Yesterday we spoke of fear. By “chasing the fear”, we may be more effective in dealing with interpersonal relationships by understanding the problem better. Yet, upon close examination, we find our own selves in fear far more than we like to admit. Think about it. Do you have a relationship that needs attention? Is there an element of fear that prevents you from leaving your gift at the altar and being reconciled? Seriously. Never mind the other person’s fault. Is there SOME blame that lies in your court that could be made right? There is in my life. Why don’t I fix it? For some, I brush it off as insignificant. Is that the right attitude? Hardly. Then why don’t I sweep my side of the street? For whatever reason I may give (resentment, shame, indifference), the bottom line is that I am afraid.
Let’s look at other areas of my personal life. Do I have anything that needs changing? Am I at my ideal weight? Do I eat healthy and exercise regularly? Are my finances in order? All these are areas that I could do much better with. So, why don’t I? I think that the bottom line is I am afraid I will ultimately fail, even with my best efforts. I know that no matter how hard and how long I try, I will likely end up back in the same situation. So, I let it all go and hope for the best.
How about you? Does this sound familiar? I certainly hope it does because I would hate to think I’m the only one going through this. It’s not surprising that we feel this way. Everywhere we look, we find messages that we are inadequate. We can’t escape advertisements intended to prove that our lives are needy and could be so much better if we only buy this or that product. Political ads bombard us that our government is so terrible because of the other guy and that everything would be better if only you vote for this one. The secular message is one primarily of need which ultimately leads to fear.
That’s not what God has in mind for us. Let’s take a look at a few verses from John.
1 John 4:18-19 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.
1 John 5:3-4 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.
1 John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
1 John 5:18-21 We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are born of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we many know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols.
Do I want change in my life? I know sin is a problem, and fear is keeping me from doing anything about it. It seems to me the first step is to get right with God about all this. Perfect love casts out fear, right? Then there is no better place to go than the source of perfect love – God the Father. This reminds me of a song. I like Alan Jackson’s version: https://youtu.be/nO4uIyz_d90
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion –
For more than conqu’rors we are!
His word shall not fail you – He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!
Have a blessed day!
Father, thank you for your comfort. Amen.
Copyright © 2018 Scott Powers