Faith or Fear?
Many of us, like Job in the Bible, make sure that we send up insurance prayers; prayers that cover all areas in an effort to keep everything perfect and trouble free. Job offered extra sacrifices to cover his children just in case one of them may have sinned and cursed God in their hearts. When Job’s perfect world was shaken and calamity hit his family, he had to admit that everything he had practiced to keep his family safe, was not done out of faith, it was done out of fear. When everything fell apart Job declared:
Job 3:25King James Version (KJV)
25 For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.
The thing that he greatly feared is come upon him. God has not given us the spirit of fear (2 Tim 1:7), so then we know where Job’s fear came from… Satan himself! It was Job’s fear of trouble; his fear of bad news; his fear of tomorrow that motivated his actions. It definitely was not faith, trust and rest in God. Yet the scripture says that “the just shall live by faith”! Faith in what? Faith in who? It must be faith in God. Faith being an inherent trust and enduring confidence in the power, wisdom and goodness of God. It follows therefore that we cannot have faith unless we trust that Almighty God has the power, the wisdom and the right heart and is therefore capable of taking care of us. Faith would also mean that even if calamity strikes, God is still doing His job. He would have still exercised his power, wisdom and goodness of heart in allowing it. Some situations that God allows (in spite of our desperate “faith”) actually forces us to face our fears and therefore destroy that demonic stronghold in our lives. Yay God! Had He allowed our “desperate fear-filled faith” to prevail, we would have never defeated our fears.
Our fear of tomorrow, which most times prompts our prayers, are not prayers of faith and therefore do not really bring results. As the scripture says, it is the prayer of faith that will save the sick, not the “prayer of fear”. It follows that the prayer of fear does not have the power to save anything. Desperate prayers are not faith prayers; they’re fear prayers.
Many believers profess a great faith by not visiting a doctor to get a diagnosis of something that is obviously out of sync in their bodies. We lay our hands “by faith” and “believe God” for our healing. This is amazing if it is really faith that is keeping us away from the doctor. If we are honest with ourselves, it is really fear of a bad report; fear of confirmation of our suspicions; fear of knowing, that really keeps us from that visit to the doctor. We prefer not to hear it, because we don’t feel we can believe God for that! Yet we profess that it is faith. At the heart of the matter, we have trust issues.
Faith is not afraid to know…
- to know the truth about our economy;
- to know the truth about our spouse;
- to know the truth about our children;
- to know the truth about our health,
…because no matter what the report, faith dictates that we trust God’s power, wisdom and heart.
There is no limit to His power and ability to bring us out of any situation, yet His wisdom and loving heart toward us may cause Him to withhold our deliverance for a moment in order to conquer our fears and build trust. Faith does not waver when trouble comes, we find rest in Him whose arms are wide enough, tender enough and comfortable enough to keep us from day to day. Faith truly works by love (Gal 5:6). Love and confidence in our loving Father.
So yes, we should pray for our families, for our finances, for our health and every good thing, but not out of fear; out of faith in our God. Faith that must always expect good, but is not shaken if trouble comes, because God is big enough for either.
Jeremiah 29:11King James Version (KJV)
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.