Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Faith Vs Fear...

We live in a fear filled world. You can hear it on the news every night. You can see it in the faces of folks as they go through their daily activities. What does tomorrow hold? More earthquakes? Financial meltdowns? Tsunamis? Wars? Unemployment? How will it all affect us and what can we do about it? The feeling of helplessness sends many into depression and despair.

I have some good news for you! A life of despair does not have to be the focus of your world! There is hope! My tomorrows are not limited to the world view of the media. I see beyond tomorrow! I see it with an eye of faith. That faith is based on something solid and sure. It is the Word of God. It is a hope based on the promises I find written for every believer. 11. For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

The Fear Problem

Fear of the future and what it holds often puts a person into a grip of fear that prevents them from doing anything for God. It looks ahead with fear and freezes. Think of Noah for a moment. He had heard from God that he was to build an ark to the saving of his family. He was given exact instructions. By faith, he obeyed God and began the awesome task of building something the world around him had never seen before. For 120 years they mocked him. For 120 years he worked on the project. At any time, he could have stopped, and given up. But he persisted because he had heard from God. Even after the boat was loaded with family and animals, he could have wondered, “Will the pitch hold? Will we all survive? What will the world be like when it is all said and done? Will we find food? ” But he kept his focus on God, not the problems. God speaks today to us as He did to Isaiah: So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10) In the middle of your moment of fear, God is with you...He will strengthen you...His hand will hold you!

One of the greatest weapons against fear is remembering the victories of the past. Just think for a moment of some of the wonderful things God has brought you through. For each person the history of victories will be different. Some will think of overcoming cancer. Others will think of how God helped with a bill. For some it will be the reconciliation of family members. What has God done for you? Make a victory file. Put in it all the things God has done. Then look back again and again at what God accomplished when you thought it was impossible and remember. Remember Jesus words in Matthew 17:20 I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, `Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. " and again...in Matthew 19:26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

The Faith Factor

All too often the problem is not what God can or cannot do, but our willingness to believe it. "Everything is possible for him who believes." (Mark 9:23) There is nothing worse in a storm than to question and doubt the ability of the Captain. An old seaman once said: “In fierce storms we must do one thing, for there is only one way to survive: we must put the ship in a certain position and keep her there.” In the storms of our life, we must take our ‘ship’ and put it in a position of faith—facing the storm head on. “Jesus said, in this world you will have trouble. But, take heart, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33) We can expect storms to come. It is part of life. God allows it so we will learn to look to Him and as we do, we will grow stronger spiritually. Faith sees the future through God’s eyes. What get’s God into a panic? Nothing! He see’s the whole picture….past, present and future. That’s why He is called the Alpha and the Omega, the A and the Z—the beginning and the end. There is nothing God does not see. If you are facing the possibility of death, it would appear that there are reasons to fear. But Jesus gives us hope even then to conquer our fear. “I am, right now, Resurrection and Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all.” John 11:25-26 (TMB) He spoke these words to Mary at the graveside of Lazarus. They give us hope even today as many face death.

Our Future

The problems of this world are small compared to the eternity that awaits the believer. He promised us a hope and a future, but that future is not limited to the here and now. It is extended into eternity. Paul, the apostle who suffered so greatly in persecutions, shipwrecks, beatings, stonings, and other crises, learned to look at life with eternal eyes. His vision saw into eternity and life forever with God. Jesus told his followers, 1. "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God ; trust also in me. 2. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am" (John 14:1-3) The future is always bright for the child of God. It includes time spent with Jesus. It includes a place He has prepared for each of us. It is a place that is out of reach of Satan’s schemes. It is a place where there will be no sickness or death. It is a future in which we can securely place our trust. There will be no fear in heaven or in the presence of Jesus. So we may as well choose here and now not to fear the present circumstances or the imagined ones we think may come our way. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:6-7) We don’t gain anything by spending time worrying about everything. But we do gain the peace of God when we put it all in His capable hands.

So what are we to do in our moments of fear when our faith is down?

1. Pray. Take time to get alone with God and talk to Him about it all. Then listen!

2. Read the Word. By diving into the treasures of the Bible, you will find your faith growing in God in leaps and bounds.

3. Trust. Believe that God has a plan bigger than your problem.

4. Surround yourself with Faith. Share your need with people of prayer. Together in Christ, you are a tower of strength.

5. Hope in God 13May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope. Rom 15:13 (AMP)

I don’t know your personal circumstances, but I do know the God who knows everything. When you throw up your hands in despair, saying ’There is no use going on” He is still looking down on you waiting for you to ask for His intervention. He is a God of the miraculous. He wants to demonstrate His wondrous power through you. He is not wringing his hands in anxiety over your problem. He has everything under control. He sees it all. Lift your vision above your circumstances and see as He sees. There is no fear in His eyes. He wants to see faith in yours.

J. Johnson

No comments: