Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen
Fear and Faith
by Erik Momsen
Whether we call it stress, panic, anxiety or fear, most people have to face it daily. It is one of the important issues of our walk with God and tests if our faith is real and active.
We know that worry is not good for us, but we cannot stop. We have been taught to worry and it is a product of our broken and sinful nature. We even think it is part of the job and if we have many worries we must be important. We say, “He has been given more responsibility”, really meaning he now will have more to worry about. Some joker noted that worry is like a rocking chair - it gets you going but takes you nowhere.
JESUS ON WORRY
Jesus’ definitive teaching on worry is in Matthew 6:25ff. Again it is a simple teaching. The answer he gives for worry is:
“Do not worry ... because your Heavenly Father ...” (v26, 30, 32). If you are focused on God and his nature, worry becomes less of a problem. Despite this we focus on the problem, and that is the problem.
Jesus also gives some basic wisdom
- 'Is life not more important than food?' (v25)
- 'Look at the birds of the air.' (v26)
- 'Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?' (v 27)
Our responsibility in the matter is;
"O, you of little faith.” (v30) Faith is an issue of focus. Where am I looking for help?
“I lift up my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord.” (Psalm 121)
- "Seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness”:
The implication is that if we are concentrated on the things of God then we will have little concern for food and clothing. Then God is free to provide in His way. It is also true that when we seek to be obedient and walk in righteousness (right standing before God), the Lord bring about blessing.
MORE HELP WITH WORRY
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! ... The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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." (Philippians 4:4-7)
- Rejoicing is an antidote to fear - try it.
- Admit it. We often worry and forget to pray.
- Again by prayer ... place your focus on God.
- Peace will guard your heart and mind.
There is a battle for the control of the heart and mind. Worry and fear are primary tools of the evil one. If he can get you to worry, then you become ineffective in the Kingdom. Jesus says that because of “the worries of the world and the deceptiveness of wealth” the Word of God does not bear fruit.
A mind that is unrenewed by the Word of God has to fight wrong thinking that brings about fear and anxiety. Our thoughts should be controlled by the Word and the Spirit.
A major problem that seats itself in the unrenewed mind is taking this world and it's possessions too seriously. If you place a high value on the things around you you will worry about them - fullstop. Jesus has told us clearly that where our treasure is, there will our hearts be. (Matthew 6:21)
The unrenewed mind also trusts in the systems of the world instead of God’s provision.
"Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me; put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." (Philippians 4:9)
- Our faith is real and gives great benefits not to those who hear and know the truth, but to those who practice it. If you know a truth and put it into practice you will be blessed. It is very difficult to mix various disobediences with faith. We are warned that God cannot be mocked and we will reap what we sow.
The greatest antidote to worry and fear is God and His great love. Those who know that and are regularly reminded of it cannot continue to fear.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drive out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)
“You will fill me with joy in your presence.” (Psalm 16:11)
Date Added: 2008-11-14
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