Christians talk about peace on a regular basis, but I’m not sure if all Christians understand the impact of fear. There’s a reason why scripture tells us we don’t have to fear. Complete trust in God is really a complete rejection of fear. When we avoid fear, we understand peace a little better. When we allow God to be our ‘Shepherd,’ we have nothing to fear because we put our lives in His hands.
So why do we still fear?
We can’t say we don’t fear, because we do. We can’t seem to avoid it. No matter where we turn, we see fear or fear tactics:
- Politics are driven by fear.
A general political strategy is to instill fear in the voters. It’s a way to gain influence — if you can convince voters to fear the current system, you may win their vote.
- The Economy and stock markets are driven by fear.
Some may say the stock market is driven by confidence, but it’s probably best to say it’s driven by how fearful the market is. Even when ‘confidence’ may drive the market upward, it quickly stabilizes. Fear, on the other hand, can completely devastate the system. If there is a genuine fear, it drives people to sell and stocks drop quickly, and slowly rebound.Fear can be very powerful and...can honestly derail us from making the best decisions in life. Click To Tweet
- Immigration is full of fear.
Between the unknowns of the vetting process, the varying articles from the media, and the seemingly lack of communication, we find fear along the way.
- Religion is full of fear.
Jesus is full of peace, but religion is full of fear. Humanity made religion to make sense of God. So when we search after God, through the Word, and challenge the tradition of religion, fear consumes the conversation because it feels like we are actually challenging God.
Fear can be very powerful and, left unchecked, can honestly derail us from making the best decisions in life.
Scripture’s View: Psalm 23.
Psalm 23 is more than a funeral text, it describes the foundation of Christian peace. Here are a few verses from that chapter:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
Scripture clearly states that God walks us through every moment (whether by ‘still waters’ or through ‘death’s shadow’). As a result, we will ‘fear no evil’ because God will lead us through everything we face.
The Christian response is both simple and complex. We simply have to consistently remind ourselves, ‘I will fear no evil, for [God] is with me!’ At the same time, we have give ourselves grace as we work through the tensions of trusting in God. That’s a process of growth. But just because the tension is there, we can’t ignore the truth.
Why do we often act like we’re fighting a loosing battle? I hear Christians talk about how culture is pushing out Christianity in North America and how there’s no longer a place for God. Forgive me, but doesn’t Scripture say that God is bigger? Doesn’t it say, ‘If God is for us, who can be against us?’ (Romans 8:31).
Yes, politics will fail.
Yes, the economy will fail.
Yes, our bodies will fail.
Yes, religion will fail.
Yes, even denominations will fall apart.
But God never fails, His Church will prevail and not even the ‘gates of hell’ will prevail against it (Matthew 16:18). The future may look different. We may have to embrace a new ‘normal.’ But God will never fail! He is bigger than our fear!
God has called us to trust in Him & fear no evil...He will provide comfort and paths of righteousness Click To TweetI would almost argue that the only fear we, as Christians, have to worry about is of ourselves. We sometimes act like Judas — trying to advance the story line — as if we know God’s next move. We fear the sin and brokenness of others, while ignoring the sin in our own lives. We fear the external issues, while relaxing on our daily journey of faith.
In reality, God has called us to trust in Him and ‘fear no evil’ because He will provide comfort as He leads us ‘in paths of righteousness.’
All we have to do is faithfully live for the Kingdom.
Where do you see fear? Is fear derailing our peace? How do you overcome it?
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