Sunday 8/17/2014 6:56 AM
It seems to me that the world in which I live is one that is dominated by fear. Terrorism or war in some form or other is usually the headline of any newscast. Weather reports attribute every devastating storm to the catastrophic effects of climate change and we are constantly reminded of the dire consequences we will reap if nothing is done to curtail it. Local newscasts tell of shootings, rapes, robberies and other crimes and we are encouraged to invest in security systems for our homes, apartments and cars for protection. Even pharmaceutical companies get in on the act with their advertising. One commercial warns senior citizens that they may already have the virus that causes shingles, which is a no-brainer since shingles are caused by the chicken pox virus that the majority of seniors had in their childhood. Of course, the answer to calm that specific fear is the drug that their company sells. Hearing this encourages conspiracy theorists to say that the government or some major corporate entity is fear mongering, driving people towards dependency upon them for security, and sometimes I think they are right.
The opening prayer of my devotional material contains these words, “Give unto thy servants that peace which the world cannot give; that our hearts may be set to obey thy commandments, and also that by thee we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may pass out time in rest and quietness.” The part of this prayer that really caught my attention was the request to be defended from the fear of our enemies. I would expect the prayer to be to defend us from our enemies, but there is no such request, only a request to be defended from fear.
I often joke around with people who are worried about the future by saying, “98% of the things we worry about never happen.” That is a made up statistic that I think might be close to being accurate and I say it to remind them that we spend a great deal of time fretting over things that are not only out of our control, but things that are unlikely to even happen. We become immobilized by our fear and we lose the chance to show our trust in God.
Almost every time God sent an angel to deliver a message to an individual the first words from the angel’s lips are, “Fear not.” I always thought that was because the angel’s countenance was one that inspired fear and awe. This may be true but perhaps God is merely trying to remind those with whom he wants to communicate of the futility of fear. Paul reminds us that all things work for the good of those who love them. It doesn’t say that all things that happen to those who love God will be good. It simply says that the things will ultimately work for the good.
Do I have faith to trust God to be true to his word or will I spend 98% of my time worrying over nothing? I pray that I will trust God for my security so I can pass my time here on earth in rest and quietness.