Fear has a profound impact on humanity. Our culture finds new ways to exploit fears’ impact every day. We grow numb to what we see on the screen and what we experience on holidays like Halloween, all while fear roots itself deeper and deeper into our hearts. Then when “life happens” we find ourselves distraught, powerless, and paralyzed by events causing great fear. We go to great lengths to avoid its outcome in hopes of conquering it. We try and try to slay this opposition only to realize we don’t have the power within ourselves to do so. Eventually this pursuit of victory becomes a game of “limit the power”- a game that never seems to end. It isn’t until we confront fear face to face with truth that we find ourselves coining the phrase made popular by Charlie Sheen. When we stand against fear with the truth of God’s promises we find ourselves “winning” a battle that wages war against the hearts and minds of humanity.
There are many things that cause fear in my life. I am a 27 year old Christian, husband, employee, church leader, & recording artist. I am confident in the abilities God has given me to walk in every arena I am called to. But with all the great joys I have in these roles, there are times these responsibilities seem to be the perfect recipe for fear. The more maturity I gain from all the hats I wear, the more I see clearly. It is these moments of my life that expose my unbelief, and produce repentance in my heart while revealing the impact that fear has in my own life.
As a Christian, there are times I wrestle with unbelief. Things I have yet to understand or moments I fail to believe what I do understand expose my fear in many ways. I recently spent 5 days in ICU for some serious health reasons. During this time, there were discoveries made about my health that threatened my life. I underwent various treatments and testing accompanied by many medication, diet, and lifestyle changes in the weeks following my hospitalization. With the threat of death hanging in the balance like the I.V. in my arm, I realized there are elements of death that I fear and am uncomfortable with. It is in those times that I find myself questioning what I know to be secure. That’s when I realize how much I need help with my disbelief. At that very moment is when I desperately need the assurance that only truth can bring.
As a husband, I love & cherish my wife and the oneness we share. When I am with her I enjoy every moment we spend together. When I am away from her I am reminded of all the reasons God has given me to love and serve her. And as the work day progresses, I eagerly anticipate reuniting with her. But often I find myself trapped in nightmares that force me to contemplate my life without her. I wake up with my heart pounding, my mind racing, and body shaking because of dreams’ tragedy. These dreams haunt me and these thoughts paralyze me. In those moments I realize there is something about God’s companionship that I fail to trust. In those moments I find myself valuing the companionship of my wife too highly. Those are the times when I need truth to correct my error.
And this pattern continues to play itself out in other areas that I mentioned. With employment comes wrestling with fear associated with security and provision. With Church Leadership comes fighting the fear of failure and disqualification. With music comes battling the fear of rejection. At the root, there are always vines & weeds that reveal my unbelief. When I get to the bottom of it all, I can always see how fear gripped me in that moment and what I need to defeat it.
When confronting eternity, the scriptures give me hope and comfort by reminding me what I should believe about death. Scriptures like Romans 8 remind me that death is not a dreadful fate for the Christian but rather future glory. As a Christian, I can look forward to leaving this life for one of perfection. As a believer, death is not something to fear but rather something to celebrate and eagerly anticipate. I know that when I leave this body, I’ll be given a new one and a life free of sin, sickness, & death. In view of truth, I should never fear death but welcome it with open arms because my eternity is secured in the work and person of Christ.
When confronting loneliness, the scriptures give me assurance by reminding me what I should believe about companionship. Loneliness is never a reality for the Christian and never will be. Passages like Psalm 16, Matthew 28, and Hebrews 13:5-6 remind me the Spirit of the Living God indwells the Believer. I can be assured that without my wife, as painful as it would it be, I am never alone because God promises to be with me always. The indwelling Spirit also points to the work and person of Christ. He lived, died, rose, ascended and sent the Spirit to live in His people until He returns providing truth, comfort, and power. As a Christian I never have to fear loneliness because truly I am never alone.
Fear is gripping and crippling. Fear is scary and frightful. Fear is daunting and paralyzing. But fear can be confronted and defeated with belief in God’s promises for His people and gazing upon the Gospel afresh. So what do you fear? What in your life makes you afraid? Whatever it may be, the scriptures from God give us hope, comfort, and assurance and point us to the God who conquers fear. So when we stand face to face with fear, spewing truth like flames from a dragon’s mouth, we can be victorious! But at the end of the day, with all the fears life brings, what we should fear most is not truly knowing God and placing our trust in Him. Because if we don’t know Him then we have far more to fear than the woes life brings.
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