Trusting in a world of fear

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What do you fear?

If you’re like me, you read that, thought good question, and skipped along without answering it. I don’t like thinking about my fears either. Some of them are bigger than others – I fear something terrible happening to the people I love, for example – while others are smaller, like the haunting fear of getting lost on my college campus and missing an important class or exam. The latter isn’t that unreasonable, I suppose, given my terrible sense of direction.
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But I digress.
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Quite frankly, we live in a scary world. All you have to do is pop open your internet browser and you’ll see a headline of the latest terrible and senseless tragedy. Our friend gets cancer. Haiti, a suffering country already, is crushed by that earthquake. We watch as our best friend’s heart gets broken – or ours does.
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It’s enough to make me – an optimistic and worry-free person by nature – want to crawl under my covers and never come out.

But I want you to climb out of your figurative blanket long enough to read this verse from Psalm 112:7-8:


“He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes.”

He will have no fear of bad news. His heart is secure.-Oh, how I want that to be true of me and you.

What would it look like for our hearts to be so rested and trusting and absolutely secure in God that we have no fear of what the world could throw at us? No fear of bad news? We would be like the woman in Proverbs 31:25, able to “laugh at the days to come” (instead of chewing our nails in fear) because we know that God is good and He will overcome.

That would be wonderful. I could live life so much more freely if I wasn’t busy worrying and fearing.
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But of course, to get there I must grapple with trust, for the psalmist says specifically that he doesn’t fear because his heart is trusting in the Lord. So what is trust?
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I love how Beth Moore describes this: trusting is believing and knowing that Jesus will take care of me no matter what. Being able to look at the future and realize that even if my worst dreams are realized, Jesus will still take care of me and His abundant grace will carry me through. I may not be able to understand it now, for He doesn’t grant grace for my imaginations. But I can trust that somehow, He will carry me, and somehow, He will also bring good from it.
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But we have to answer another crucial question. In order to trust, we must know that the object of that trust is actually trustworthy.
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Is God trustworthy?
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You can give me glib theological answers if you want, but then settle down and listen to your heart. Can you trust God?
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I’m the first to admit that trusting often feels like sky-diving without the parachute. It’s a free-fall towards certain doom.
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We can be comfortable trusting people like us. We know how they’ll react, what they might do. But there is no pinning God down. It remains a mystery how his perfect sovereignty and power harmonize with his perfect love and wisdom, because the world’s events often seem so senseless that we wonder if He’s even paying attention. (How can a good God let this happen?) And it’s scary to trust someone who promises to bring good out of bad things but never promises to take away those bad things. As C.S. Lewis writes so fittingly about Aslan, the lion who represents Christ in his Narnia series: “Tame? Of course he isn’t tame! He’s a lion. But he’s good.”
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And I find things that are wild and uncontrollable pretty unnerving.
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God isn’t tame. He doesn’t promise that our fears won’t come through. But He does promise to carry us and bring good from it, and that in the end we will “look in triumph on [our] foes.” We will win, in the end.
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We can’t control Him. But we can be so secure that we won’t fear bad news, and we can refuse to allow fears and worries for the future to suck the life and joy out of today. We can know, beyond a shadow of doubt, that Jesus will take care of us no matter what.
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And then we can live it.
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I pray that this would be true of us.

-- re-posted from August 2010

Comments

  1. Wow, great post, I was scrolling through my reading list of blogs when I saw the title of this blog post I thought, "Oh boy, this one's probably a good read for me." Fear and anxiety are constant battles I fight right now. I have anxiety issues and regular panic attacks, and while some of that has to do with my body lacking certain things, living in this world doesn't help one tiny bit. I liked how simple, straightforward, and true this article was. Thank you so much for sharing!

    http://alivemasterpiece.blogspot.com/

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    Replies
    1. Grace,

      Thanks so much for sharing how God is using this article. That's a blessing to hear! I prayed for you today, that God's grace (it's even your name! Beautiful!), peace, and comfort will be your constant companions, Grace. Keep your eyes upward, on Jesus. He's there for you and He's always faithful, sister.

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