It’s here again. I don’t know why–did I somehow invite it, or is it simply stubbornly and independently raring its ugly head against me? I hate when it visits.
If one were to ask me what I fear, oh, there’s a host of answers I could give. I fear losing my family. I fear something happening to one of my children or my granddaughter. I fear car accidents. I fear the enemy of my soul and the attacks he plots against me.
When the lights fade and the noise of the world subsides for another night’s rest, that’s when I’m typically most gratified. I LOVE silence. I enjoy solitude.
And then there are those times….those excruciating times when my unwelcome visitor comes.
What is fear? A quick dictionary check calls it a “distressing emotion aroused by a sense of impending danger, evil, pain…whether real or imagined.”
To me as a believer, however, it is goes much deeper. It is that which presents itself to challenge my trust in God’s faithfulness in my life. Fear, especially of the unknown, is the enemy of faith. And the antidote of fear is faith. Easily said, but how does one apply truth to the problem of fear?
First, I understand that I am in great company. Peter the apostle, who spent years in the presence of Christ, experienced fear. He walked on water, yet began sinking when he allowed fear to envelop him. As soon as he set his eyes upon Christ, his fear was dispelled, and he again stood solidly upon that which was liquid. Fear also caused him to deny Christ three times. David, the shepherd who became king, expressed fear repeatedly in the Psalms, yet implored himself to put his hope in God. Because of his fear, Abraham repeatedly lied about Sarah being his wife, believing that her beauty would motivate rulers to have him killed so they could have her. In all cases, however, God’s faithfulness conquered fear.
At the Cross of Christ our fears should be extinguished. Did he not conquer death? Did he not overcome sin? There’s a well-known verse in Jeremiah that says. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” (29:11, NIV) This promise was given to the Israelites who were in exile….dispersed among enemy lands. It was a horrible time for them. And it’s a horrible time for us, folks. If we watch the news, like Peter, we can easily begin to sink. There are just SO MANY heart wrenchingly sad and evil and frightening things happening in this world. But Jesus comforts us in John 16 when he tells us, “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Can I get an AMEN?
So this is what I do when this unwanted visitor of mine shows up to disturb my peace. Like Peter, I set my eyes back upon Christ. I turn to the promises God has given me in his word. I remind myself of the faithfulness which He has constantly exhibited in my life. I pray until I trust.
And like Peter, I rise.
The above image was hijacked from radicalrunning.blogspot.com via Bing images.