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Monday, August 29, 2011

What are you so afraid of?

We live in a scared world. Don’t read that wrong, I didn’t say we live in a scary world. We live in a scared world. Everyone lives scared. What are you all so afraid of anyway?

I’m sure you all have a bunch of answers for me. You’re afraid of your someone stealing your kids, of someone stealing your car, of a masked boogie man in the night. You’re afraid of Hurricane Irene, the crumbling economic system, hail damage to your new car. You’re afraid that you’re genetically inclined to get the heart disease that killed your father, that you’ll need surgery on your aching knee, and that bump is some kind of cancer. You’re afraid of car accidents, the evil in the middle east, and all the sex and violence on tv. You’re afraid someone will steal your identity, steal your wallet, or rape your wife.

And you’re afraid that if a blogger uses an edgy metaphor to describe modern Christianity that his blazonness could change your faith or change God. Or worse yet, that he might right.

Endless hours of your life are spent worrying. An unpractical, dysfunctional, unproductive activity that is more popular than the xbox or Friday night television. But that’s the world we live in. A scared world, indeed. The nightly news tells us what we need be afraid of everyday and night. Dateline specials feed on the sick curiosity and insatiable appetite we have for fear and concern. Reality TV convinces us it mimics our troubled, worry filled lives.

But what about those who are called not to be of this world? What did Christ say about worries? What does the Bible say about fear?

Jesus said, “And which of you by being overly anxious and troubled with cares can add a cubit to his stature or a moment of time to the length of his life?”

For His extended version on worrying, look here. And for a bit on what He had to say on fear check this out.

1 John 4:18 says,
There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love's complete perfection].

Hebrews 6 tells us that in Christ we have mighty enduring strength and strong encouragement. But if you want to know more about faith and freedom from fears check out Hebrews 11 or just the entire book of Hebrews.

The thing is the world is afraid and the world wants us to be afraid with them. It’s like a big scaredy party. But as Christians, who cling to hope in Christ, who are washed clean with the blood of the new covenant, we are not supposed to tremble with the rest of the world. We are kings and priest, we have the power of Christ with in us. Did you read that? That’s exciting. That’s amazing! Christ told us after He was (physically) gone from this earth that we would be able to do greater things than He, in His name.

So why do we spend so much of our lives wrapped up in worry and anxieties? Why are we content to fret our lives away? The answer most likely is that no matter how much we pray for protection and blessing we don’t really believe that God will protect or bless us. As much as we read the Bible we don’t believe the promises in it apply to our lives. As much as we like to raise our hands in worship to the awesomeness of God on Sunday we don’t trust Him with our lives Monday through Saturday.

Living without fear does not mean living a life of untethered risk- but taking a real stand for Christ often involves risk. But we can rid our lives in fear if we first admit that we don’t trust God and secondly endeavor to really trust Him. We wouldn’t need to send our daughters out packed up with mace, a pink revolver, and a 5 years of self-defense training if we simply lifted her well being up to the Lord and trusted Him to do what He promises. We wouldn’t need to wring our hands about the possible health problems in our future or the storm damage predicted next week if we simply put our possessions, our lives in the Lord’s hands and lived for Him. The crappy economy wouldn’t cause our buttholes to pucker and wallets to be sealed off from generosity if we decided to be stewards of God’s money and trust Him to provide and look to Him for financial guidance. If we truly lived for Him and in His protection we probably wouldn’t esteem our cars so highly to be deflated by a few dents and our health would be revitalized not only by His healing but also by the joy He brings to our lives.

Do bad things happen? Even to Christians? Sure they do. But we shouldn’t be expecting disaster around every corned. The more we trust, the more we live for Him the less these disasters will touch us- and when they do they won’t affect us as much as they would if our hope was in this world.

So I ask you, if you consider yourself a Christian, and yet are terrified of the world around you, who and what are you putting your trust in? What influences your heart? Do you listen more intently to the nightly news than to the promises in His Word?


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