Intermediate Edition

II. What Not to Do


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Chapter 22  Part II

What Not to Do

To live a life of faith, we need to avoid things which cause us to lack faith in God. These include doubt, fear, worry and trusting in other things. Some verses which encourage believers not to be afraid or worry are amongst the best-loved verses in the Bible.

Do Not Lack Faith

Do not be lacking in faith

Now a great windstorm developed and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was nearly swamped. 38But he [Jesus] was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. They woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are about to die?” 39So he got up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Be quiet! Calm down!” Then the wind stopped, and it was dead calm. 40And he said to them, “Why are you cowardly? Do you still not have faith?”   Mark 4:37-40 NET

Do not doubt

Immediately, Jesus reached out, caught hold of him [Peter], and said, “You have so little faith! Why did you doubt?”   Matthew 14:31 GW

[James, speaking of one asking God for something:] But he must ask in faith without doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed around by the wind.   James 1:6 NET

The “wave” imagery depicts weak faith that wavers between belief of sorts (as shown in asking) and unbelief (as shown in doubting).

Do Not Be Afraid (I): Instructions

Do not be afraid – trust in God

[David, to God:] When I am afraid, I trust in you. 4In God – I boast in his promise – in God I trust, I am not afraid. What can mere men do to me?   Psalms 56:3-4 NET

Jesus said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust in me.   John 14:1 NCV™

Do not be afraid – be strong and courageous

[God, to Joshua:] “Be strong and courageous, because you’ll be leading this people to inherit the land that I promised to give their ancestors. 7Only be strong and very courageous to ensure that you obey all the instructions that my servant Moses gave you—turn neither to the right nor to the left from it—so that you may succeed wherever you go. … 9“I’ve commanded you, haven’t I? Be strong and courageous. Don’t be fearful or discouraged, because the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” … 18Only be strong and courageous.”   Joshua 1:6-7, 9, 18b ISV

Do Not Be Afraid (II): Reasons

God is far more powerful than our enemies

[King Hezekiah, to his army:] “Be strong and brave! Don’t be afraid and don’t panic because of the king of Assyria and this huge army that is with him! We have with us one who is stronger than those who are with him. 8He has with him mere human strength, but the Lord our God is with us to help us and fight our battles!” The army was encouraged by the words of King Hezekiah of Judah.   2 Chronicles 32:7-8 NET

God is always with his people

[Moses, to the Israelites:] Be strong and courageous! Do not fear or tremble before them, for the Lord your God is the one who is going with you. He will not fail you or abandon you!” … 8The Lord is indeed going before you – he will be with you; he will not fail you or abandon you. Do not be afraid or discouraged!   Deuteronomy 31:6, 8 NET

God helps his people

God is our strong refuge; he is truly our helper in times of trouble. 2For this reason we do not fear when the earth shakes, and the mountains tumble into the depths of the sea, 3when its waves crash and foam, and the mountains shake before the surging sea.   Psalms 46:1-3 NET

So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”   Hebrews 13:6 NET

Do Not Worry

Do not worry – trust God with your concerns

Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. 7And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.   Philippians 4:6-7 NET

Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.   1 Peter 5:7 GNT

Do not worry about the cares of this life, for God will provide

[Jesus:] So then, don’t worry saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32For the unconverted pursue these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own.   Matthew 6:31-34 NET

Do Not Trust in Other Things

Do not trust in other people, but rather trust in God

It is better to take shelter in the Lord than to trust in people. 9It is better to take shelter in the Lord than to trust in princes.   Psalms 118:8-9 NET

Do not trust in yourself

The one who trusts in himself is stupid, but the one who lives wisely will be kept safe.   Proverbs 28:26 ISV

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding.   Proverbs 3:5 NET

Do not trust in riches

The one who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.   Proverbs 11:28 NET

Pray for persecuted Christians