Updated: Jun 9, 2020
1 John 4:18, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love."
Have you ever been afraid to lose something? Perhaps your job, a relationship you’ve worked on for years, a pet, or even a loved one?
I recently experienced this feeling, what felt like for the first time. My dad found out that he had 98% blockage in all of the arteries of his heart. Due to COVID-19, the hospital told him that he would have to wait to have surgery. When I found this out, I was frustrated at the timing, but ultimately I was afraid of losing my dad.
Fast-forward a week, my dad found another hospital that saw the immediate importance to operate, and he had the surgery. You would think that I would have been relieved, but once again I found myself being afraid of losing my dad.
Fear is a normal reaction to the unknown; it’s normal for humans to experience fear. It’s not wrong to be afraid, but what you do based upon that fear is where we find what is right and wrong. You see, when I try to suppress these feelings and deal with them myself, in turn, I end up becoming irritable and lashing out at those whom I love. I become bitter and angry. I can’t focus on anything without the situation dominating my thoughts. This is why it’s so important to remember one key factor: God is in control, regardless of my feelings.
Remember when David was being chased by Saul and his army? Do you think David was afraid? Based on reading any of the Psalms written at this time, I think we can all reasonably deduce - absolutely! But rather than try to deal with these fears on his own, David continually turned to the Lord in prayer and praise.
Check out Psalm 7 for a key example:
1O Lord my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:
2 Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver.
3 O Lord my God, If I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands;
4 If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me; (yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy:)
5 Let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it; yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust. Selah.
6 Arise, O Lord, in thine anger, lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded.
7 So shall the congregation of the people compass thee about: for their sakes therefore return thou on high.
8 The Lord shall judge the people: judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.
9 Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.
10 My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart.
11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.
12 If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready.
13 He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors.
14 Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood.
15 He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made.
16 His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.
17 I will praise the Lord according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the Lord most high.
Notice in verse 1, when David is feeling afraid, He cries out to God and begins to pray. David reminded himself that his circumstances did not dictate his trust in God; on the contrary, David’s trust in God dictated his circumstances. When things in your life begin to feel turbulent and uncertain, remember: your circumstances aren’t a surprise to God. Fear causes us to make bad decisions, but faith keeps us rooted in our Provider and our Protector.
Lastly, notice in verse 17, after David has expressed his feelings to God, he reminded himself that no matter the circumstance he would praise the Lord. When I didn’t know what was going to happen to my dad, I was reminded of this principle found all throughout Psalms, and I was comforted as I gave God glory for whatever His perfect will was. I knew that no matter what happened, God would get glory through it. In the same way, when you are experiencing trials and tribulations, I challenge you to praise God for whatever He chooses to do. Remember that we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).