I have heard many times we are told to ‘fear not’ 365 times in the Bible (one for each day). I also find it interesting there is controversy over whether ‘fear not’ and other variations of fear is actually referenced in the Bible 365 times. Isn’t that just like our human nature? We question how many times God actually tells us to ‘fear not’. Even if God told us to ‘fear not’ only one time shouldn’t that be enough? God only said, “Let there be light,” (one time in the Bible) and there was light. (Genesis 1:3) Shouldn’t we trust him when he tells us to not be afraid?
Paul clearly gave us instructions to not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7) This sounds pretty simple, right? But in reality most of us are paralyzed by fear. The reason we sometimes live with this anxiety is because we are not lining our lives with God’s will. We aren’t trusting his ways. We are leaning on ourselves.
How do we seek God’s peace when we are fearing change or the outcome of a trial. We do what Paul told us. We work to figure out the root of our anxiety. Is our anxiety concern for our situation or another person? We should be concerned about others and should plan for our future. But if our anxiety is a lack of faith in God. Then we should pray about this and ask his forgiveness. When we embrace he is sovereign and our true provider our fears will subside.
When we are in the midst of a difficult time, we should also thank him for all of our blessings, his past faithfulness and most importantly the very storm we are in. We are showing him our trust in his will for our lives. He commanded us to be strong and courageous not discouraged and he will be with us wherever we go. (Joshua 1:9) We should also ask for what we want. Pray bold prayers! Do not be afraid to bring your requests to him. Matthew told us if we ask it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7)
As we look back at situations in our lives, I am sure we can see how fear of change or the unknown affected our thoughts and decisions. If only we had trusted his outcome more? Our suffering would not have been as painful. Hopefully, as we grow closer to him. We will realize change in our lives or an occasional storm is good because it has built our character and made us stronger in Jesus Christ.
We must have change to grow! It is those very trials that teach us to rely on him for all of our needs. When we turn to him through prayer we form a deeper relationship. This is exactly what Paul was telling us, as we draw near to him and seek to please him with all we do, we will then find the peace of God.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the trials we face today and in the past. We are so grateful for your mercy and the lessons you have taught. Please continue to show us your ways. Help us to pursue your will for our lives and replace our anxiety with your perfect peace. Help our relationship with you grow stronger every day no matter the situation.
We ask this in Jesus Christ name,