This is the season of fear. We have a holiday devoted to scaring and frightening other people. And no, I’m not talking about election day, although you might think that from all the campaign rhetoric. Scary movies abound on the television stations this time of year. This year, we have seen all kinds of reports of creepy clown sightings. For some people, they like nothing more than to scare someone or to be scared. Some, in the midst of their fright, though, can’t eat or can’t sleep. Worry overwhelms them. The only thing worse than staying awake all night is sleeping. The only thing that’s worse than sleeping is waking up.
As followers of Christ, though, we live by faith. We don’t let the fears of this world control us. And while I talked about some of the more blatant fears earlier, there are many other things that might cause fear. “Will my spouse and I stay married?” could be a concern. Will my children stay true to God? Will I lose my job? Will this cancer be the end of me? It is in the midst of our fears that faith can take over. Faith is looking at anything that might cause fear and trusting in God. During my wife’s recent battle with cancer, from the beginning she led the way in faith by saying “God’s got this.” We are rejoicing over the results of the treatment, but we knew all along that whatever happened, God had it in His control. “I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.” (Psalm3:5-6)
When you are at peace with God, you have power over the fears that so many seek to use to control you. What is the greatest fear of most people? That fear is the uncertainty of death. What’s going to happen when we die? In the words of my wife “God’s got this” so she has no fear of death. If we all realize that God’s got it, we can face death without fear. Of course there is life before death also. It is during this time that our foes assail us. Though there may be tens of thousands of fears that seek to drag us down from the joy of life with Christ, when we face them by letting those fears know that “God’s got this,” we will not fear.
It would be foolish to say that I never feared. Anyone who says that they have no fears doesn’t understand the world in which we live. There are dangers and our fears often alert us to those dangers. Every medical test we got during my wife’s cancer treatment provoked anxiety even though we knew that God was in control. Faith doesn’t mean that we are never scared. What faith does is allow us to handle our fears. We can lay down and sleep at night. We can wake up in the morning knowing that God is in control. We can face our greatest troubles knowing that God has things in His control. If our greatest fear, the fear of death, can be overcome, all those other fears will melt away when we put them in God’s hands. And if the fear doesn’t melt away, we can keep on holding onto God’s hand and He will guide us through those fearful moments. Sometimes we say “God’s got this” with full confidence that nothing bad will happen. At other times we say “God’s got this” with trembling hands and quivering lips. In either case we can celebrate the amazing God who loves us and takes away our fears, or walks through them with us.
Lord God, there are so many things in this world that can cause fear. Help me to keep my eyes on You when those things come up. When fears might overwhelm me, take my hand and guide me through those difficult times.