Fear and anxiety are natural responses during a crisis or a stressful challenge. Even for strong, Bible-believing Christians.
Indeed, it would be unnatural to not be afraid when your spouse is talking about leaving, when you’re about to be interviewed for a must-have job or when you take that must-pass calculus final. And who wouldn’t fear being bullied at school or frantically waiting to see if your teenager survived a terrorist attack?
Even as I write this two days after the Manchester bombing, I’m a bit apprehensive knowing “another terrorist attack may be imminent.”
But being afraid doesn’t necessarily mean we’re a weak Christian.
Life is filled with challenges and causes for anxiety and fear. It’s what we do when we’re afraid that defines our faith.
What would happen if, when we experienced fear, we were to practice, practice, practice putting our trust and confidence in God? “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you” (Psalm 56:3 ESV).
During a recent quiet time, the words “When I am” stood out to me. Though there are many inspirational and solid verses that encourage us not to fear, I appreciate this verse which addresses the times we are afraid.
Admitting we’re afraid isn’t the same as confessing our lack of faith. On the contrary, recognizing our fear and being honest with God about our emotions help us admit how much we need Him. (In addition, being candid with others about our fears also frees us to ask for their prayers and support.)
Putting our trust in God enables us to take the weight of our situation off our shoulders and place it onto His. As we learn to lean on His wisdom, power and goodness, we’re able to handle life a little bit better.
But even as we practice putting our trust in God, we may still experience tremendous amounts of fear, especially when our circumstances involve those we love or when we’re stressed. Thankfully, there is no limit to how often we can go to God and say, “Father, I’m really scared. Please help me trust in You.”
What about you?
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- With the recent terrorist attacks, are you more afraid for your and your family’s safety?
- What else causes you to be afraid?
- Does it help to know that God understands your fear?
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