Today I find myself thinking about fear. Recently, a friend of mine had to watch her tiny son go through a very serious medical infection. Afterward, she wrote: “I wasn’t worried about him and was not scared. I asked for prayer because I believe that prayer changes things. Prayer is a conversation with God, where He speaks to you and gives you peace. If you don’t feel peace after praying for something, you haven’t prayed effectively. You need to get in the place of secret prayer where the Lord changes the way you think and feel about the situation.”
This is a hard challenge, at least for me. While I am not the type of person that is overly beset by fears, there are certainly times when fear and worry seem to be the only responses I can muster. This is especially true when my children are in any kind of danger, whether real or perceived.
But I know that my friend was telling the truth when she says she wasn’t worried or scared. She is one of those rare people that remain stable and confident even in the face of huge uncertainties. I admire this about her, and hope to be able to emulate it more and more as time goes by.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. -1 John 4:18
If we are living with fear–any kind of fear, no matter how reasonable it may seem–we are believing a lie. Maybe we believe that God is not capable of helping us or protecting us. Maybe we believe that He doesn’t want to help us, that He isn’t entirely trustworthy, that His nature isn’t completely good. Maybe we don’t believe that He can work good for us out of painful, difficult situations. Maybe it’s some other subtle lie that we’ve accepted as reality. If we’re feeling afraid, it’s time to ask God to reveal what lie we’re believing that is causing us to live in fear. And then make daily choices to replace that lie with Truth in our lives. It won’t be a quick or easy process, but we can live fear-free days and nights.
Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. -Deuteronomy 31:6