Listen to: Kirk Franklin: “Hello Fear”
Will there be money in the bank to pay the bills?
Will there be enough gas in the tank to get back home from work?
What does that mass on the sonogram mean?
What will I do when my job ends?
Why doesn’t he call me anymore?
What if she finds out what I am really like?
Do I really have to give this speech in front of the entire division?
What if the injustice in the world harms those I love?
What if war breaks out – again?
Why doesn’t this pain in my heart stop? Am I dying?
Fear. It is one of our most primitive emotions. Without fear, we would not have evolved to learn not to touch a rattlesnake, or put our hand in fire, or learn ways to tell enemies from friends. Although fear serves a purpose, it is easy to become a captive to fear. It is impossible to eliminate all the circumstances, or all the critters or people we might fear. We can spend copious amounts of time trying to avoid potential fear-provoking situations. If we do, we just end up exhausted. Perhaps even more fearful.
God does not promise us a trial-free life. Nor does God remove the fearful situations from us. What the Psalmist assures us is this: when we seek God out in our distress, God will answer and deliver us from fear. The scripture doesn’t say you won’t have to make the speech. Or that God will eliminate spiders because you are afraid of them. It is true there are times when God does transform the threatening situation we fear. However God, through his perfect love, will deliver us from the fear that grips our heart so we can face our challenges head on, despite our trepidation , confident of the care and mercy of God (1 John 4:18).
The truth is the life of the Spirit is forging through fear and uncertainty, with faith. Rooted in the love of God, our faith becomes bigger than our fear. We know this because the One we trust is bigger than anything we can face – even death. So when the world would have us quaking in our shoes, buying or believing in dubious cures, remember to call on the Lord and remember the promise of Jesus: ”Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27).”
Prayer: “God our Deliverer, help us face our fears with faith, knowing you love us and do not leave us to face our perils alone.”