“Sue, I’d like to talk with you about a problem. I’ll see you in my office first thing Monday morning.”
Ever gotten an email like this? On Friday afternoon at five, when the whole weekend stretches before you, and there’s nothing you can do except fret?
Or how about a voice mail like this one: “Hello Mrs. Gooding, this is Dr. Simpson. I just got the results of Buster’s pathology report. Unfortunately, it’s not good. The office is closed for the weekend, but call me first thing Monday, and we’ll discuss your options.” Two days to wait with nothing to do but worry and cry.
When was the last time you were afraid? Afraid you’d lose your job, your health, your home, your loved one? Afraid of punishment or persecution, poverty, or pain? When have you faced an agonizing wait—for a diagnosis, a deliverance, a breakthrough, or a rescue?
Sometimes God allows uncertainty into our lives to test us. He tested Abraham, and he tested Job. He tested the Israelites in the wilderness:
“Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands” (Deu. 8:2).
But unlike the statement above, “. . . there’s nothing you can do except fret,” there is something else we can do.
Every fearful situation leaves us with two choices—we can respond in fear, or we can respond in faith.
When we respond in fear, we torment ourselves with every possible scenario—all horrible. We can’t sleep, we can’t eat (or we overeat), and we can’t concentrate on anything but IT. Scary thoughts consume every waking moment. What if . . . ? What if . . . ? What if . . . ?
If we’re Christians, our all-consuming worry makes a mockery of everything we say we believe. Our mouths say, “I believe God’s promises,” but our actions say, I believe God’s promises only when everything’s going well.
When we respond in faith, we command fear instead of allowing fear to command us.
When fear wraps our necks in a suffocating choke hold, we whisper the promises of God.
When fear screams lies into our souls, we shout back truth in the name of Jesus.
When fear pounds us with what-ifs and whys, we fight back with “Fear not, for I . . .”
When we respond in faith, we choose to believe what God says instead of what our circumstances tell us. We reign in our thoughts and make them captive to the obedience of Christ. We refuse to ride the worry train to its miserable destination.
If you’re experiencing a frightening situation right now, God may be testing you to see what is in your heart and to see if you will obey his commands. Contrary to what you may think, you have two choices—faith or fear. Which is it going to be?
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior,” (Isa. 43:1-3).
What about you? Which choice usually wins when you encounter something scary? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts. If you’re reading via email, click HERE to visit Hungry for God online, scroll down, and leave a record of your thoughts.
If you live within driving distance of Brookville, PA, I’d love for you to join me for A Wardrobe for All Seasons—Dressing for Spiritual Success, a one-day women’s conference on Saturday, September 17.
I’ll share 3 workshop sessions: “Stepping Out, How Our Footwear Impacts Our Faith,” “Clean Out That Closet,” and “A Hat for All Seasons—Serving God In Every Stage of Life.”
Cost is $35, which includes lunch, a t-shirt, and a copy of my book, Hungry for God…Starving for Time.
For more information and to register (discount registration deadline August 10), contact Kathy Shaffer at email@example.com.