Fear and Worry

Fear-worry_0.jpgTEXT 1: 1 John 4:18 (but read all of this 21-verse chapter, too)
TEXT 2: Matthew 14:22-33

God's love is perfect, and remains perfect as it resides in those who are His and who trust Him.

As we abide in Him, this also means that we do not have fear or worry, because God's love keeps those things at bay.

But if we begin to let fears and worries come upon us and disturb that love, we open the door for fear or worry (sometimes, both come in), and we only have ourselves to blame if this happens. But if we let fear and worry into our walk with God, we take our eyes off of Him and his perfect love, and we become unstable.

This is one of the lessons Peter learned when Jesus came to His disciples one night, walking on the water. Peter asked if he could come to Jesus, who was walking on the water, and then stepped out of the boat and walked to Jesus. When he got to Jesus, Peter took his off of Jesus and began to fear and worry that he was out there on the water - and then the logic of the laws of physics and other things took hold of his mind.

It was then that Peter sank, and he then called out to Jesus for help. Please note that Peter didn't need help when he was standing on the water with Jesus - only when he took his eyes off the Lord and panicked - feared ... worried.

John tells us that there is no fear in God's love. The reverse is also true: There is fear if we take our eyes off of God and let fear and worry sink us. Fears and worries disturb the waters of God's perfect love in us. By allowing these circumstantial things inside of us (fears and worries), we open ourselves for the natural consequence - we begin to fear and worry and even, in the end, self-condemnation.

The Enemy also sees that we have invited fear and worry in. And he uses what we have let in to hammer against us And don't think he is not afraid to pile it on and add a few fiery darts at the same time, too. Sometimes, he adds even more fear and worry to what we have until it is a seemingly endless loop. We feel up. We feel down. We feel up. We feel down. And on it goes.

So what to we do if we find ourselves in this situation?

Admit your fears and worries to God and call out to Him, just as Peter did, from your heart. Peter didn't have time to come up with a frilly prayer - he just called out in fear, took Jesus' hand and was rescued. Note that it was Peter's lack of faith that caused him to sink; not what was going on around him.

Christians know that God's love casts out all fear, just as 1 John says, but when we allow fear and worry inside of our walk with Christ, we are just as lacking in faith as Peter was. How can we walk in God's love, when we are full of fear and doubt.

We can't; any more than Peter could stay on top of the water when he let his faith slip.

Please note that Peter was not without faith. He had enough faith to get out of the boat at Jesus' word, and to walk to Jesus on the water. He knew he couldn't walk on water, but he did have enough faith that he could do it if Jesus gave his approval.

But then, just as he reached Jesus, he sank when his faith ran out, and he gave his permission for fear and worry to replace his faith.

You could well argue that Peter didn't lack fatih, he just didn't have enough for the return trip. Likely, that's what Jesus meant when he said in Matthew 14:31 that Peter had "little faith".

How about you? How are you "holding up?"