Saturday, 9 June 2012

Confessions of a Pastor's Wife: Confession #9 (Conclusion)

Confession #9: Fear really got a hold on me.

Conclusion: Faith, Hope and Love

If you are just joining me now, you can catch up by reading Part One and Part Two.

So, I've laid all my fears out there for you. Now what? What do I do now? What can I tell you? When praying about this part of my post, God spoke three words to me: Faith. Hope. Love.

FAITH (in God's word & promise):

My mom, after she read Part Two of this "Fear" series, sent me a blog post by Pete Wilson called "Worry is Killing Us". I thought it was so good that I would post it here:

"This morning I was looking at Matthew 6 and the one question Jesus asked in verse 27 has been totally messing with me. He asked,

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

Think about that question. Can anyone here honestly say the time they've spent in fear, anxiety, or worry has added any value to their life?

This particular word "worrying" translated in the Greek literally means "to be drawn in different directions." Worry pulls us apart. I read the other day where a John Hopkins University doctor said, "We do not know why it is that worriers die sooner than non-worriers, but that is a face."

I believe the reason worriers die before non-worriers is because we are inwardly fashioned for faith, not for fear. Fear, worry and anxiety is not true to the way we've been wired. Everything about you from your tissue ... to your brain cells ... to your soul is constructed by our Maker for faith and not fear. To live by fear is to live against the reality of your creation.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. - Philippians 4:6"

HOPE (filled attitude & focus):

"Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark." George Iles

My dad once told me, "never doubt in the dark what God told you in the light." Dark moments come. Fear comes. But those are the times to place your hope in the Lord. Hold out your hand and let Him take it and lead you through.

I love this passage from 2 Corinthians 4:16-18:

"Therefore we do not lose heart. [We hope!] Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes [we focus] not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

When I keep my eyes [my focus] fixed on the eternal the fears of the seen, of this world, dim. They lose strength, they lose power.

LOVE (expressed through actions):

I use to repeat "Perfect love drives out fear" over and over again when I was feeling scared. I would imagine God's perfect love for me getting rid of the fear. It never worked. Why? Because I missed the point. I took one little verse (not even the full verse, just part of it) and forced it to apply to my circumstance without finding out the context and therefore the truth of the verse.

Read it, 1 John 4:7-21, and you'll see it. Yes, it talks about God's love for us but the author is beseeching us to love one another. God's love for us should in turn drive us to love others. When we are showing the perfect love of Christ to other people, that's when fear is driven out. There is no room for fear to fester in our hearts or minds because we are doing the most important thing Christ asked of us: Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, all your mind and all your strength AND love your neighbour as yourself.