Does the unknown produce fear or the peace of God? Hmmm. Did you answer, “that depends?” I guess it does, but should it? The enemy would like nothing better than to keep us inside-out in an uncertain state of mind, uncertain about our safety, our future, even our salvation, and dependent upon anything but God for the spells of anxiety that crash against our lives at the most vulnerable times. Proverbs 12:25 says “Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” I’m want to offer you a good word.
Well, here it is in 6 words: “God is awake. He is sovereign.” As Christians, like most things that challenge us in our faith, unrestricted trust in God is usually at the core of the issue. In our times of challenge we ask, “Is he aware? Does he care? Is he able? Will he respond? When will he do something?”
President Franklin D. Roosevelt at his first inaugural address in 1933 spoke so powerfully and truthfully declaring “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” At that time the U.S. economic climate was in crisis. He cautioned against a nameless, unreasonable, unjustified terror which paralyzes forward movement.
We are presently in a season worldwide where there is cause for concern and caution. I don’t intend to minimize nor maximize the need for concern. We must use good judgment and take sane precautions as we navigate through a health issue that deserves our full attention and respectful response. But respond with fear? No! What seems to be trying to take root through all this is phobophobia (quite a mouthful), a fear of phobia and potential anxiety.
As Christians, we face the same potential threat as everyone else. We certainly would not stick our head in the sand to either naively ignore its potential nor should we duck in fear. Our reaction to fearful things does not have to be fear. God is aware of the world’s circumstances. I would think he would have us trust in his sovereign control over all matters on heaven and earth. Hebrews 13: 6 comforts us by saying “The Lord is my help; I will not fear.” Can you say that today?
Some of you will remember the Cuban Missile Crisis of the 60’s, in the heat of the Cold War. Lots of panic. What was the result? Closer in time to us was the HUGE Y2K “peril” that dissipated overnight. Remember? What I want to encourage here is that we need to be vigilant, we need to respect reasonable precautions, and we certainly need to pray for the welfare of our world and people who are currently at risk. But I think we would be wise to keep breathing normally and taking each day as it comes, applying faith and common sense when anxiety rears its head.
Here’s a really profound statement from the heart of God: “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7). Think About It.