by Erica Pearson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Why do we as Christians not allow one another to feel fear? On more than one occasion I have seen the chance to encourage one another with God’s Word be turned into a belittling session in God’s name over the issue of – FEAR. I’ve even been personally chastised over not having “enough faith” in God when I chose to be transparent and admit I was fearful or anxious about certain situations.
These experiences have caused me to ask the question, “What is it that causes us to be real with God about every emotion besides fear?” We seem to believe that within each of us is some kind of “faith meter”. As if we could determine where someone stands with God based on how they are feeling. In my own experience, if I ever mention being fearful of a certain situation, my “meter” is assumed to be on empty.
Nothing could be farther from the truth! It is in those moments of fear and doubt that I am clinging to the Cross. It is my faith in God that causes me to look up and ask Him for help. My human emotions may fail me, but my faith in God never waivers. I take comfort in the fact there are several examples in scripture of Christ followers who felt fear, my favorite example being Peter. Peter stepped bravely out of the boat only to be overcome with fear at the sight of the crashing waves. Did he somehow, at that moment, lose all faith in God and give up? No! In fact, I believe it was his faith that caused him to quickly look back up at the one who could save him and take the extended hand of His Lord. If he had somehow lost his faith due to fear, we would read of Jesus having to pick up a flailing, panicked Peter out of the water. Based on my personal experience here is what I have come to personally believe about the emotion we call fear:
Fear is not the absence of faith; it is the human emotion that takes us to the throne room of God.
Without fear, I would feel invincible. Without fear, I would not seek God. Without fear, I would blindly believe I was in control. I am learning not to feel like a failure when I feel fear or anxiety. I know that fear is a thorn in my flesh. I have begged and pleaded with the Lord to take it away, only to find the same response Paul received when he begged to have a similar thorn taken from his flesh: My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). Therefore I can also say, “I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses (fears), so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
What are you struggling with today? Are you afraid if you share your struggles, your faith will be seen as lacking? Be encouraged. God’s Word says we are to share one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). Let’s get real and begin to help one another through the various storms of life. Don’t hesitate another moment to find a friend and take your burdens to the throne room, knowing He is anxiously waiting to meet you there.