportunity to sense God’s presence, to see God’s power, to savor God’s peace; difficulties are an opportunity for God to work! But may I say, we should also fear not concerning the possibility of death – “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil” (Psalm 23:4). As believers, we must remind ourselves that death is more than an exit; it is an entrance into life eternal.
Also, the Scriptures remind us to Forget Not
“But to do good and to communicate forget not” (Hebrews 13:16). In the midst of dealing with the things which cause us to fret and the fears which beset us, it is easy to become distracted and fail to do what we are supposed to be doing. So, we are reminded to “forget not.” Forget not to do good. We are to be like Christ who “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38). May I ask, “What have you done that is good today?” Have you made a phone call to encourage someone? Have you sent a card or note? An email? Let’s not forget to do good! But also, let’s forget not to be generous—“and to communicate” (Hebrews 13:16). The word ‘communicate’ here does not refer to merely talking, but rather to giving. Perhaps God has blessed you by being able to work a job with a reliable income; have you thought to help a brother or sister who may be in need? I know many who have sent gift cards or funds to help others in difficult days. That’s what true Christianity really is!
Finally, we are reminded to Faint Not
“Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9). In trying times, let’s be careful not to faint. While you may have begun well in fretting not, fearing not, and forgetting not, make sure you don’t grow weary and faint along the way. If we will remember God’s promises, rely upon His love, and remain in His Word, we will not just survive the crisis, we will thrive in the crisis! Let’s heed the Word of God concerning these admonitions and don’t do it!
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Bro. Burcham serves as the Chairman of the Bible Department at Golden State Baptist College. Prior to coming to GSBC, he served as a missionary with his family in Japan for a number of years and then pastored in Missouri. Bro. Burcham also teaches an adult Sunday school class at NVBC.