Fear is that unpleasant emotion arising from a belief that something, whether real or imagined, poses a threat. Initially, fear appears as an involuntary reaction to the perceived danger, but after the initial shock has passed, each of us can and will choose how we respond to such situations. If we cave in to fear, it grows. Feeding it magnifies it, and we can quickly find ourselves gripped by a paralyzing fear. There is, however, a better option.
The psalmist said, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee” (Psalm 56:3).
I cannot count the number of times the Spirit has spoken these words to me. In the middle of the night, awake and anxious over something looming the next day, under the duress of stress in broad daylight, in moments of perplexity and not knowing which path to take—What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.
One look to Jesus and fear must fade. Jesus promised in Him we may have peace and therefore to be of good cheer because He has overcome (John 16:33). There is one overcoming life. His name is Jesus. Look to Jesus. He is our peace that overcomes fear. The issue is simply trusting in Jesus who knows all and is above all.
The world is unraveling before our very eyes. Unsettling news is common. Yet this is no time to be afraid, nor is it a time to live in fear. This is a time to take our fears in faith to God. If ever there was a time to trust in God, it is now. God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). The Spirit of God is the Spirit of power in the face of human impossibility. He is the Spirit of love in the face of hate, and He is the Spirit of a sound mind in the face of unsound thinking.
The involuntary welling up of fear is a natural part of being human, but our best response in these times is to access the supernatural. Fear paralyzes. Faith strengthens. Faith in Jesus overcomes fear.
What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.
John Van Gelderen