Monday, April 15, 2013

Faith That Conquers Fear

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.  In God (I will praise His word), in God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?.” – Psalms 56:3-4

This past week while we were on vacation something occurred to me.  We all live in fear of something.  For some of us, it’s financial fear, which keeps us in our present job fearing that we will not be successful elsewhere.  Some carry a fear of rejection, which causes them to remain single their entire lives, fearing being hurt, or a marriage ending in divorce.  Some fear failure in achieving their dreams, so they settle for ‘ok’ instead of God’s best.  Others fear travelling to a different country, while some even fear living in this country and the crime that occurs so often.  Some fear health problems and live focused on being healthy and protecting their body from disease.  Some fear death and what happens when we die.  Me?  I fear drowning.
One of the things I love most about vacation is seeing the ocean.  My eyes never grow tired of just watching the waves come in and go out, the water crashing over the rocks, and the waves gently washing over the sand.  This past week I got to see it again.  But in the entire week, I only waded into the water a few times, and never deep.  I can swim – but if the water gets too deep for me to stand I panic, and my fear takes over.  So I never swam in the salty ocean water, and I never snorkeled in it – even though I had the equipment – and a life vest I brought with me.  There were people all around snorkeling, swimming, and enjoying the water.  None of them drowned! None of them had difficulty in the water!  At one beach we even saw kite surfers gliding across the ocean, and I thought how beautiful it was, and how much fun it would be.  That is, until I saw the huge waves coming toward them, and immediately began to wonder if they were going to be knocked into the deep blue water.

Sometimes we let our fear rule our lives, and determine how we live.  We all have some sort of fear that holds us back from doing what we want to do and should do with our lives.  When our faith should step up and conquer the fear, we focus not on God – but the fear.   My fear overwhelmed my faith in God, and the knowledge that “even the winds and the sea obey Him” (Matthew 8:27).  My fear dismissed the fact that Jesus said “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).  In my fear, I forgot that the Holy Spirit residing in me would ride the waves with me, and that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).  Fear won - when faith should have.
Fear wins when we fail to trust God to be who He is, and do what He says He will do.  Psalms 56:3-4 says “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.  In God (I will praise His word), in God I have put my trust; I will not fear.”  Fear comes from trying to trust ourselves instead of trusting God, and God wants us to conquer our fears, and rely on Him. He has said in His word 365 times “Fear not”, once for every day of the year.  Regardless of what your fear is, God reigns sovereign over that situation.  Nothing is outside His power and His control.  He desires that we live in the freedom of trusting Him with our worries and our fears.

1 Peter 5:6-7 says “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.  God will overcome our fears when we humble ourselves to realize that we are not in control of our destiny – He is.  When we cease to be independent in our thinking and our actions, and begin to rely on His wisdom, His strength and His power, we can overcome our fears.  He asks us to cast all our cares- our worries and fears - upon Him, because He loves us and wants to set us free from fear.  This is the fullness of faith, giving to Him the fears that rule our lives, and trusting Him.




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