Everywhere we look today fear is tempting us to wallow in it’s crippling waters. To fear is to lose focus of our strength and confidence; to doubt. Fear binds us, distracts us, causes us to act irrationally or not at all, and entirely hinders growth. This year has been striking evidence that we are in a fear-driven age… and I want to address it. Due to the series of rapidly unfolding events of this year, with Covid-19, presidential elections, threats of war, job losses, freedoms, you name it… people are hurting and feeling the weight of all the unknown possibilities upon us. It seems to all be unraveling at a rapid pace and so many are saying, “What lies ahead? When will this all just go away? When can I have my life back?”
I think if we are really honest with ourselves, we know that our entire world – human history, if you will – is to a point that we cannot simply turn back from. Life can’t just fall back into place as it once was. This is very uncomfortable for many, and if I’m being genuine, it’s been an internal battle for me as well. I’ve been so relieved to return to the Bible in these curious and difficult times. Fear gripped me with the rest of the world when an unknown virus swept our globe in early spring. We were laid off from work and challenged to face new realities. I began to dig into the word of God because it continues to bring me peace where nothing else can. His words ground me when everything else seems to being screaming chaos. Here I want to share some of those verses that keep me encouraged to maybe remind you that you’re not alone in your concerns, fears, doubts, and questions. Wherever your fears lie, whether you’re anxious about getting sick, the shift of government, the vaccine, losing your job, being judged, feeling desperate … the list can go on if we allow it. Thankfully Jesus stands waiting to calm our fears if only we will look to him.
It always seems so easy to just say pray about it, trust in the Lord and be anxious for nothing. But, living that out is something entirely different. That is why I have found myself clinging to the one who embodies wholeness.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff, they comfort me. -Psalm 23:4
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though it’s waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at it’s swelling. -Psalm 46:1-3
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. -Isaiah 41:10
If God is for us, who can be against us? -Romans 8:31
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. -2 Timothy 1:7
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. -Deuteronomy 31:8
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord god is an everlasting rock. -Isaiah 26:3-4
The continuing thread here is that God will not lead us to fear. He says that when we look to him and keep our eyes on him, that we will remain in perfect peace for he does not cause us to fear. Fear is not of him. However, opposing that peace and strength, is the enemy who does everything in his limited power to distract us from the truth and cause us to doubt what we know to be true in our core. Scripture also says in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that you may have life and have it abundantly.” If we can only see that it is the work of the enemy to steal our peace, remove our focus from God, and destroy our strength in Christ through placing doubt in our minds, then we can see how recent events are causing many to lose the hope that the Lord offers so readily. There is silver lining streaming through the depths of this “pandemic” and governmental shift. God is here to remind us that he’s got our backs and if we can only look to him, he will save us.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:7