I grew up with an extreme sense of responsibility - so extreme that I felt responsible for things that were not under my authority. I had a very sensitive conscious, so sensitive that I would feel guilty of things that were not within my realm of control. At times this would cause a fear that had no logic to someone outside of my head. It would cause a worry that didn't make a lot of sense and I would wonder when the hammer was going to fall. Imagine how I felt when I really was guilty! Usually, I would find myself confessing before I was caught - even if there was no chance of getting caught because I couldn't handle the guilt. Joseph's brothers found themselves in a situation where their false guilt brought them to a fear that in reality didn't need to exist. But, they couldn't read Joseph's mind. Please read Genesis 43:1-18.
First, Joseph's brothers had finally convinced Jacob that they had to bring Benjamin back to Egypt with them otherwise they would all starve - including Benjamin. That reasoning worked with Jacob, although he wasn't happy about it. They still had the money that was returned to them on their mind and that made them nervous. So nervous that Jacob sent them with double the money and with many gifts from the region. But when the brothers arrived in Egypt and Joseph saw Benjamin, he had a feast prepared for them. He was showing them kindness and feeding them well; however, they were struck with an even greater fear. They thought that Joseph was setting them up and was going to frame them for stealing the money.
Could you imagine how scary that must have been? They were in a situation that was beyond their control and they were sure that Joseph was out to get them. They had a fear that held no truth; however, they had no way to explain why Joseph would suddenly show them kindness. We can also have fear of situations that we have no reason to be afraid. Perhaps you are like me and you feel guilty for things that you are not responsible for. Or, maybe you feel that someone is out to destroy you. Either way, that fear does not come from God. So, when we have fear that really has no truth we can know that we need to pray and ask God to give us the peace that comes from Him. We can ask Him for the empowerment to face the situation that is eliciting our fear. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NLT) says, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." God gives us power, love and self-discipline and we can know when we feel fear, it did not come from God.
Do you face fear? Have you prayed against it and asked God to fill you with His power, love, and self-discipline?
This post is linked with Word Filled Wednesday and iFellowship Blog Hop.