Friday, April 8, 2016

Fear and Faith

Recently, the LAUSD schools were closed due to a "credible threat" that would have impacted a significant number of schools. This closure had a domino effect on surrounding schools, so as a result the Little One's private school was also closed.

We are living in dangerous times because I remember a time when I would not let my children stay home for any reason; you had to be extremely ill to warrant staying home. Today when I heard this announcement, I realized I had changed. I was able to rationalize why the LO should stay home before receiving the official notification of the school closure.

Everyone was saying, "better safe than sorry," but many of the responses seem to reflect the repercussions of the times we are living in. In December, San Bernadino happened. When Sandy Hook happened to innocent first graders I think I cried in my car and went home and hugged my children.

Fear makes us fearful therefore, fear can not be the primary motivator of our thoughts. Living in fear is draining, exhaustive, and crippling. Faith produces the opposite effects - rejuvenation, revitalization, and growth. I would like to suggest we live by faith instead.

Fear is the opposite of faith. If we only trust in the things that we can see in this world we will be fearful. On a regular basis, we are dealing with terrorism - domestic and international, economic downturns, natural disasters, health scares, unemployment. We are consumed by what the future will look like for our children. There is always something to worry about! However, the Bible provides great comfort on why we need not live in fear.

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you. Deuteronomy 31:6[NLT]
Even when I walk through the darkest valley,[a]I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. Psalms 23:4 [NLT]
The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? Psalms 118:6 [NLT]
Ultimately, when we are fearful or living in fear we are only relying on ourselves and we know our limitations. We can only think with a limited mindset. But God is not like that - He's not like us in this regard - He is above all, understands all, and controls it all. Instead of relying on my limited self, I will trust and hold on to an unlimited God and in so doing live by faith instead of fear.
If we are ever in fearful situations, I know God gives us the faith and what comes with it, to make the best decisions at the time.

The verses above are only a snippet of what God says about fear. If you spend significant time poring over the Word and take these words to heart you will recognize how much God cares for us and does not want us to be fearful regardless of what we are dealing with. You will have to choose to believe what He says, not what you think. This will take time; new circumstances will always provide opportunities for choosing faith. You won't perfect this on this earth, but you can get pretty close, because you are not doing this alone.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 [KJV]

Faith or fear - what will it be for you?

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