Do you feel sometimes that you are just spinning like a top and nothing will stop the spinning? Where do you get the courage to keep going and not give into fear? This is post #2 in the “From Fear to Faith” articles that cover why and how you can learn to trust God with your fears. In the first post, “Apply Faith to Fear,” you learned 4 truths to grasp and a process to apply faith to any fear that you have. In this post, we’ll focus on the value of Truth #1—God loves you. You can face any trouble with courage and peace by entrusting yourself and your loved ones to a God who loves you dearly.
Believe that God loves you.
Do you feel sometimes that you are just spinning like a top and nothing will stop the spinning? Life is going well. You’re doing your job faithfully, whatever it is. Then you get blindsided. The world starts spinning. It doesn’t seem like it will ever stop. Where do you go to find security when life hits like that? Where do you get the courage to keep going and not give into fear?
God gives us the answer—Himself! And, He gives us the action He wants us to take—trust Him!
When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me? (Psalm 56:3-4)
Here’s the truth that the Bible teaches: You can face life’s realities with courage and peace by entrusting yourself and your loved ones to a God who loves you dearly.
If you read the first blog, “Apply Faith to Fear,” you know that the first truth to believe and grasp in your walk from fear to faith is that God loves you. And, as a believer in Jesus Christ, you are dearly loved by your powerful Father God (Ephesians 5:1 and Colossians 3:12). You can find out more about this truth in our Ephesians Bible Study. Begin with that truth.
When you believe that you are dearly loved, you can entrust yourself and your loved ones to the God who loves you. He teaches you how to face any challenge with courage and peace. How do we learn that? We can learn it by watching and listening to Jesus.
Storms of life will hit.
In Mark 4:35-41, you’ll find a familiar story. The disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee in a boat. Normal life experience. They were working the sails and oars. Jesus was sleeping in the back of the boat.
Suddenly, a fierce storm hit. Such storms were common on the Sea of Galilee because it was situated in a basin surrounded by mountains. Every storm with high winds and waves was a real threat to those who were in boats. So, when the disciples realized what was happening, they got afraid.
Now, at least 4 of them were skilled fishermen. This wasn’t the first time they experienced such storms. Had they always panicked? Somehow through using their own skills, we know they had managed in the past to get safely to the shore because they were alive here.
Jesus was resting. They woke him up. Jesus asked them, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Basically, He is asking, “Why are you cringing in fear? You know who I am. I am with you. I said we were going to the other side. Why didn’t you believe me? All you could see was your own inadequacy, not God’s strength to get you through it.”
Do you recognize that in your life?
Storms of life hit every day to even the most faithful Christians. This storm was not the disciples’ fault. It was part of life for them. Likewise, every one of us must deal with disappointments, problems, and tragedies in life. Was there real danger? Yes.
You learned in post #1 that fear is a gift of God that alerts us to the presence of danger. We are supposed to act on it by either fleeing from the danger or facing it head on with perseverance. Both of those are actions you can take in the presence of danger. And, having options is a good thing.
Where I get into trouble is when I let my imagination run wild, give in to despair, and doubt God’s goodness. And, that’s what happened to the disciples in the boat with Jesus. They told Jesus, “Don’t you care if we drown?”
Isn’t that often our emotion when trouble hits. We ask, “God, don’t you care?” That pessimism comes from our view of trouble. We can have 2 views of trouble. Let’s compare them.
The worldly, non-biblical view of trouble
The world’s view of trouble is this, “When things go well, the gods are happy with us. When things go wrong, the gods are angry with us.” So, the goal of life is to stay on the good side of the gods so bad things won’t happen.
Even Christians get caught up into this kind of thinking. We try to interpret events, especially tragedies, as signs of God’s anger or punishment: “Why did this happen?” “What does it mean?” “What is God trying to tell me?”
Or, we say this,“If I’m a good Christian, have enough faith, or am spiritual enough, I can expect from God personal peace, prosperity, and health. Bad things won’t happen to me.”
Look at the disciples. Now that they were with Jesus, what do you think was their expectation? No more storms on the Sea of Galilee? That’s like expecting no more hail storms in North Texas or hurricanes along the Gulf Coast. Not gonna happen!
Then, they asked Him, “Don’t you care if we drown?” Their real questions were, “Don’t you love us enough? What have we done to make you not care?” They doubted His love and goodness. That’s what we often do when we are faced with life’s realities. That’s the worldly view of trouble.
We need to replace that thinking with the godly, biblical view of trouble.
The godly, biblical view of trouble
I’m going to share with you a few facts to help you stop looking at troubles from the world’s point of view.
Fact #1: We live in a fallen world.
We live in a fallen, evil, cursed world. It’s a war zone. Some places literally are a war zone.
We are in the last days of this broken old creation. It’s not gonna get fixed until Jesus returns. In that “until” time, while we are waiting, you and I have the life of the new creation on the inside of us through the Holy Spirit. But at the same time, we are living in a body and world of the old, fallen creation. The Bible says this world is groaning because of its corruption. Some of our troubles are from that. Illnesses, debilitating injuries, earthquakes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters come because we live in a fallen, corrupted world. That’s Fact #1.
Fact #2: God chose to give humans the freedom of choice.
God has chosen from the beginning to give all humans the freedom to act. Some trouble comes from our own idiotic behavior. We make bad decisions then have to deal with the consequences. I’ve been there. The consequences may be hard. Most of the time they are hard. But, God lets us experience consequences to show us why we need Him more and how ugly sin really is.
Sometimes we must live through the consequences of someone else’s bad decisions through no fault of our own. I know that those reading this now are victims of theft, rape, childhood abuse, rejection by a spouse, or very painful things others have done to you. That’s when we are tempted to ask the questions: “Why does God let people do evil? Why doesn’t He stop it if He is capable of doing that?”
The true answer is that God does stop evil all the time. God’s Spirit stops more evil on this earth than we will ever know. Every day He is stopping evil. He’s called the restrainer of evil in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2. Would you like to know what this world will look like when the Holy Spirit is not restraining evil any longer? Go and read Revelation chapters 5-19. We aren’t there yet, so we know He’s restraining it.
But He doesn’t stop all evil now because that would mean taking away ALL human freedom. Do you want that? The thing that the Bible teaches is that God takes our freedom and responsibility far more seriously than we do. That’s a gift He gave us.
We humans demand our freedom to do what we want to do. Then, when something bad happens, we blame God for letting it happen. Illogical, isn’t it?
We don’t have to have an answer for all bad things happening. In this world, all may not turn out well no matter how hard you and I try to fix it. But, when we are with Christ, we will have the whole story. Fact #2: God has given all humans the freedom to act.
Fact #3: We have a real enemy.
Our enemy, Satan, is real and has influence on our natural world and the people in it. The devil entices people to rebel against God. And, he can cause bad things to happen. We have an enemy causing trouble for us.
Fact #4: Our God is great and powerful.
Our God IS great and powerful. He will one day fix this broken world. Yay! That is a promise to us. It will happen in our future.
Expect trouble; reject the illusion of control.
In the meantime, problems and troubles in life are normal, not abnormal. Jesus told that to us.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
We should expect trouble. People in the past may have understood better that trouble was a part of life. Our generation is surprised by it.
And women in general have a problem with this. We are created with a need for security and stability so we aim to control our environment to create that security for us and those we love. Our western way of thinking is that we can fix it—whatever IT is. When we cannot fix it, we panic. And, fear can bring out the worst in us, especially in our uncertain world filled with the threat of terrorism and germs.
But friends, control is an illusion. We can only control our own behavior and thinking. So, stop that bad thinking that God is mad at you when trouble hits and start thinking with a Biblical mind. God loves you, and He is good. And, in His goodness, He allows some not-so-good things into our lives. We’ll cover God’s goodness more in post #4.
Our choice is not whether we will have trouble, but what kind of preparation we’ll make and response we’ll choose in facing life’s realities when they hit us.
Prepare in advance for trouble.
The preparation is filling your mind with truth from God’s Word. Start with believing that God loves you and that He is good all the time. Those are truths clearly stated in Scripture. God never withdraws His love from you. That frees you to love Him back. To trust him. To obey Him. To use all of your resources to serve Him even while living in this hostile war zone we call planet Earth.
Our 4 truths are resources for you to use:
- God loves you.
- He knows what is going on in your life.
- He can do something about it.
- You can trust His goodness in whatever He chooses to do!
Right thinking may not make the trouble go away or make life easy again. But you will be better able to walk forward with the courage and peace to face whatever hits. That’s how you walk from fear to faith.
In the next article, we’ll focus on God knowing what is going on in your life and being able to do something about it.
The following Bible Studies and podcasts will give you more biblical insight into how to walk from fear to faith in your life.
- Everyday Women, Ever-Faithful God Bible Study on Amazon
- The Walk from Fear to Faith Bible Study on Amazon
- Satisfied Series 1 Podcasts (Old Testament women series)
- Old Testament Women: Connecting their stories with trusting God today
- Profiles of Perseverance Bible Study (Joseph, David, Elijah, and Nehemiah)
- Apply Faith to Your Fears
- “Applying Faith to Fear” bookmark
- Face Trouble with Courage and Peace-Mark 4:35-41
- Sarah: God Is Bigger Than Your Weaknesses
- Release Your Expectations of Acceptable Outcomes
- Trust God’s Goodness in Addressing Your Pain
- Esther: Two Aspects of Trusting God
- The Book of Ruth: Life Should Not Be Lived Alone
- Psalm 91: Rest in the Shadow of the Almighty
- 4 Lessons to Learn about God’s Provision
Image credit: sourced from a template at canva.com.