Faith or Fear?

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.

Psalm 56:3 NIV

During these strange days of the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s easy to lose our discernment. We’re bombarded with information coming at us from all directions. 24 hour continuous TV coverage of sick people, or possible sick people, or the stock market falling, or the sky falling. It seems to never stop. And it’s enough to drive a person crazy!

So how do we know what information is helpful, and what information we should ignore? Simple. Ask this one question.

Does this build my faith, or my fear?

Pretty simple right? Much harder to apply though. We get sucked into the vortex of the news cycle. There’s always another case, there’s always another news report, there’s always another distraction. We want to be informed (and we should be informed), but be careful where you are getting your news from. Not everything on the news is beneficial. After all, CNN, FOX, NBC, CBS, and any other member of the alphabet soup news media is ultimately trying to accomplish one thing: make money.

“If it bleeds, it leads” as the old expression goes. And if the most engaging news story is the Coronavirus, they will report on it non stop, even if there is nothing new to report. And this type of news builds our fear, not our faith.

So how do we build our faith instead of fear?

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

Romans 10:17 NIV

If you want to build your faith instead of fear, turn off the news and open your Bible.

Every day we are trying to offer Christ-centered, Spiritually fulfilling content to build your faith, not your fear. Sunday morning livestream Bible studies, Monday blog posts, Tuesday videos, Wednesday morning Bible studies, Wednesday evening prayer time, Thursday afternoon Bible questions are answered, Friday blog posts, and Saturday we rest.

And we’re not the only ones pushing out Biblical content. It’s my opinion that the Gospel is being preached more in this time when we cannot meet than it has ever been preached. Virtually every congregation is trying to get the message of Christ broadcast wherever they can, which sadly is a brand new concept for some of them.

This is a wonderful time to grow in faith, but you have to say no to fear.

So this week before you click on the news story, or before you watch the news, or before you have that conversation with your friend who swears the sky is falling…ask yourself:

Does this build my faith, or my fear?

I look forward to opening God’s word with you on Sunday morning at 10:00am CST on Facebook, our church website, and on YouTube. Until then, build faith.

Daily Psalms – Psalm 112

Daily Psalm Reading – Psalm 111-115

The most common command in all of Scripture is “do not fear.” Psalm 112 is a juxtaposition of fear.

Praise the Lord.
Blessed are those who fear the LORD,
    who find great delight in his commands.

Psalm 112:1 NIV

What does it mean to fear the LORD, especially when we’re commanded so often to not fear? Are we supposed to cower, afraid that this all powerful God is just waiting to smite us? Perhaps if we are enemies of God this is an appropriate “fear,” but not for those who love him and have committed their lives to him.

One of the definitions of this word is “to stand in awe of, reverence, honor…” The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom (Ps. 111:10), and it’s the end of all other fear. As John reminds us God is love (1 Jn 4:8), and perfect love drives out all fear (1 Jn 4:18).

If we are right before God we will not be fearful of our lives before him, but we will stand in awe and reverence before him knowing full we we are not deserving. Proper “fear” before Yahweh will lead to caring for the poor and seeking justice (Ps. 112:5, 9). Proper “fear” of Yahweh leads us to fear nothing else! (v. 6-8). To “fear the LORD” is to love him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mk. 12:29-31).

I have known far too many Christians that face the end of life terrified of the end for fear of what God might do. This is not the “fear” we are called to. We are to live boldly in the grace we have received, and fearlessly serve our Lord in the midst of a world that hates him. The fear of the LORD drives out all fear. The fear of the LORD enables us to do what we cannot do on our own.

If you are a child or God, washed in the blood of Jesus, you have no reason to be terrified. But you are called to fear the LORD!