This is part two to How to Overcome Fear with Faith. I’ve been looking at the story of Jesus being arrested to learn three things. I mentioned that fear is like darkness, it lies to us, and it turns us into control freaks. Max Lucado agrees. He says in his book, FEARLESS:
Fear corrodes our confidence in God’s goodness. It unleashes a swarm of doubts, anger-stirring doubts. And it turns us into control freaks.
Fear tells us that God’s not in control. You can’t trust him. You need to do something: fast.
Fight or Flight
Psychologists talk about the fight or flight syndrome. When faced with fear we either attack the threat or run from it. Jesus’ disciples did both. At first, one of them pulls out a sword and starts to fight. When Jesus protests, they all desert him.
Fear makes us do something…anything…that gives us sense of gaining back our control. But what does that say about God? It says we don’t think he cares. It says we don’t think he can intervene in our lives: WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING because clearly God won’t.
Really? Is that true? Or could it just be that we’re a little too impatient?
The Great Robber
When we lie to ourselves about God, the fourth thing happens: Fear robs from us. It almost robbed the disciples of their calling. It caused ten men to desert Jesus, one to deny him and the twelfth man to betray him before committing suicide. That’s the fruit of fear.
Plus, it almost robbed the world of good news. What Jesus did for us was great. But what good is it if no one knows about it? It’s like; what good is the free meal at the soup kitchen if no one knows about it?
I wonder what’s been stolen from you over the years?
What battles were never fought? What victories were never won?
What relationships were never formed?
What careers were never started?
What adventures were never launched?
What ideas were never developed?
What hobbies were never explored or enjoyed?
Or which of the above were started but then abandoned? Max Lucado calls fear:
the big bully in the high school hallway: brash, loud, and unproductive. For all the noise it makes and room it takes, fear does little good. Fear never wrote a symphony or poem, negotiated a peace treaty, or cured a disease. Fear never pulled a family out of poverty or a country out of bigotry. Fear never saved a marriage or a business. Courage did that. Faith did that. People who refused to consult or cower to their timidities did that. But fear itself? Fear herds us into a prison and slams the doors. Wouldn’t it be great to walk out?
I wonder if you’ve been herded into a prison and had the door slammed shut. What’s scaring you? What lies are robbing from you?
God’s in Control
Jesus walked out of that tomb on Easter, he showed his disciples that he was in control all along. He was in control when he sweat blood. He was in control when he was arrested. He was in control when he was beaten. And he was still in control when he was crucified. There was nothing to fear.
The same is true for whatever trouble you are facing now. God is in control. Fall into his arms and trust that he will carry you through. Life may be different on the other side, but it can still be good.