The Bible describes various confrontations faced by God’s people.
- When the people of Israel were to invade and take possession of the promised land – when they were to confront their enemies – Moses encouraged them with the following words recorded in Deuteronomy 31:3-6:
The LORD your God himself will go over before you. He will destroy these nations before you, so that you shall dispossess them, and Joshua will go over at your head, as the LORD has spoken. (4) And the LORD will do to them as he did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land, when he destroyed them. (5) And the LORD will give them over to you, and you shall do to them according to the whole commandment that I have commanded you. (6) Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
- Moses also encouraged Joshua with similar words recorded in Deuteronomy 31:7-8:
Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it. (8) It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
- After the death of Moses, God encouraged Joshua, the new leader of Israel – Joshua 1:5-9:
No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. (6) Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. (7) Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. (8) This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. (9) Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
- David wrote of the time he was confronting the Philistines who seized him in Gath, in Psalm 56:3-11:
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. (4) In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? (5) All day long they injure my cause; all their thoughts are against me for evil. (6) They stir up strife, they lurk; they watch my steps, as they have waited for my life. (7) For their crime will they escape? In wrath cast down the peoples, O God! (8) You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? (9) Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me. (10) In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise, (11) in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?
- Paul was encouraged by God on at least 2 occasions, when he had to face difficult situations
- In Corinth – Acts 18:9-10:
And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, (10) for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.”
- In Jerusalem – Act 23:11:
The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.”
When we are confronted, we don’t generally have life threatening situations to deal with, but there are many other confrontational situations. Paul gives the following excellent advice about confronting evil in Ephesians 6:10-18:
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. (11) Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. (12) For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (13) Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. (14) Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, (15) and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. (16) In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; (17) and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, (18) praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints
Jesus also gives excellent advice about difficult situations involving others sinning against us and how we should confront them. Matthew 18:15-17:
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. (16) But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. (17) If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
To summarize advice from the Bible to God’s children fearful of confrontation:
- Be strong and courageous because God will not leave or forsake us. (This assumes we are faithful children of God.) Neither should we fear nor be dismayed and we should be careful to follow God’s commands that we may have good success wherever we go.
- When we are afraid, we should put our trust in God – trust God, don’t fear man.
- We should put on the armour of God – this enables us to stand firm. This armour is:
The word of God
If God is for us, who can be against us?