Make no mistake, there are things that we fear as human beings. While some of us boast a tough facade that suggests fearlessness, fear remains somewhere within us about something. What does this look like in your life? As you ponder this question, consider this from the prophet Isaiah:
“Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
The Lord’s people are not to live in fear? With all that is going on in the world today, how does this become practical for us? I can tell you as a father (and I’m sure that my wife would echo this) there are times I think about my two sons and what could happen at their schools, and it terrifies me. Case in point… you may recall reading one of my previous blogs when I shared the story about how our group found out what happened on July 16th last year here in Chattanooga as we were off at Union University for ‘Fuge. My mother-in-law leads into that story with Steph by telling her that Jaxson’s daycare was on lock down but that they got the shooter. Umm… freak out much? Once our hearts settled back into their proper positions, we were able to continue the exchange of texts with her. Needless to say, fear is something that can be ever-present in our lives, even for the Christian.
Think about this for a minute. The Lord says that He works in all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28), so what place does fear have for the believer, especially when He tells us not to fear (in many more places other than just Isaiah I assure you; do a little Bible dig on “fear not” sometime). Now think of it this way… why would the Lord tell us not to fear? In those moments, something has power over us that causes us to act in a certain way, and the vast majority of the time, I’m going to guess that that something isn’t Him. See where I’m going? Fear of something other than God gives us the opportunity, if we view it as such, to give Him control and acknowledge the power that only He has. Let’s be real, in those moments, something else has that control and at least some level of power. Now let’s get past the fear and even the mention of it in the Scripture above—what comes next? “I am with you,” He says. God is laying it out plainly for us: “Give me the control over you that this other thing has over you. See that I will build you up, whereas it will only tear you down if you let it.” (Now, I’m obviously not quoting the Lord directly, but I imagine that at some point, more than one of His followers has heard these words from Him.
What is it that you fear? Are you willing to give that control to the only One who can strengthen and help you?