I struggle with fear. Fear for my children’s future. Fear about my health. Fear when driving through Atlanta traffic!
How about you? What do you fear most?
I've heard the Bible tells us “Do Not Fear” 365 times—one for every day of the year. If God had said “Do not smoke,” or “Do not take candy from strangers,” 365 times, we'd recognize it was a big deal!
Since God commands us not to fear, that means fear is sin. I think I've discovered why. It's in 1 John 4:18:
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
Fear means we don't trust God to take care of us or those we love. Fear means God isn't enough.
It makes me think of caterpillars. Did you know all a caterpillar does all day is eat? (Sounds nice, right?!) It eats, and eats, and eats. But it is never full. Never satisfied.
That's what happens to us when we are trying to be in control ourselves. We grasp and claw for what we need: safety, security, love, reassurance. We eat and eat but we are never full.
It's because we are going to the wrong source.
What that caterpillar needs is not more food. What it needs is a transformation. A butterfly has a totally new source of nourishment, and it is enough.
We have been transformed through Christ—all things are made new. But when we fear and worry, it's like we forget we've become butterflies and we start acting like caterpillars again.
Next time you and I feel fear, we may very well be in a very difficult or dangerous situation. But we must remember that everything, yes everything, is there to mold us (and also the person we are fearing for) more and more into the image of Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:28-29 Don't forget the second verse; it's the whole point!)
When God is given control, and we are truly His, there is nothing to fear. Not for your children. Not for your spouse. Not for our nation. Not for you.
You are loved with a perfect love today. Be at peace.