Is Fear Knocking at the Door? Answer it with Faith!

Posted by on Feb 15, 2019 in Signboard | 0 comments

Our signboard said:

WHEN FEAR KNOCKS,

ANSWER IT

WITH FAITH 

   

Fear lurks in the air that surrounds all of us.  Nobody is immune from the stench of fear.  Like the proverbial salesperson who knocks on your door at dinner time to sell you the latest vacuum cleaner (or energy supplier), it invades our lives when we least expect it.  It’s an interruption that can prevent us from working on the thing we’ve purposed to accomplish.  It saps our enjoyment of life.

 

Crippled!

But what do you do about it?  There are several options that many of us take…

Run and hide…
Pretend it’s not there…
Blame someone else…
Blame yourself…
Get angry…
Let the knocking make your knees knock.

 

Powerless!

We think that there must be a rational answer; a logical way to defuse the thing that’s causing the fear. “If we can send a man to the moon, WE can fix this problem!”  WE can open the door, tell that salesperson off, and then slam the door in his face.  WE can fix this!

  • WE can change the situation. 
  • WE can change ourselves. 
  • WE can change the person causing the fear. 

And yet, when we try to open the door and stand up to the problem, sometimes we feel overwhelmed and we realize that WE can’t fix it afterall.  Our Saturn V rocket fizzles out and we want to run from the problem, or blame someone or something.  Or, we just quiver away in fear.

 

Something Bigger

But we’re not alone… YOU’RE not alone!   You may remember some of the old Sunday School songs from your childhood:

  • He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands
  • Jesus Loves Me this I know 
  • Take it to the Lord in Prayer

And yet, this all seems like hocus pocus to you.  Wishful thinking.  Church-speak.  YOU need to take the bull by the horns and stand up to this Bully!

In order for the above stuff to be successful at confronting your fear (and even defusing its causes), you’ve got to drop the idea that you can do it all yourself.  Faith lifts the burden from your shoulders and puts it in the rock-solid power of God. 

Here’s what Jesus said about fear and worry (Matthew 6:25-33):

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

 

The apostle Paul put it this way (Romans 8:29-30)…

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Jesus told us that He is standing at the door of our hearts, knocking.  He is calling us.  God wants us to open the door so that we can become more like Jesus.  When we do, we’ll be able to get through any problem.

 

The Old Testament Jeremiah recorded this promise from God (Jeremiah 29:11-12)…

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

Faith is more powerful than fear.

 

Faith is for Real!

Faith is real.  Prayer is real.  God is real!  Here are some “real live” stories about real problems.  They were written by the people who experienced them; by people who turned to faith instead of fear and who testify that God is actively involved in their lives…

Son in a Coma

About 16 years ago when my son John, was in a coma, I was sitting by his bedside.  A man stopped at the foot of John’s bed and asked m his name.  I answered, “His name is John.”  He looked at me nodding his head and said, “John…  Now I can pray for ‘John’ and not ‘the boy in bed 20’.”

In the next hours and a couple of days, John had a miraculous recovery.  The doctors had prepared us for possible procedures that he may have to undergo: pressure drained from his brain, spleen removal, and a tracheotomy.  None these things had to happen: pressure went down on its own, spleen started healing itself, and John fought hard and breathed on his own. 

I know that prayers from friends, family and church family, and from this man saved his life.I also heard God ask me if I was praying as fruitfully for others as this man was.  I was humbled, and from this, my prayer life grew.  Prayer is powerful! 

Son in a Crisis

There was a time I carried a tremendous burden. One of my sons was fighting a terrible battle and I worried for his pain and for his life, every day, for years. I felt alone, no one I knew had ever gone through what I was facing. It was hard to live my days, go to the grocery store, take care of my boys, even go to church. Everything, everywhere, hurt.

One morning I was sitting in my Sunday school class, a little early. Suddenly, the church choir director came through the door with a young man and led him straight to my table. She introduced us, told me he was visiting our church and left. “Jason” had a friendly spirit and a sweet face. He sat down with a smile and began sharing his story with me.  We were instant friends.

Days before, he had run past my church and felt moved to go. He was grieving for a friend, injured in a bad accident and he needed to bring it all to the feet of Jesus. I told Jason about my son, as well. We discovered they were the same age, had the same hobbies.  Jason came to church a couple more times and sat in the pew with me. He was a healing balm at a time when I could find no hope. His presence poured peace and restoration into the wound of my soul. I still wonder if he was an angel. 

Lunch Hour Worries

About 10 years ago, I started walking in the park on my lunch hour.  My mind would churn with problems to be solved.  Then I started noticing a rabbit, a butterfly, the warmth of the sun.  I looked up at the sky and the trees and realized what a beautiful world God made for us. 

What an awesome gift! 

My lunch hour became my time with God.  Instead of worrying about problems, I began thanking Him for all my blessings.

In each situation, the person looked to God instead of their inward abilities (or inabilities).  Turning to God in faith not only minimizes the anxiety that’s caused by focusing on the problem, it also opens our eyes to God’s presence.  Fear traps us inside the problem.  But faith, while not ignoring the difficulties and dangers, looks through the problem and opens us up to God.  Through faith, we not only feel the comfort of God’s presence during the problem, but we also discern the solution from God that will overcome the problem.

 

Giants in the Land

The August 10, 2016  article from the Our Daily Bread Devotional used the example of the Israeli spies that were sent out to the Promised Land during the exodus (from Numbers 13:26-14:9).  All of the spies except for two fell into the trap of fear.  The other two responded in faith.  The Biblical narrative picks up when the spies return to give their report…

13:26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land.  They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit.  But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there.  The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.”

Faith

30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”

Fear

31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.”  And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size.  We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

14:1 That night all the people of the community raised their voices and wept aloud.  All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert!  Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?”  And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.”

Faith

5 Then Moses and Aaron fell facedown in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there.  Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes  and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good.  If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us.  Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”     NIV

To read the Our Daily Bread article, click this button: Giants  

And indeed, the Lord “WAS with them.” They had no need to be afraid.  Later on in the Bible we read stories of chariot wheels falling off, confused enemies turning on each other, and even the sun standing still so that Joshua could totally destroy an army.  Faith paid off.  God was there, and the people had a chance to grow closer to God by using their faith.

Fear knocked, but they answered with faith.

The next time that fear knocks on your “door”, how will YOU answer???

 

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