Spiritual Perspectives In Unnerving Times
What is Fear?
A human emotion that develops when danger or threat is perceived. This causes change in our mind and behaviour, we either fight, flee or freeze.
Let's be honest, we all fear something. Growing up I feared large bodies of water because I am afraid of drowning. Some fear insects, some dogs or cats, some fear heights or dark spaces or the biggest fear today is contracting the coronavirus or the loss of job, finances due to this pandemic or just plain fear of the unknown future.
But how do we deal with these fears as a Christian which in some cases are not just real but serious too? Or even better still, how does God want us to respond to these seemingly real dangers that we are faced with on this journey called life?
Do we stop being Christians?
Should we not worry or be concerned at all?
Should we box ourselves in till the problem blows over?
The best place to start is the Bible, it is there that we learn how God wants us to deal with fear. It is in His word that we can see what He expects.
Isaiah 43:1- 5 (Read it here)
God is assuring his people Israel, this is the same God that we worship today!
The “fear nots" are one of the most repeated commands in the Bible! In fact, it's been said that there are around 365 “fear not’s" contained in the scriptures, one for every day of the year.
A few things that I notice in the scriptures we just read:
vs 1: God created us, He knows us intimately and even calls us by name (a personal God) and even better still he redeemed us and will make sure we are protected from stuff (dangers) out there that can get to us. We are His. As believers, we are his special people (that means called out), Jesus paid a price for us, for we are special and he commands us not to fear!
vs 2: Fire & water: two important elements that have brought destruction on civilizations, God says when you pass through the waters, there's no way of avoiding the trouble, you've got to pass through them but they will not sweep over you, they will not overpower you (very encouraging words) or even if you walk through the fires, you might feel the heat but will not be burned, for our Lord will protect and save!
Why does God do all this?
vs 4: We are special. We are honoured. He loves us and will go before us.
Given what we’ve read from Isaiah, how should you respond in these troubled times? How can we respond to God's word?
God is in control of the elements, of nature, even diseases that pose a threat to us but these dangers are not outside of the realm of God, Jesus is Lord of all.
We don't stop trusting him, we can be obedient to him especially during times like we are in presently. If we lose faith, begin to panic and to be fearful then what difference is there between those that are saved by the gospel and those that are not?
Notice the many times between verse 1- 5 of Isaiah that God says “I have”, “I am”, “I give”, “I love”. God promises us protection, he commands us not to fear, he wants us to know he is able when things spin out of control for us. All because we belong to him, because we are special no harm will befall us though we may have to wade through troubled waters he will protect, our God is an awesome God!
Philippians 1:27 "Whatever happens, conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the gospel.”
Yes, whatever happens around us, whether it be the raging waters, fires or out if control diseases, we are to live in a manner worthy of the gospel of Jesus.
What should this look like for us?
Pray continually (instead of panic)
Use these times (free) to read the scriptures in order to have faith and understand God's promises.
This could be a opportune time to share your faith and give another hope (a family member, church member, a friend)
Look for opportunities to love and serve in your community. There will be needs all around you.
Simply put, replace fear with faith in our great God.
Albert Laulman March 2020