LIVING ON PURPOSE: Fear and faith are choices
By Bill Holland
Fear and anxiety are negative byproducts of modern life, which unfortunately attempt to influence us every day.
Our jobs are often stressful, our relationships and finances, and even our children struggle with social pressures we hardly faced when we were their age.
Some people turn to natural remedies, like the newly popular cannabidiol products, while others find relief in meditation, but there is even better news which can give us peace in this troubled world.
The Bible remains an unfailing source of hope and comfort in the seasons when we are discouraged and perplexed. Psalm 46:1-3 declares that even in the darkest times, we can stand strong in the light of God’s confidence because we are trusting that His promises are true. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”
The new virus has become the topic of the news and no doubt this is a serious situation. There is nothing wrong with being cautious if we can prevent our emotions from leading us into fear. Whenever anyone’s life is in danger we are called to pray and ask God to please stop the destruction and this is certainly the time to do that.
Another wave of worry includes the negative impact on the economy and how this will affect the average person. It’s not just in this situation, but any type of crisis is usually noticed in the markets. In times like these, we are reminded that wealth is vulnerable to loss and many people all over the world are aware that their life savings are more vulnerable than they want to admit.
I can definitely understand this concern because no one wants to go through this. To many their wealth is their security and they cannot fathom the thought of losing what they are depending on. But may we remember that God is our ultimate security and even though His people live in this world, we are citizens of heaven.
What an encouragement to know this temporary life is not all there is. “He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.”
When we are overwhelmed with fear and feel as if the walls are closing in on us, we can know that God is with us and will always take care of us. Yielding ourselves into His care is a deliberate act. Inviting Him to become our Lord means submitting ourselves completely under his authority, wisdom, and mercy as we are directed by His will alone. We cannot always control what is happening on the outside, but we can control how we react on the inside. In this light, it is our choice to stand on faith or fear.
When we truly believe that His eye is watching us even more than the tiny Sparrow, we will learn to stop doubting His desire or ability to deliver us.
Let’s remember that God loves us and wants everyone to understand and believe that He is who He says He is. In John 14:27 Christ promises, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
He is saying the world cannot give us the spiritual peace that He offers because it’s only based on emotions and materialism.
When Christ sits on the throne of our heart, we are no longer frantically trying to figure out our own strategies but in faith we can trust in His power to manage our life, family, and future. I believe that optimism can help transform the mind when one chooses to embrace it.
Since fear is a learned behavior, can we not train our mind to accept faith instead? When we reach out to God and receive His great love and grace, we can then enjoy His peace that passes all understanding. “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1.