Friday, February 6, 2015

Prescription for Peace Part 4, Fear

So far, we've discussed two areas that rob us of peace: guilt and worry. The third factor is fear.

Human beings tend to expect the worst. We fear the unknown, the unexpected, sickness, death, the end of the world, eternity.

Remember when Jesus and His disciples set out in a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee? Worn out from preaching and teaching, Jesus promptly fell asleep. A great wind storm swept down over the sea, and the waves threatened to swamp their frail vessel, but Jesus slept on, undisturbed by the raging storm.

Rembrandt painting
"Jesus!" the disciples cried. "Don't you care that we are going to perish?"

Jesus awoke. "Don't be afraid, oh you of little faith!" Then He stretched out His hands and spoke. "Peace, be still!" And the storm ceased.

Fear is a natural human emotion. Fear stimulates the flow of adrenalin, which prepares us for fight or flight. Healthy fear can save our lives in times of danger.

Unhealthy fear, though, can paralyze us and keep us from accomplishing the purposes of God in our lives. Our bodies are not designed for a constant flow of adrenalin. It will raise our blood pressure and trigger anxiety, heart disease, and digestive problems, to name a few of the possible complications.

During World War II, Corrie ten Boom and her family hid Jews from the Nazis. They were caught and thrown into a concentration camp. Only she survived. She told of her childhood fear that her father would die. "How could I stand it?" she asked him tearfully.

"When you go on the train to visit your grandmother, when do I give you the ticket?" he asked her.

"Just before I board the train."

"And God will give you the grace to handle it when that time comes, so don't be afraid."

We don't need to fear death because by His resurrection from the dead, Jesus took the sting out of death and the grave (1 Corinthians 15:55-57).

We don't need to fear anything this life throws at us, because Jesus has promised to walk with us through all our trials.

Once when I was afraid about my future, I remembered 1 John 4:18, "Perfect love casts out fear." I must not have perfect love, I thought. Then I heard His voice say to my spirit, "Oh, my child, only My love is perfect. Rest in Me." Trust is the opposite of fear.

And Jesus is coming again to take care of our eternal future. "When all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!" (Luke 21:28). Be not afraid!

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow;
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know, I know, He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.
                                  --Bill and Gloria Gaither

No comments:

Post a Comment