Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

musing 05/15/10, Fear, by John.

Some observers are saying that the United States is now living in a state of fear. They've noted rampant crime, racial hatred, road rage, the enmity of other nations as well as fear of failure, etc. Their point seems to be that there is little hope for the nation if something doesn't change... Isn't that strange? Politicians are constantly telling us that if we elect them we will have change. Maybe we will, but I am afraid... Well, actually, I'm not. I just had to bring that in because we do tend to start many of our sentences with, "I am afraid..." Do we not?

Let's think about fear. Fear is a very real response to danger, but when there is no real danger, it is something else, isn't it? It becomes a false response, and it is something that needs to change. (There's that word again). The world at large says there are two responses to fear. One is to flee. Rabbits do that. So do most other animals, and humans tend to do the same. The other is fight. Some animals can be pretty belligerent, can't they? Particularly when they are trained to be mean. Guard dogs are a case in point. Some people seem to be far more war-like than others. Some are willing to fight at the drop of a hat so to speak. Fear can and frequently does produce a fight response. Fear itself can be life threatening whether it results from a real danger, or not.

I received an e-mail this morning about Mexicans taking over California. I've received a number of e-mails about black people taking over the nation. Some so-called white people are afraid they will become underdogs in this nation that was once almost completely made up of white people. We could argue about this problem for an extremely long time without arriving at any real answer. To consider it a problem almost requires strong emotion to feed it. One could be the desire to be "Number One!" We hear that all the time from sport teams, don't we? Inordinate ambition is fed by such a desire, but most of us have it in the background of our being. It may be well hidden, but it is there if we are honest about it.

What about all of this fear? Will we respond by taking flight or by taking a stand to fight? Knowledgeable people say we have to do one or the other that basically there is no in-between. It amazes me to hear Christians say that.

Fear is an "f" word, isn't it? There are actually four of these "f" words that fit here, Fear, Flight, Fight, and the fourth is "Faith." It is true that human beings are quite limited by numbers of things, but God is not limited at all, unless He limits Himself. I just read "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in you." (Isaiah 26:3). He is Creator, Sustainer, Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent. There is no other god. Faith in Him gives us complete freedom, (a fifth "f" word). He is capable of providing a third response in the face of danger, and our knowledge of the truth sets us free according to Jesus in John 8:32. Instead of "fight or flee," our response choices can be limitless. David slew Goliath. Peter walked on water. Stephen knelt and saw God as he was stoned to death. Elisha faced an army and led them into captivity, then freed them and sent them home the way they came. Those are just some of the myriad answers God has already given to fear, and all of them are good.

When we fear, it is time to turn to the Lord in prayer. His answer to that fear will be the right one, the best one, the godly one. If we are living in the "age of fear," then we are also living in an age requiring faith and prayer. Believe God will work things out. Believe He will answer your prayer. When we do that, whether we continue to live on earth, or go to join Him in heaven, it will be exactly our heart's desire. Paul knew that. That's how he could tell the Philippians "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." (Philippians 1:21). Live victoriously! Give God the reins to your present and future, and He will guide you to the fulfillment of your dreams, perhaps even beyond your capacity to dream! Real and imaginary dangers will not require a fear response, but our response will be a confident faith that God holds His creation in the palm of His hand, and He controls it for the lasting good of His people!


At 10:11 AM, Anonymous Susan said...

Very timely piece, sir ! I rely on those truths (Isa. 26:3) again and again. It's nice to be reminded !!


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