Fear is quite possibly the most intimidating four letter word in the entire world. When the Bible speaks of “men’s hearts failing them for fear” it isn’t exaggerating. That literally happens. There is something that is so gripping about fear that it paralyzes us and refuses to allow us to respond rationally. Instead, we get caught up in a whole scenario of “what if’s” before we even realize what’s really happening. Normally, the situation ends up not being as terrifying as we originally thought, and yet the effect of fear lingers.
We live in a world that is dominated by fear. From finances to world war, there is a litany of things that can attack our minds, and we can become distracted by things that don’t really matter in the end. But you see, that’s exactly what fear is. It is simply a distraction of the enemy to keep us from fulfilling our role within the kingdom of God. If the enemy can convince you that your only option is failure, then he can convince you to not even try.
But this blog is not about fear. It is about something that can totally wipe out fear. We are going to deal with a subject that is so powerful that it can completely free us from the hold that fear has on our lives. You may not believe me, but that’s ok. You will believe me by the end of this blog. To prove my point I am going to use two stories from the Bible, one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament. Buckle up and get ready because this principle will change how you view everything!
The first story is the story of Israel crossing the Red Sea. I know, I know. If you have been in Christianity for any length of time you probably know this story inside and out, backwards and forwards. Moses leads the people to the Red Sea. Pharaoh pursues. Moses calls on God to deliver his people. God parts the sea and Israel walks across on dry ground, while Pharaoh’s army is destroyed. We know all of this, but I want to focus on one part of the story that we may skip right over.
As the people are complaining and grumbling to Moses about how things were better for them in Egypt than they are for them now in this death trap, Moses gives a very simple response. He tells the people to shut up. Ok, well that’s a little simplistic, but what do you think “hold your peace” really means? He commands them to not be afraid, and to trust in the salvation power of God. You know, the same God that literally just performed ten plagues to release them from Egypt!
How often does God do something incredible for us, and yet in the very next trial we walk around stressing about how he is going to deliver us from this one? The most amazing part of this story to me is that Israel had JUST SEEN God perform a number of miracles to get them out of Egypt, and yet they didn’t trust him to get them to the promised land. How is that possible? It’s possible because of that ugly, terrible four letter word.
Jesus faced the exact same predicament in the New Testament with his disciples in our second story. His followers had seen him perform all kinds of miracles, and yet when a storm blew up on them unexpectedly, fear gripped them so tightly that they thought they were going to die. Imagine having the Creator of the universe on your boat and being afraid of a little storm. But once again, we have all been there. I can’t throw shade at the disciples because I am the disciples.
We all probably know the second story as well. Jesus and his disciples get in the boat to cross the sea (Notice that both of these stories take place on a sea. Water has always been a source of intense fear for mankind.). Jesus decides to take a nap. A storm arises causing massive fear to grip the disciples. Jesus calms the storm. Simple enough, right? But again, there is more to this story than meets the eye.
First of all, Jesus is asleep during a storm that is tossing and turning the entire boat. That in itself is an incredible accomplishment! But the reason he could sleep is because he was totally in control. It didn’t matter how aggressive and terrifying that storm became, Jesus knew how to rebuke storms. Second of all, he says, “Peace, be still”, and I don’t think he was only talking to the storm. I am convinced that, just like Moses in the Old Testament, he was telling his disciples to shut up, in a nice way of course.
The reality is that we are incredibly afraid of things that we simply cannot control. Israel couldn’t split the Red Sea to escape their enemy. They had to trust God to do that. The disciples couldn’t rebuke storms. They had to trust Jesus to do that. When life spirals out of control, fear steps in to cause even more disorder. However, fear has a weakness that can completely undermine its hold on your life.
So what is the big, powerful, super secret principle that this blog is trying to relay? It comes down to one word: trust. Just like Israel had to trust God that he was going to split that sea down the middle, and just like the disciples had to trust that Jesus was going to control the storm, you must trust that God is completely in control of everything in your life. Thousands of years have passed, but the answer is still the same. The only thing that will defeat fear is an unrelenting and unyielding trust in the power of God!
Sometimes we just have to close our mouths, or “hold our peace” as the Bible so eloquently says. What you say matters, because the enemy is listening to everything you say. If you only speak negatively then fear will gain more and more power over your life. However, if you will just be quiet and allow God to do his work, then you will not be dominated by fear, and you will be able to master any situation that comes your way.
Do you know that nothing surprises God? He wasn’t surprised by Pharaoh or by the storm that caught the disciples by surprise, and he isn’t surprised by what is going on in the world today. He sees that the world is falling apart, and more personally he sees that your life seems to be falling apart. Don’t be fooled by what is happening around you. Trust that God is completely in control, and you will have peace that you have never had before in your life. Fear’s biggest fear is for you to “stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.”