FEAR, FAITH AND THE FUTURE…are so interrelated. Let’s examine each separately and then see how they impact us.
· Fear—an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or threat. Terror, fright or alarm.
· Faith—complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Trust, belief, confidence or conviction.
· Future—the time or a period of time following the moment of speaking or writing; time regarded as still to come. Time to come, time ahead, what lay/lies ahead, coming times or the fullness of time.
Why do we fear? Because we cannot control so many things. And we want to very badly. Some are very real and should be addressed, but studies show that 90% about which we are anxious never come about. We have all heard that fear and faith cannot occupy the same space. I agree. One scripture comes to mind. ‘So Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid, for God has come to test you, so that His fear may be in you, so that you do not sin.”’ (Ex. 20.20 TLV). Maybe this sheds a new light on what we are fearing. Might it be terrifying circumstance(s) in our lives that are constructive test(s) from God to build dependence and faith in him and to prevent using the future from falling into sin to which otherwise we might have been vulnerable? Consider it!
Which leads us to faith. Hebrews 11.1 defines it best. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (ESV). Hope and things not seen. Eyes of faith look at things in a whole different light than eyes that fear. Our fears reveal our faith! If you truly believe that God will never leave you nor forsake you, would it not be much more profitable and peaceful to put your faith/trust in his promise(s). It is not empty, wishful thinking, but solidly grounded on the word of God that accomplishes its purpose(s) in every situation. God has your back!
And the best news is, he has your future! Time moves on and everything we face is in our future, ahead of us. So, the question is, how do we face it and prosper in it. Fear will strangle us, overwhelm us; it’s one of Satan’s most powerful tools. Jesus spoke clearly about this. He said; “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10.10a ESV). Fear opens the door to these results. He went on to say; “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (Vs. 10b). Our future can be secure or insecure—fearful or faithful. One leads to death of our joy and the other leads to life, abundant and eternal.
God made it very clear how he feels about his people. He spoke this to Israel who were in exile in Babylon. They needed an encouraging word from God as they had much to fear for several years. This applies to you and me today.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29.11 ESV).
My observation is that when fear reigns, we take circumstances and our life into our own hands. When faith reigns, we place our circumstances and our life in God’s hands. So, to whom are you trusting your future? Easy choice, don’t you think!