Fear is a faith stealer
What were you doing on September 11, 2001? Most of us can remember that day clearly. As for me it began as a normal working day in downtown New York. I came in early that day to cover for a co-worker who was on vacation, otherwise I would have been coming through the world trade center just about the time that the first plane hit, like my youngest brother. I worked three blocks away from the world trade center at that time. My role was to assist the senior vice president of the IT department with various administrative duties. Some of my tasks were to run reports on the HP 3000 mainframe system as well as to oversee the telecommunication for our office.
A month later, in October we had to do a telephone system conversion in our Leawood, Kansas office. Well, the other programmers and IT employees all needed to stay in the main office to get things up and running again. My manager said to me Tracey, no one knows the telephone system better than you. So off I went, a month after 911, on a plane to Kansas.
Should I have been afraid? Was I afraid? I said God, here we go. Jesus you and I make the winning team. Perhaps I should have been afraid, but I heard the Holy Spirit say Trust me, don’t be afraid. I had such a peace after that.
Psalm 56:3-4 (NKJV) – “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?”
Fear is a faith stealer. It produces intimidation. We know that fear, doubt, confusion, condemnation, all come from the enemy. Let’s define fear and trust.
Fear: an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. Sometimes it is simply, F-alse E-vidence A-ppearing R-eal.
Trust: Firm belief in the reliability, strength, or truth of someone or something. Trust is often a strong belief that someone or something won’t let you down. Sounds like our God, doesn’t it?
An acronym that I have created for trust is this:
T-Take one day at a time, giving thanks to His name.
R-Rest in His peace even in the midst of a storm.
U-Understanding that I may not always understand.
S-Standing on the word when all around me doesn’t seem stable.
T-Thankful for His promises, they are yes and AMEN!
Trust in God always
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT) – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
This is the classic verse regarding trust. It sums up the Bible’s teaching on trust. First, it is the Lord in whom we are to trust, not ourselves or our plans, and certainly not the world’s wisdom and its devices. Second, we trust in the Lord because He and He alone is truly trustworthy. His Word is trustworthy (Titus 1:9), His nature is faithful and true (Deuteronomy 7:9), and His plans for us are perfect and purposeful (Jeremiah 29:11).
Because of God’s nature, we are to trust Him with all our heart, committing every aspect of our lives to Him in complete confidence. We are not to just trust in ourselves because our understanding is temporal, finite, and tainted by our sin nature. Trusting in ourselves is like walking confidently across a rotten wooden bridge over a yawning chasm thousands of feet deep. Disaster is sure to follow.
Philippians 1:6 (AMP) – “And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.”
What do we gain by not following and trusting God’s word? Worry, fear, doubt, unbelief, and the like. We must proclaim the truth that we know, which is in the word of God.
Fear comes when we don’t trust God. What is confidence? Confidence: full trust; trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing.
Paul had confidence in the Lord that what He had started in the Philippians, He would also continue and complete. That is not to say that the Philippians’ success was automatic; we must cooperate with what God wants to do in our lives. Man’s faithfulness may be suspect, but God’s faithfulness is never in question. It is always God’s will to continue and complete the good work that He began in us.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit seeks to work in our lives to lead us down the good path God has planned, but if we are rebellious and disobedient and persist in walking in our own way, we will be allowed to do so, even though it grieves the heart and spirit of God.
You will be faced with many opportunities to obey or disobey. God has promised that if we choose to TRUST HIM, not be afraid & walk in His will, we will walk in the good life.
Galatians 2:20 (KJV) – “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
Paul states that his “old man” was dead through Christ. (Romans 6:2-11) Now he was truly free to live, but it wasn’t Paul who was living. It was Christ living through him. Paul had learned the secret of victorious Christian living. It is not us living for Jesus, but Jesus living through us.
Psalm 9:10 (NKJV) – “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.”
The Christian life is not just hard to live–it’s impossible to live in our human strength. The only way to walk in victory is to let Christ live through us. To Trust God and be confident in what His Word says to us.
Notice that Paul didn’t say he was living by faith in the Son of God. He said, “I live by the faith OF the Son of God.” We were so spiritually bankrupt that we couldn’t even believe for salvation with our own faith. We had to use God’s supernatural faith that came to us as a gift through hearing God’s Word.
Ephesians 2:8 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God…”
There is a human faith which is limited to believing only what we can perceive through our five senses, but the supernatural, Godkind of faith goes beyond what we can see, taste, hear, smell, and feel. God’s kind of faith calls those things which be not as though they already are.
Trust is not the same as faith
Trust is not the same as faith. Rather, trusting is what we do because of the faith we have been given. Trusting is believing in the promises of God in ALL circumstances, even in those circumstances where the evidence seems to be to the contrary. The practical consequence of faith in God is trust, which we prove by living out our full acceptance of God’s promises day by day. It is by this trust that we are promised peace and we can rest in Him and not be afraid.
Isaiah 26:3-4 (ESV)– “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.”
The prophet Habakkuk cried out to God in concern over the corruption in Judah, yet he was dismayed that God would use the evil Babylonians to punish His people. Habakkuk, whose name comes from the word “embrace,” holds on to the goodness of God. He is not afraid to question God but is willing to trust Him no matter what happens.
Habakkuk may not have understood God’s ways; allowing the Hebrews to be abused by the Babylonians, but his words direct us to trust in God simply because He is God.
Habakkuk 3:19 (NKJV) – “The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills.”
Like Habakkuk, we need not be afraid. We can even bring our questions to God, because of Jesus. We can come boldly to the throne of grace to find help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
Proverbs 30:4-5 (NKJV) – “Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, If you know? Every word of God ispure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.”
We can’t truly put our trust in the Lord, rest in Him, and not to be afraid, unless we put our trust in His Word. God, or a mere man, is not better than his word. If we can’t trust God’s Word, then we can’t trust Him.
Recap: Trust in God
- Fear is a faith stealer.
- Trust in God always with all of your heart.
- The only way to walk in victory is to let Christ live through us and trust His word.
- Trust is not the same as faith.
- If we can’t trust God’s Word, then we can’t trust Him.