“So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”–Hebrews 13:6
General George S. Patton played a large role in the United States’ participation in the world wars. As a young commander in World War 1, he was assigned to the newly created United States Army Tank Division, leading his armored division into many battle victories. After the war, he spent much time as an advocate for the production of more armored defense machines. When World War 2 began, Patton was stationed in North Africa, then later moved into Sicily as Mussolini’s defenses crumbled. Patton played a large role as a commander in the European theatre of World War 2, but his outspoken and rough manner often got him in trouble. It was reported that he once slapped a soldier recovering from battle fatigue in a field hospital because he believed the man to be a coward. Other times he was known to berate his men if they showed weakness, and even demoted them for cowardliness.
Shocking to most, many people didn’t know Patton’s own fear and cowardliness during the war. While leading an army in Sicily, Patton was met by a military governor who praised Patton and admired his bravery in the midst of difficult fighting. Patton replied, “Sir, I am not a brave man….The truth is, I am an utter craven coward. I have never been within the sound of gunshot or in sight of battle in my whole life that I wasn’t so scared that I had sweat in the palms of my hands.”
Patton, the unstoppable, no-nonsense general that many soldiers depended upon, admitted he was nothing more than a fearful coward himself when it came to battle. As many soldiers looked to him as their guide and helper during difficult times, he proved to be as fearful as they were.
While Patton may have felt fear during conflict, someone who never feels fear in the face of difficulty is God. Hebrews 13 points to God as our helper, our strong anchor in the time of trial. No matter what others do to us, God is sure. He will protect us.
Consider Psalm 18:2, “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” The psalmist faced many difficult situations throughout his life. Whether enemies threatened him or the devil attacked him, he knew that God was his fortress, his hiding place for protection.
Times may come when men threaten you. You may be pressured to compromise your beliefs, cease your witnessing, or silence your faith. While God desires you follow authority, He reminds you to follow Him rather than men when you must choose. He promises that as you follow Him, He will be your helper, your rock, fortress, deliverer, strength, buckler, salvation, and high tower. He will protect you from men.
Have you felt pressure from others to silence your faith in some way? Have you been intimidated by others? God reminds us in Hebrews 13 that He is your helper, and because of that fact, you have no reason to fear what other people may say about you or do to you.
Don’t allow outside pressures to keep you from serving God. Critics will always abound and opposition may seem fierce at times. Yet God offers us rest and protection in Himself. Seek God’s protection through prayer and time in His Word. Build a wall around yourself through seeking His help during trials. Remember that with God on your side, no foe can prevail against you.–By Dr. Paul Chappell