Originally published Friday, 15 June 2018.
Recently, schools were closed due to a "credible threat" that would have negatively impacted a significant number of schools and students in my area. Everyone said, "better safe than sorry," but many of the responses seem to reflect the repercussions of our current world. We are living in dangerous times.
There was an element of fear in these responses. Living in fear is draining, exhaustive, and crippling. Faith, on the other hand, produces the opposite effects - rejuvenation, revitalization, and growth. I would like to suggest we live by faith instead.
Fear is the opposite of faith. If we only trust in the things that we can see in this world we will be fearful. On a regular basis, we are dealing with terrorism - domestic and international, economic downturns, natural disasters, health scares, unemployment. We are consumed by what the future will look like for our children. There is always something to worry about! However, the Bible provides excellent comfort on why we need not live in fear.
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. Psalms 23:4 [NLT]
The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? Psalms 118:6 [NLT]
Ultimately, when we are fearful or living in fear, we are only relying on ourselves, and we know our limitations. We think with a limited mindset. But God is not like that - He's not like us in this regard - He is above all, understands all, and controls it all. Instead of relying on my limited self, I will trust and hold on to an unlimited God and in so doing live by faith instead of fear.
If we are ever in fearful situations, I know God gives us the faith and corresponding actions, to make the best decisions at the time.
The verses above are only a snippet of what God says about fear. If you spend significant time digging into the Word and take His words to heart, you will recognize how much God cares for us and does not want us to be fearful regardless of what we are dealing with. You will have to choose to believe what He says, not what you think. This will take time, but new circumstances will always provide opportunities for choosing faith. You won't perfect this on this earth, but you can get pretty close because you are not doing this alone. God is with you.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 [KJV]
Faith or fear - what will it be for you?