I like to consider myself a rather intellectual person. I'm pursuing my Master's (the first of two), I like technical and jargon-ridden conversation, and I'm endlessly curious. Yes, I'm book smart in the read-all-the-time-just-because kind of way, but I'm also street-smart. I have some sound common sense, and the scars to show where I veered off course.
I say this not to brag (I'm not that smart), but to provide context. //
The NKJV Bible contains over 100 instances of God telling His people to not be afraid. I find many of them encouraging--like, do not be afraid because God is with you (Joshua 1:9), He will strengthen and help you (Isaiah 41:10), and because God desires to give us the kingdom (Luke 12:32). All nice things. All cross-stitch-on-a-pillow-worthy.
But there is one passage I have not found on a pillow.
"...We will not fear. Even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling." (Ps. 46:2-3)
The first sentence is common enough, but even though? Even though Hurricane Matthew ravages land from the Caribbean to the Carolinas? Even though we're stuck in impossible political options? Even though ISIS advances bloodshed? We will not fear even though it makes sense to fear?
The Lord has not given us a spirit of fear--so when we have it, it is not from Him (2 Timothy 1:7). The world paints fear as the reasonable response, the go-to response, the only response. How is it possible to not fear even though...?
The preceding verse: "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear." God being very present is reason enough to obliterate all other reasons. Every. Single. One.
But what of the smaller fears? The ones that news outlets don't cover, but our internal dialogue torture us with? I wont find the job, my children won't grow past my mistakes, my spouse won't understand, no one will respond, I can't understand it, the disease will take their life....
God is your refuge and strength, reader. He is your very present help in trouble. Therefore, based on this one truth, you have no need to fear.
David, when being hunted by the king he would never harm, told his friends that he had put his trust in the Lord, so how could they tell him to flee? All of their fears were focused on the enemy--what the enemy was doing, what the enemy could do, what may happen. David's focus rested immovably on God (Psalm 11). He had put his trust in God and there His confidence and focus remained. //
Faith is not a departure from reality. Rather, it is a departure from the narrow view of here and human and expands to the greater reality of God's reach and love. As a college-educated wannabe-intellectual, I have faith in He who sits on His throne and brings us through every even though. For He can be trusted. Always.
Don't over-rationalize. Don't cite the news. Don't focus on your fears. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, of power, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
Callie Williams is a quintessential reader and writer. She's not 100% sure when to say "whom", but she's still an English teacher. She also has a thing for elephants. And the color blue. And Jesus. Mostly Jesus. You can check out her reflections at Worried Sapling.