The Path from Fear to Favor

David CerulloBy David Cerullo7 Minutes

“Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” – Matthew 25:21

These beautiful words from Jesus contain one of the most life-changing messages in all of Scripture. Each one of us should long to hear these breathtaking words when we stand before the Lord in eternity one day.

This statement comes in the context of the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30. Before going on a long journey, the master had entrusted his possessions to three different servants. The first servant was given five talents (a form of silver) and the second servant was given two talents.

The master was pleased with both of the first two servants. Although they had been given different amounts, they each had invested wisely, doubling the amount they initially received.

The first two servants each received exactly the same words of praise from their master. Pleased with their faithful stewardship, he gave them his favor and said, “Well done!”

The first two servants both had taken steps of faith to invest their master’s resources, and they each received an INCREASE as a result. Because they had been “faithful over a few things,” the master made them “ruler over many things.”

What a fantastic picture of the scene in Heaven for those who are faithful with the resources God entrusted to them on earth. Can you imagine what it will be like to hear your Master embrace you and say…

“Enter into the joy of your Lord!”

Too often, I meet believers who complain that they haven’t been given much to invest into God’s Kingdom and the work of spreading the Gospel. “I hardly have enough to provide for my own family,” they say.

Yet the master in the Parable of the Talents didn’t judge his servants on the basis of how many resources they started with—he judged them on their faithfulness to invest and increase whatever resources they had been given. By doubling their investment, the first two servants received a 100% return!

Favor Short-Circuited by Fear

But there was another servant in this story—one who missed out on his master’s favor. Instead of investing the money he had been given, he chose to bury it. Apparently he assumed the master would be pleased just to get his money back when he returned.

Yet instead of being pleased, the master was livid, calling the man a “wicked and lazy servant” (v. 26). While the third servant thought he was playing it safe by burying his money in the ground, his cowardice ended up costing him everything. The master gave his money to the servant who had grown his investment from five to ten talents.

This outcome may seem harsh to us, but we need to see what had motivated the man to make such a tragic error:

“Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours” (vs. 24-25).

You see, it was FEAR that had hindered this man from investing his master’s resources. Unwilling to take a risk, he hid the resources where he thought they would remain safe.

Look how this servant allowed fear to sabotage God’s favor in his life:

  • FEAR prevented him from acting in FAITH.
  • By failing to act in FAITH, he was unable to be FAITHFUL with the master’s resources.
  • Because he wasn’t FAITHFUL, he forfeited the FAVOR and INCREASE he would have received from the master.

Seeds for Your Harvest

The unfaithful servant brought up the law of seedtime and harvest in his misguided defense, accusing his master of abundantly Reaping even in areas where he hadn’t sown seeds.

How blind this servant was! Couldn’t he see that the master had generously sown his resources into the three servants, and that he had Sown with an expectation of increase and harvest?

Everyone else in this parable was a sower—just not the unfaithful servant. The master had sown his resources before leaving on his trip, and the first two servants each took steps of faith to invest what they had been given.

The only one who failed to receive a Harvest was the third servant—because fear kept him from sowing any seeds!

During my many years of ministry, I have seen this principle displayed in the lives of countless people: Those who are gripped with fear end up burying their resources. By trying to play it safe, they forfeit their harvest and end up deeper and deeper in the hole. All the while, God’s favor was available to give them an increase—both in this present life and in their eternal rewards.

My friend, which of the servants are you most like today? If you allow fear to govern your life, you will miss out on the amazing favor and abundance God wants to give you as His son or daughter. I’m asking the Lord to deliver you from any fears today, so you can release the Seed in your hand and receive His bountiful provision and favor.

God bless you!



David Cerullo

I’d Like to Sow My Seed