Monday, April 22, 2013

The Problem with Fear

I'm learning really random lessons in a crazy season. I'm ready for this season to be over with, but I'm thankful for what the Lord is teaching me and how He is molding me through the struggle.

In the past two months, I have learned a lot about fear and a lot about faith. In fact, they are direct opposites of one another, something I knew but never really identified.

      - demonstrates a lack of trust in God's sovereignty
      - is an emotional response
      - makes us say things we don't mean
      - causes us to react in a way that results in consequences
      - hurts those we love
      - is selfishly motivated
      - is our attempt to control our circumstances
      - consumes and paralyzes us

However, the Lord creates masterpieces from our messes and our fear. The only time fear is used in a healthy sense in the Bible is to call us to fear God - He is holy, just, righteous, pure, and great. We have to learn to TRUST Him. Ralph Waldo Emerson said,  "All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen." Fear is walking by sight and immediacy. Faith is walking in obedience, trusting God will show us what's next, even when we don't understand.

     - causes us to bear fruit
     - allows God to control the circumstance and result
     - breeds peace
     - fosters relationships
     - is an act of obedience (therefore God-centered)
     - helps us focus on the needs of others
     - demonstrates our trust in the One we claim to follow
     - frees us to act

In the past few months, I've seen and experienced the results of fear and the results of faith. Fear is painful. Faith is life and peace and freedom. I haven't mastered this yet, but I am committed to mastering my fear through fostering my faith. The One I follow is so sovereign over my circumstances and intimately knows my heart. If I truly trust that, whom/what should I fear?

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love casts out fear." 1 John 4:18a

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