Faith or Fear?
Fear - an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. It is a sensation that paralyzes the mind or physical functions of an individual.
Whether rational (fear of being hit if walking in the middle of a highway) or irrational (fear of clowns), we all experience its debilitating vice. Unfortunately for many of us, our irrational fears have increased to the point of being given a scientific diagnosis – phobias. Phobias have become so prominent in our lives that they lead to various health issues (anxiety, stress, blood pressure, depression, etc.). At their worst, fear has led to suicide.
In an effort to combat fear, we are offered various alternatives: visit a psychiatrist, take a legal or illegal substance, recite cliques (“I ain’t scared”, etc.), fight (face your fear directly), flight (avoid anything that “may” accentuate your fear). While these are coping mechanisms, they often make bad matters worst.
Our time would best be spent placing our trust in the Lord. In John 10:10, Jesus proclaims, “I am come to give you abundant life”. Matthew 10:28 declares “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” These verses remind me to funnel my fears through my faith. When faced with a fearful dilemma, I ask myself: “Does the emotion (situation) I am experiencing enhance or debilitate?” “Is it edifying or destructive?” “Is it scriptural or societal based?” According to my assessment, I proceed to rebuke or embrace my ordeal in prayer.
Faith – confidence that God can and will enable you to overcome every obstacle you face by his Divine power. It is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen (Hebrew 11:1). Instead of quoting cliques, we need to quote the Word of God.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
Whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, or of good report; if there be any virtue, or praise-worthy; think on these things, and the God of peace shall be with you (Philippians 4:8-9 paraphrased)
Love – a deep and controlling emotion or affection for something or someone. It is essential that we walk in love because perfect love casteth out fear (1 John 4:8). Perfect love is defined in Mark 12:30-31, “thou shall love the Lord with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. And [love] thy neighbor as thyself.
Conclusion – Fear is debilitating, faith is liberating. We have a choice to stand in faith or falter in fear. There are over 365 times that the Bible admonishes us FEAR NOT (or an equivalent statement). That’s one for every day of the year. Believe God and he will do miracles in your life.
Keep the faith, Bishop Calvin J. Grier, Sr.
Pastor: West Charlotte Church of God