by John Piper of DesiringGod.com
The Spirit Conquers Fear
For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. —Isaiah 44:3
Do you know why it is easier to be nice to people on Friday than it is on Monday? Isn’t it because hope is like a river that flows into us from a bright future, fills up the reservoir of our joy, and then overflows in kindness to others?
On Friday rest and recreation are just around the corner, so close we can taste them. By hope we taste the power of the weekend to come. The little reservoir of our joy begins to fill. And if the weekend looks bright enough, our reservoir of joy will fill to the brim and start to spill over.
This spillover of joy onto other people is called love. So you are always nicer to people when you feel happy about your future. Hope fills you with joy, and joy spills over in smiles and kind words and helpful deeds. It happens before vacations, before birthdays, before Christmas, and for most people on Friday.
When we are drenched with the Spirit, we are drenched with the assurance that Mondays are made in heaven just like Fridays. Whatever seems fearful tomorrow does not need to be fearful if you are filled with the Spirit. Relations at home may be tense, health may be deteriorating, the boss may be planning your dismissal, tomorrow may bring a very threatening confrontation—whatever is making you anxious about tomorrow, open your heart to the outpouring of God’s Spirit; look to his word of promise and he will fill you with hope and conquer your fear.
When the Holy Spirit is poured out, not only are fears removed but longings are satisfied. The soul’s thirst for God is quenched—or at least we taste enough satisfaction in him to know where to spend the rest of our life drinking.
Our future can look bleak for two reasons: one is the prospect that misery is coming; the other is the prospect that happiness is not coming. And isn’t virtually all the work of the human heart exhausted by these two things: fearing future misery and thirsting for future happiness? If so, then Isaiah’s promise is just what we need: when the Spirit is poured out into our heart, fear is taken away and thirst is satisfied. I urge you, therefore, if you long for the touch of the Spirit of God upon your life, give yourself day and night to the reading of the Word.