An inspired Scripture study called The Divine Plumbline by Dr. Bruce Thompson recognizes that people are motivated by either pride or fear. Sometimes people can swing from one to the other, but usually one will dominate. Neither are from God.
I tend toward fear. I catch myself worrying about what might happen in the future. What if we catch coronavirus? What should I do if I was around someone who was exposed? What if God chooses not to heal my child from an ongoing illness? What if my daughter doesn’t have someone to walk her to the car late at night? What if my older parent falls and can’t get to her phone? What if the weather ices the roads when my son/daughter is driving to another city? How will we pay for college if my son doesn’t get a scholarship? The list never seems to end.
Clearly, I am a planner. I like to think through every contingency, but life makes this impossible. I am a mortal creature with limited resources. Fortunately, God doesn’t want us to live in fear. He wants us to be wise and plan (consider the ant from Proverbs 6:6) while completely trusting him.
2 Timothy 1:6-7 “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
Matthew 6:25-27 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
What if my plans fall through? It’s okay. Trust God. He sees more than I do, and he may have a purpose for something I don’t yet understand. I should be flexible, adjusting my plans around what he seems to be doing.
Does this feel scary to a control freak? Of course, but faith is believing in what we do not see. God is perfect and completely good. He knows everything. He is like a wise best friend who has our interests at heart. He won’t do everything to our liking, but then we need to change our perspective. Some things we may never figure out this side of heaven.
So I thank God for being patient while my faith grows. He wants us to live in the present, considering how we can serve people now instead of fearing the future.
What are some ways I can keep focusing on him in the midst of fearful circumstances? Singing his praises, praying, memorizing Scripture, talking with other believers, and thinking about how he has been faithful to me are a good start.
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Faith and fear are choices. The more we walk with God and observe his goodness, the easier it will be to let go of circumstances and trust him.