This Sunday evening I will be starting a new series entitled “From Fear to Faith”. We live in a society that is very much driven by fear. Our politicians use fear to score political points and to justify outrageous government expansion of power. Fear shows up in Christian lives in many areas. That’s interesting because the statement “fear not” is one of the most frequently repeated commands in the Holy Bible. The word “afraid” is found more than 200 times and “fear” more than 400 times. So it appears that fear is just not a problem for 21st century Christians. Moses was afraid to lead Israel out of bondage as seen in Ex. 3:11; 4:10. Gideon was afraid to lead Israel against the Midianites in Judges 6:15. David was afraid Saul would one day kill him even though God had promised him he would be the next king of Israel. His fear resulted in him fleeing to his enemies the Philistines. Jeremiah was afraid to speak the message God gave him because he said he was too young in Jer. 1:6. So my question is “What’s your greatest fear?”
I believe fear and faith cannot be friends. Fear is a sign that we are not trusting God. One of the greatest sources of fear is unbelief. Yes, there is a proper place for fear in our faith experience. This is seen in the Proverbs when the writer tells us “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline” (1:9 NIV). Maybe that’s part of the problem today. Because people don’t fear the Lord in a proper way (the way of reverence and honor) they have created a whole new set of fears for themselves. We also live in a world where people want to manage their own problems instead of casting all their burdens on the Lord. God allows heavy burdens into our lives, even fearful situations so we will call out to Him and find Him equal to the task.
One of the 1st secrets to discovering victory in moving from fear to faith is to look by faith at our great God. Do you know that through a personal relationship with Christ that there is a God greater than all your problems? I love the words of Isaiah in the 12th chapter of his book where he says, “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for the Lord, Jehovah, is my strength and my song; he also has become my salvation” (12:2 KJV). Because Jesus has set us free we are no longer under obligation to serve our former tyrants and masters. The world, the flesh and the devil no longer control our lives and they should not be setting the agenda on our fear meter.
Isaiah says “God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid”. If Jesus Christ has set you free He’s set you free to develop the very best aspects of your character. We have not only been saved into a life of liberty and the conscious possibility of doing small and great things but we’ve been saved from a spirit of fearfulness. Remember Jesus’ first words when he appeared to a fearful group of disciples that 1st resurrection day in John’s gospel where his 1st words are “Peace be unto you” (v. 19 KJV). You can’t have peace if you are filled with fear. My prayer is that we would get a fresh glimpse of our awesome God and realize if Jesus is on the throne and we are His children that we have nothing to be afraid of. Jesus is the one who comes to bring peace to our troubled souls.
Pastor Rich Sivo