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Posts Tagged ‘fear’

A friend and I were talking about fear and trusting God. I have had times of great fear when learning to trust God. I wrote this about 15 years ago – it has been a long and at times, hard journey getting here. And I still don’t trust like I should… but I’m getting there.

The Fear of the Lord

Solomon declared,

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.”

And I do have fear.

Sometimes

to the point of despair.

For I know that nothing happens

without first passing through the Hand of God.

God calls forth the act, directs the act

or He allows the act.

And so I fear – What will be His Will?

 

My mind and my heart struggle for control

of the emotion.

My heart says “Love”

and my mind says “Sovereignty”

with “sovereignty” being a fearful word.

 

I’ve seen God act to spare His people

and I’ve also seen Jeremiah thrown

into a well,

And Hosea sent to marry a harlot.

How can such infinite Love

allow such personal tragedy?

And so I fear…

 

But fear of the Lord

is the beginning of knowledge.

And with knowledge comes wisdom,

and with wisdom comes faith.

And with faith comes assurance

that sovereignty is not a fearful word

but is indeed Love.

 

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I was looking for a particular devotional and ran across this one. I don’t happen to be dealing with this and this point – but I do so often that the words always ring true.

I decided to share it because someone may need it today… but I hope not.

Faith and Fear

It has been said that “faith and fear cannot live in the same body…” But I know from first hand experience – they can, and often do.

The first time I was acutely aware of this was in June 2003, when our older son was lying near death in the hospital. (For you parents of adult or near-adult children, he was 21 at the time.)

I cried out to God, “Lord I KNOW you can heal him… but is it Your will?” I cried, “Lord, I believe…” and the well-known conclusion of that verse tumbled out, “help Thou my unbelief…”

I’ve said before that I know lots of scripture – I just don’t always know “chapter and verse.” Well, after Joe was healed and home from the hospital, one day I looked up that verse (Mark 9:24) and found that when it was said, the man was speaking in reference to the healing of his child.

A parent and a child… is there any more helpless feeling than to have your child hurting or ill? No matter how old they are, they are still your child. (I’m sure our parents felt that way… perhaps we just never knew it – as our children don’t know it… yet.)

There may be many times when “faith and fear” both take up residence in our hearts, but in instances concerning our children, they are most difficult.

There is that gut-wrenching fear coupled with a breathless anticipation of God’s deliverance; the “I know He can deliver; I know He will deliver; but how, and how long?”

How can both of these feelings exist at once? I don’t know… I just know that they do.

Lord, I believe… help Thou my unbelief…

One ancient commentary said (to paraphrase the 19th Century English) “Only the man’s faith could have revealed the faithlessness in his heart.”

Only our faith can reveal the unfounded power of our fear. Does that remove the fear? No – well, at least in my case it doesn’t. But what it does do is show me that fear has no authority in my life.

I mentioned to my pastor that during a time like this my heart said, “Faith”, but my stomach still wanted to go outside and throw up. His priceless reply was, “Listen to your heart – your stomach doesn’t know any better!”

~~

As I was praying the other day, I started to end with a “thank You for Your great blessings” when I heard “you can’t thank Him yet… He hasn’t answered this prayer!”

To which I replied, “Father, I thank You for the things I cannot see, the answers I do not hear, and the blessings that are yet to come.”

Verse 13 of Hebrews 11 – that great “Faith” chapter – says (The Message) “Each one of these people of faith (O.T. Saints) died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing. How did they do it? They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting, and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world.”

And so are we… “Lord I believe… help Thou my unbelief!”

In Jesus’ Name – Amen.

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In checking the search terms that brings people to my blog, those having to do with “despair” always touch my heart. Today one simply said, “Save me from despair”.

Oh God! What must they be feeling to type these words into an internet search engine? Are they searching for You? Have they given up on You? Do they even know You?

 

What is despair? Have you ever felt what you would call “despair”?

When we are children, despair is getting our ball stuck on the roof, or our ice cream falling off our cone. A little later it’s not having a date for the dance or not making the team.

Then despair is not getting the job or wrecking our car – our only mode of transportation. Things change as we age and it’s the phone call in the middle of the night – or no phone call at all. It becomes the doctor’s report or the sound of sirens, coming closer. It’s the look in a loved one’s eyes, and the news that follows. It’s another bill that’s due, or two, when there is no work and no money.

For others around the world, it’s the sound of gunfire and airplanes or a knock on the door.

Despair changes as we age and our circumstances change, but the knot in the pit of your stomach remains the same. If you are in that spot today – I am praying for you.

Will you pray for me?

 

 

 

My two favorite pieces on despair (and the two that I return to time and time again) are:

http://wp.me/pSGJ-4f “Prayer in the Time of Despair”

http://wp.me/pSGJ-6x “How to Make it Through the Night”

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