Over recent weeks, we have released two articles entitled, ‘Hopelessness to Hope’ and ‘Greed to Generosity.’ The final theme for this short trilogy is, ‘Fear to Trust’.
Over the years we have heard fear explained in lots of ways including, “False Evidence Appearing Real” or, “Forget Everything and Run” and many other explanations. However, we all know from experience the human emotion of fear when faced with something harmful, dangerous or painful. In our life experience we can have fear of what other people think of us, fear of the dark, fear of flying, fear of going near certain places, and fear of death. However, there is another kind of fear.
The Bible speaks a lot about fear. Many times, it is used in the context of being in awe, deep reverence, total trust, respect and worship of God. A Godly fear that takes us from human fear to ‘Holy Fear.’ A Holy fear that leads to confident trust.
The Psalmist said it so well when he penned these words, “When I am afraid I put my trust in you, in God whose word I praise, in God I trust and am not afraid” Psalm 56 :3-4. God, through Isaiah the prophet says, “For I the Lord hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, fear not, I am the one who helps you”. Isaiah 41:13.
Remember the truth, ‘God is Love’. No other god has love, can love, is love. It is God’s perfect love that drives out fear. There is no fear in love. 1 John 4.
When I was a child, if I did something wrong, (unfortunately too often) I would fear my Father because at best I would be told off, or (in the good old days!!) it would be a clip behind the ear. However, that eventually was tempered by the fact that I was not being treated by a tyrant or a dictator but by my Dad who was disciplining me out of love. The sad fact today is that some fathers out of insecurity and fear behave like tyrants or dictators thus creating fear.
However, when Jesus taught His disciples to pray He told them to pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” A Father who is love, perfect in all His ways, a Father totally reliable, totally true, totally protective, totally loving, totally faithful, someone they as disciples and we as followers of Jesus today, can totally trust.
Even in the difficult and dark times, we can choose to believe the prophet Isaiah when he says, “Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of His servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God.” (Isaiah 50:10 NIV). We all experience or will experience dark times that so easily bring us into fear. Failed relationships, disappointments, sudden loss, health issues, the list goes on.
In those moments, we can choose to fear or choose to trust. Recently, I was in the out-patients department at the QE hospital for a procedure that I and many had prayed would be successful. It wasn’t! I then had a choice; I could go into fear mode or trust mode. Thank God that by His grace and with the help of family and friends, I chose to trust Him.
Can we encourage you to choose trust and rebuke fear. As we end this short trilogy let us determine by God’s grace, in the name of Jesus and in the power of the Holy Spirit, to be a people of Hope and not hopelessness, big hearted generosity and not greed and in the words of the writer of Proverbs say to ourselves and each other, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not depend, lean on, your own understanding. Seek Father’s will in all you do and He will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3 The Living Bible)
Ian Cole is the founder of the World Prayer Centre, Birmingham. He networks globally in the movement for prayer.