Often I cower in my house, looking out at the world, afraid to step outside. A health issue and ten years of gut-wrenching trial triggered my agoraphobia. It plagues me still. Daily I battle down fear, moving ahead, attempting to live the life of faith. Faith means confidence and trust in God. True faith should be exemplified by lack of fear.
If I truly loved God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, I would entrust myself into the Father’s hands as Jesus did (1 Peter 2:20-25), never fearing, arms down rather than raised defensively or cringing in terror. I would take whatever happened with the complete trust that God loved me and allowed only what was best for me.
Fear highlights my sinful nature, my lack of trust, my need to allow the Holy Spirit to uncover my wounds and to heal them.
The fact that Peter denied in fear and Paul trembled at opposition in Corinth encourages me greatly. This world is a difficult place. Nerve endings register pain. While we’re housed in bodies, we cannot see God’s face. We are not in control of our destinies, regardless of what inspirational speakers say. We cannot control the outcome. And then, we have to cross the dark river.
For people like me who battle fear daily, life is a challenge of faith. Just living and trusting is a battle. Dark histories provoked my faithless response.
After marrying as teens, my husband and I attempted to manage our terror at facing life as children raising children. We became legalists with money-management rules straight out of the conservative playbook. If you do this, that will happen. If you save this, the outcome will be that. If you tithe, nothing bad will ever happen to you. God promised.
Of course, God made no such promise. Rather, he promised to meet all our needs, to love us, to make us more into the image of his Son, and never to leave us. For us to grow to understand that fact, of course, he had to allow our world to be rocked, our stuff to be destroyed, and our money to be taken. When we’re insulated, we don’t need to trust God. He wanted us to learn to love and to trust him.
We’re still learning. This is a lifetime lesson.
Today, as I face this battle of trust, I rely on promises in God’s word. Here is what we must believe, what we must cling to:
- Jesus told us not to worry. If God can take care of the creatures and his created world, he can take care of us. He knows what we need, and he will provide it (Matthew 6:25-34).
- Jesus promised never to leave or forsake us. He placed his Holy Spirit right inside of us to reassure, to comfort, and to guide us. He is with us. He dwells within (John 14). Right after he said this, he informed Peter that he would deny him, proving that Jesus’ commitment to us stands, regardless of our fears and failures.
- Paul, who trembled, wrote Philippians 4:4-9, reminding us the Lord is near and urging us to bank on that fact as we put away our anxiety by thinking rightly, giving thanks, and praying.
- Paul also recorded the beautiful promises that God will work all things together for our good, merely because we love him and he loves us. Nothing can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:26-39)
- Peter, who fled and denied, reminded us to cast all our anxieties on our Lord, because he cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).
Don’t let your heart be troubled, Jesus said. Thus letting us know we must exert the effort required in trusting. Fear is a signal to reign in the raging beast of our terror and clamp onto Christ. We must keep throwing those fears at him.
He is mindful that we are dust. He knows the weakness of our frame. He walked this sod. He sweat that blood. He took those nails.
Jesus is a high priest who is intimately acquainted with our terror. Let him have the fear. Throw it at him hard like a baseball on a hot summer afternoon. Let it go. He’ll catch it, but he won’t throw it back. Satan is the one who lobs that hardball.
How are you growing in the area of trust?
Photos #2, 3, 4: Free Digital Photos