Confronting our fears
by Simon Gibson
Have a greatest fear? Something that produces involuntary shivers when you think about it? Most of us, I believe, have a fear (or two) that can make us anxious, even when our circumstances are relatively tranquil.
We might like to regulate fears through denial or perhaps ineffective variations on positive thinking, but we know they are lurking there: just below the surface, and often invisible to others.
But what about universal fears? Those that are common to humanity in general. Fears of earthquakes, unemployment, social isolation and sickness, for example. Such fears are virtually out of our control, but knowing that, does not diminish the concern.
Fears of this magnitude are pervasive and receive the rapt attention of journalists and the attractive people who fill our screens on the 24 hour news stations. News as drama: the antithesis of entertainment.
You may be reading this and are reflecting on your own fears, inner anxieties that haunt you. But, today perhaps you are consumed by the bigger picture, those fears that capture international interest and involve the potential risk to thousands of citizens.
If you don’t have a sense of purpose that can only be found in a relationship with the living God, you’ll have little peace and threats to our way of life may be troubling to the extreme.
Jesus, God’s only son, says of himself: “I am the way and the life, no one shall come to the Father but by me.”
We know from the Bible that Jesus was perfect and through His death on a cross – once and for all – we are forgiven of our sins (all the bad things we have done) if we trust in Him.
You may be familiar with this Bible verse: “For God so loved the world, that he gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
Here is another wonderful verse: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your prayers to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
Enduring peace – the opposite of fear – is the desire of all our hearts. Whatever the circumstances, whatever the stresses, we can call out to God and accept His offer of salvation because of Christ.
We don’t know the future, or even the length of our life, but we can take refuge in the God who loves us deeply. Now would be the ideal time to call out to him and accept Him through Christ as Saviour and Lord.
A final Bible verse of reassurance: “Don’t be afraid or discouraged for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”