By Rev. Ralph T. Newell
Fear can be your antagonist or your activator. Which one will you choose? You can be tantalized and traumatized by fear or you can activate your faith in God. Fear is a God given emotion but we are not to succumb to fear or be defeated by our anxiety. Each of us has experienced our share of fear and anxiety but with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit we can overcome the negative results by faith and through the Word of God.
Throughout the Bible God tells us to fear not and don’t be anxious because he is with us. However, there are times when that seems impossible. Look at the Disciples and the many times they were afraid and anxious but Jesus would chastise them and encourage them. One case in point: Matthew 8:23-27, I paraphrase to set the stage; Jesus and the disciples were on a boat and a great storm came while Jesus was asleep and fear gripped the disciples and they woke Jesus: “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown! He replied, ‘you of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waives and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, what kind of man is this? Even the waves obey him!” (NIV 8:25-27).
The disciples forgot what Jesus had taught them about faith and they permitted fear and anxiety to overcome them. Don’t we do the same? Therefore, When Fear Traumatizes You, Activate Your Faith! Hebrew 11:1 & 6 give us directions on how to activate our faith. “Now faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (NIV vs1). First, a believer must trust God and place his/her hope in Him. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him, must believe that he exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (NIV v6). Secondly, you must believe there is God and thirdly, He rewards those who earnestly seek Him! Now with that said, your/my faith is now active.
When I was a boy, I was terrified by even the smallest worm. One of my sisters would chase me all over the yard with a tiny worm on a stick. My mother came to my rescue. She took the stick with the worm on it and said, “it is just a worm and you don’t have to be afraid!” I trusted her and I believed her and I knew she told me the truth. Now, isn’t God and Jesus greater than my mom? The answer is yes!
God hears our prayers and feels our fears and anxieties but God and Jesus honor our faith! That’s the key they honor our faith. Why? Because when we release or activate our faith, we place our will in their will, and our trust in their trust and we totally depend on them. Listen to Jesus during His prayer on the Mount of Olives just before He was tried and crucified” St. Luke 22:42-43 (NIV) “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.’ An angel from heaven appeared to Him and strengthened Him” Jesus trusted God, believed there is God and that God rewards those who earnestly seek Him. God sent an angel to strengthen Him.
This did not mean that Jesus would not be crucified but by faith He would be able to endure it. How does this apply to you and me when we face difficult situations? God will not always deliver us, or heal us, or give us what we think we need, etc. but God will meet us at our point of need and provide what is needed. Does that make any sense to you or give you hope and confidence that you will be all right? By faith you can shout yes, HalleluYah!
When all else fails, we still have God’s word and His promises that He will surely fulfill. Here is a brief faith activator found in Matthew 6:31-34 (NIV) Jesus tells us: “So do not worry, saying, ‘what shall we eat? or What shall we drink? Or What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek ye first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
My brothers and sisters, we have no need to fear or worry even in the midst of the most difficult situations. Death, sickness, financial hardships, etc. when these things happen and they surely will, you still have an alternative: When Fear Traumatizes You, Activate Your Faith!
I Pray that the Power, Presence, Peace, Protection, Provision, Prosperity and Promises of God remain with each of you!