Learning how to replace fear with faith

Guest Commentary
By 
Rev. Billy Holland
Thursday, October 15, 2020

We’ve all had our share of battles this year with the virus and the devastation it has caused, and now as the election is just a few weeks away, many are experiencing stress and anxiety about the future. Each day I hear from people on both sides of the political spectrum about how afraid they are of what is going to happen if the other side wins. We agree, this election is one of the most important in the history of our nation, however, we need to take a deep breath and know that whoever wins, it is not the end of the world. No matter what is going on around us, we are still who we are, and we still have a very critical mission to accomplish for God. Whatever our world view, let us not allow politics to make us calloused and remove us from the hope and comfort of God’s peace. The Christian is called to avoid wallowing in the mud of strife and after we do all that He tells us to do, we lay everything down at His feet. We understand that many are blind to the truth and there is so much deception that it’s nearly impossible to know who is telling the truth. The Bible reveals the world will continue to fall away from divine truth, but rebellion will never defeat us and should not discourage us from pressing forward in the confidence that God is in control.

Since the garden of Eden, mankind has been facing spiritual warfare and at the heart of this negative resistance is the presence of fear. It’s important to know that man was originally created without this emotion and it was only after Adam and Eve sinned that the spiritual, physical, and mental curses came upon the human race. It’s true that fear involves a universal biochemical response as well as a highly sensitive emotional response and alerts us to the presence of danger or the threat of harm. This is a beneficial alarm system if we are being chased by a hungry bear, but on the other hand, fear can also be used as a destructive weapon against us by the enemy of our soul who is trying to prevent us from enjoying the peace that God desires for us to live in. You see, it’s true there is much to be concerned about, but God does not intend for His people to live in a state of gloom and doom. Jesus wanted us to know that we have an enemy, but through Him we can also have the victory! “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy, but I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” John 10:10. We can forget everything and run, or face everything and rise!

Since we live in a physical body filled with an array of natural responses, it’s easy to be led by our own feelings instead of looking to the spiritual realm and depending on the Lord. There is an old saying which talks about how we cannot stop the birds of worry from flying over our head, but we do not have to let them build a nest. Have you noticed that when something unpleasant presents itself, the enemy rushes to the scene to remind us of what might happen in order to fill our mind with panic and uncertainty. We know the temptation to be afraid is the opposite of faith and how critical it is to stay focused on God’s love and faithfulness but dealing with our human nature is much easier said than done. Nonetheless, if we are serious about renewing our mind, it’s wise to consider that optimism is a learned behavior and understanding emotions responses is a wonderful step toward not allowing negativity to control us. I believe that many of us do not recognize how often our circumstances and our reactions to what other people say cause us to be angry and many times we do realize just how deep this resentment can be. The danger of being inflated with irritation and aggravation is it can advance into resentment and hatred, and we know we are not to hate anyone. Being offended hurts our relationship with God. If we choose to not to see everything through the lens of God’s love, we cannot blame anyone else for our misery.

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