Fear is something all of us have experienced and hope to avoid. Sometimes we face trials in life without fear and at other times, fear controls our actions, robs us of the pleasures in life and is the cause for many sleepless nights. Why do we fear? What can we do to keep from fearing?
Fear is the emotion that we experience when we face situations that present harm to us or impending doom. Our two natural responses are to fight the situation or to run away. Running from fear may be the best option. If your house is on fire, run. If you find your self crossing the street and an inattentive driver is speeding your way, get out of the way. If you get attacked by an individual, your best response may be to fight your way out. Fighting and running away are good responses, but they will not work for us as we face trials in life. Believers can experience high levels of fear in their lives as they face trials. Running away from problems does not work. Fighting trials creates more trials such as anxiety, depression, resentment, anger, bitterness and the list can go on. The reason people fear is because they do not understand or recognize the Lord’s power or plan to deal with the situations that they are facing. (Matthew 8:26-27)
In the Gospel of Matthew, the disciples experienced fear as they faced the storm at sea with the waves coming over the sides of the boat. Granted they did wake The Lord and asked him to save them, but they were also amazed when he spoke the sea into calmness. What did the disciples expect Jesus to do when they awoke him? Did they expect him to aid in bailing out the water? Did they expect him to provide to them an extra measure of ability to fight the storm? Looking back at the event reveals that he had neither intention. The disciples had fear because they did not understand the power that The Lord possessed. Later in their lives they would grasp this understanding and willfully place their lives on the line as they spread the gospel to the entire world. But at this time, their knowledge was limited. Fear also comes when a person fails to grasp the sovereignty of God and recognizes that he is in control and can work all things together for good (Romans 8:28).
When facing trials, do not fight your way through or run from them. Instead, look to The Lord. Pray for him to guide your steps through the trial. Cast your care upon him and let him know that you are depending on him to resolve the issue or to give you strength to endure the trial (1 Peter 5:7). The victory will always come through him and not from ourselves. If you have any comfort or confidence in your plans of action, you are most likely facing the trial alone because you have not yet relinquished control of the trial to The Lord. It is important to remember that if you do respond to problems correctly, the trial may not necessarily disappear as quickly as it came. Trials are for a purpose and until the purpose is attained, the trial will continue. Your faith may need to be displayed before many people before the trial ends. Until that time arrives, God wants you to experience peace in the midst of your trial.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)
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