Does Fear Mean the Absence of Faith?

I’ve heard before that fear is the absence of faith? But is that necessarily true? The reason I bring this up is because, as I was leading a training for our Idaho mission team the question was asked, “Is it OK to be fearful when you go door to door and engage in conversation with people about the gospel?” Another way to say it is, ‘If we have fear to do something that Christ commands does that mean we do not have faith in Christ?” I do not believe so…There are many things that we will have to do as a follower of Christ that can be and will be fearful. We read in the gospel of Matthew 28:18-20 where Jesus commissions the disciples to go and make disciples and He says ,”…I am with you always, to the end of the age.” He didn’t say do not fear, but only that He will be with you. Jesus is our confidence and our hope, so in the face of fear we CAN be obedient to what Christ has commanded for us to do for His glory. I guess the question we need to ask ourselves is this: Am I obedient to Christ in the presence of fear that rises up in me and, if not, how can I be? The Psalmist says in Psalm 56:3, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.” In Philippians 4:6-7 Paul says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” It seems to me that it takes a conscious decision on our part to take our fears to the Lord, and allow our confidence and our hope in Him to outweigh our fears and anxiety. We must not allow our fear to rule us, but always allow Christ to reign supremely in our hearts. Not that we have this overwhelming tranquility that overcomes us in the moment, but that the peace- the assurance of God being with us- will guard our hearts and mind in Jesus and we will act obediently to what the Spirit of God is leading us to do. The Psalmist says “when I fear, I actively place my trust in You (personal translation)”. He chooses to trust in God over letting his fear rule him. When you come to a fearful situation (sharing your faith, making a decision to move your family to a new location, when you have cancer or a sickness that is unto death, when your spouse or child or family member is on their death bed) do you allow your fears to conquer you and cloud your understanding of the promises of God? We must place our trust in the Lord, believe Him and take Him at His word. God promises to never leave us, to never abandon us. In Romans 8:38-39 Paul says, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We must pray for grace from God to lead and guide us in this. I pray that the promises of God will overshadow your fears and that your trust in Him will be unshakable, because He has proven Himself. Because He has proven Himself, I pray that we are obedient to Jesus in the face of fear. Do not trust in your emotions or what you feel in the moment. Do not allow the tempter to cause you to doubt the promises of God. He is faithful, He is near, He is with us…trust in Him
 
Love you Church!
 

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