Fear and Faith

Do not be afraid, only believe.

Fear and faith are opposites. You can’t have one and the other. One dispells the other. If you have faith, fear will be gone, but if you have fear, faith will be gone. This is why Jesus said unto Jarius “Do not be afraid, only believe.” Jesus knew that fear entering in would smother any faith that Jarius had. Fear is a sure sign that faith is not present.

We find numerous examples of this throughout the scriptures. When Peter walked on the water, he began to sink after he became fearful from seeing the wind and the waves. In another insistence, the disciples were fearful in the boat while Jesus slept. They woke Him, saying, “Master, don’t you care that we are perishing!” Jesus responded with, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?”

Do you fear? Are you in fear of danger, for your life, or for the lives of your children? You are not in faith. You are in a dangerous place. To dwell in fear is certainly a more dangerous thing for your family than any circumstance they might be in. When Job’s family was all killed, he said “Certainly the thing I feared the most has come upon me.”

Fear is a trust in the power of evil. It is an expectation of evil. When you fear, you begin to visualize evil coming upon you or upon those whom you love. You visualize death and despair. You play the images over and over in your mind.

Faith, however, is trust in the goodness of God. Faith is believing what God says, and God always speaks life, and life more abundantly.

We must be people of faith. However, you will find that fear comes much more naturally. Why? Because fear is what you have been accustomed to. Without God, there is plenty of good reason to fear. Death and despair is all around. But with God there is no reason to fear. God is our ever present help in time of trouble. He is our deliverer and our redeemer. He holds our life in the palm of His hand and He cares for us affectionately. There is no one better to watch over us. He is the keeper of our souls.

Yet we still give ourselves over to fear. It is because we do not know Him. If we knew Him, we would trust Him and fear would be dispelled. But when fear is present, faith is not, and we are in danger.

How can we overcome fear? Once again, we must know Him. We know Him by fellowshipping with Him. We fellowship with Him by reading and studying His word, and through prayer.

There have been many times when I have been fearful. Fear has gripped me and paralyzed me. I’ve had sleepless nights because of fear and worry. But during those times I have learned how to overcome, and I do it every time. I run to God. I find a place to get away. I cry out to God until His Spirit lifts me out of darkness. His light fills my soul and faith fills my spirit. I rise up in power. God’s mighty hand delivers me. I have experienced this many many times. Even this very day.

Do not fear. It will destroy you. Learn to destroy it instead.

Let faith fill your heart.

In Mark 4, Jesus had told his disciples to take the boat to the other side of the lake. On the way a tempest came that put them in danger of sinking. Jesus, however, was asleep on a pillow. The winds blew and the waves beat against the boat. Water splashed over the side and filled the boat. Yet, Jesus still slept. Finally the disciples woke Jesus asked Him the question that so many ask today: “Don’t you care that we are perishing?”

Thankfully, Jesus was there to rescue them. If He had not been in the boat, they most likely would have perished. Jesus did not fear or falter in His faith. He rose and spoke to the wind that it should stop and to the waves that they should cease. Calm came and they were rescued. Jesus took the next moment to rebuke them for their faithlessness, “How is it that you have no faith?” Jesus would later teach them (and us) that faith was to speak to the problem and command it to obey. He did it to the winds and waves, and to the fig tree, and told them (and us) that they could do the same to the mountain and the mulberry tree. What am I saying? I’m saying that they should have rebuked the wind and waves themselves, and not to bother Jesus while He slept!

We also must learn to overcome fear, and to rebuke the winds and waves that come into our lives. Jesus isn’t here to do it for us, so we must do it ourselves. He left us with plenty of instruction, and with His Holy Spirit, so we have no excuse.