Fear Is Believing In An Inaccurate Reality, Void Of The Unchanging, All Knowing, All Powerful God

By: Tia Johnson 0 Comments   1/26/2012

It's been said that "fear" is False Evidence Appearing Real. It's induced by false or incomplete evidence. Its presence means our eyes have left the Almighty and are fixed on earthly things.

Since I was young, I struggled with fear. I was fearful of coloring outside the lines in First Grade.

Also at that age, mild growing pains led me to believe that I might be dying. This propensity toward fear continued through high school. As an adult, I finally recognized its track record and the root of the problem: distrusting God.

My fears were the result of an incomplete picture. An aching side didn't have to be the result of a deadly disease-- it could arise from muscle growth. And coloring outside the lines did not impact my ability to pass First Grade! Why didn't I learn when I was young to trust God instead of my imaginative thoughts?

There might be lots of excuses for fear today: fear of wars, pestilence and economic distress. Yet struggling with such great fear reveals misplaced eyesight and sights on an incomplete picture.

Even if pestilence falls, or our government falters and our freedoms are abolished, or we land in a financial hole-- if our circumstances change this much, does God change?

Absolutely not. That's why fear is based on an incomplete or inaccurate picture-- a picture that is void of our unchanging, all-knowing, all powerful God.  

Jesus Christ is stronger than anything this world surmises. Furthermore, Jesus Christ cares for us and has a plan which nothing can thwart. Regardless of what we experience on this earth, we are eternally safe when submitting to Him. With this in mind, there is no room for fear.

The Bible describes our life on Earth as like a vapor that appears for a while and vanishes. One worship leader said it this way: if your life were a rope that extended around the globe, why would you invest in just the first two inches?

With a Biblical focus of eternity, we know that our lives on Earth will end and then we will face God. With what purpose shall we operate, then? To glorify God while we live and glorify God in our death, however that may happen.

Operating with eternity in focus, instead of just hoping for 90 good years, helps us look at the potential fears of today with a peaceful smile. We serve a God who is bigger than this world, who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and who has redeemed my life from sin and destruction. I serve HIM! What do I have to be afraid of? With this in mind, my only goal should be this: what can I do to make my life- my vapor- to be a vessel beholding His glory?

The theme of fear, its impact, and how to overcome it is eclipsed in the Biblical account of Peter walking on the water in Matthew 14.

Initially, Peter sees Jesus walking on the water and with utmost confidence asks to do the same. The scripture says, "So [Jesus] said, 'Come.' And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid."

After initially encountering Jesus Christ and His omnipotence, as Peter did, we have no reason to fear. We are sons and daughters of the King! The dreams He has put in our hearts-- whether it be to walk on water or initiate a ministry with Muslims-- are a done deal when our eyes are fixed on Him. He knows the road before us and will steer us correctly. But when we begin looking down this earthly, fog-laden road, filled with dangerous potholes- then we, like Peter, fall with the waves of doubt instead of overcoming them. That's when we also, like Peter, forfeit the opportunity to do the miraculous. We can't expect to operate with God's power and strength when our gaze shifts from the Almighty to the broken.

I wish I could say that my mind was as well-disciplined as it should be regarding fear. I've fallen in the waves many times. As a young mom, I find myself often succumbing to plagues of "what-if" fears regarding my family. But one thing that's been helpful is to engage in a mindset of thankfulness. By busying my mind with what I am thankful to God for, I regain focus, and the unnecessary worries fade. Maybe that's why Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5, "in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

Scripture also points to busying our minds with things that are true and positive. Philippians 4:8 says, "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things." 

It's good practice to not only think on these things, but also make it a point to speak these things, and you'll avoid gossip, slanderous, and fear-ensuing talk. Pastor and speaker Chip Ingram once advised to share only things that are "true, necessary and kind." Thinking and speaking with these guidelines will revolutionize an otherwise fear-wrought perspective, and might help refocus someone else away from fear instead of toward it.

This does not mean it would be illful to discuss or ponder the negative events of the day-- but to think and speak of them in a way that is true, necessary, and kind.

For example, let's say a tornado wipes out the town nearby and more tornadoes are expected to come to your area. Steer away from worrying about the world coming to an end. Instead, thank God for His sovereignty. Rationally prepare for strong storms and lend a hand to those who need it.

If an "enemy" politician falls into sin, avoid slandering the person. Instead, thank God that the truth was revealed and pray for His will to be done. Share with your friends how important it is to pray for our government leaders, not how terrible the other party is.

Jesus Christ warned us that bad times would come. The details are no surprise to Him. We have no reason to fear as long as we are submitting to the one who knows all and is powerful over all. May God help us do just that.

Hebrews 12:1-3 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the thrown of God. Remember Him who endured such opposition from sinful men so that you do not grow wear and lose heart." 

 

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