When I was a kid, I used to be afraid of the dark. There was just something very eerie about a pitch black darkness, that I did not particularly enjoy. It’s not like I had to sleep with the lights on, or had terrible nightmares. Thankfully that never happened. As I grew older, that fear still haunted me a bit.This is why I love turning on the lights. When I wake up in the morning, I turn on the light. In my kitchen. In my living room. I use a porch light when it gets dark. Whenever I walk into any room, I turn on the lights. I actually installed dimmer switches for all the lights in my house, so that I could control the brightness of the rooms. There is just something about the light that draws me to it.
Light essentially casts out the darkness. And if we were created in the image of God, I do believe that we were wired not just to turn on the light, but to be the light to the watching world.
So even though I got over my fear of the dark since childhood, there are still other fears that plague me even into adulthood. If you are like me, I am sure that you have some things that you fear. There are some things that temporarily provide you anxiety or frustration. There are some things that when you think of them, you might cringe or experience that sinking feeling inside of your stomach. Similar to when you go down that big drop on a roller-coaster.
Here are three things that I fear in life and why Jesus removes my fear, every time:
1. The Future. I love planning most things well in advance. I love slaying my dragons. I love front-loading absolutely, everything. But no matter how much I plan or prepare, the future remains elusive. God created it, not me. God lives in the future, not me.
No matter how much clarity I try to create, uncertainty is the only thing I am certain of.
But here is the wonderful thing if you are a follower of Jesus:
Even though you don’t know what the future holds, you know the One who holds that future.
2. The Opinion Of People. As a pastor and a speaker, I talk. A lot. I also write a blog. This means that most things inside my mind, will either be written for all to read or spoken, for all to hear. This creates a fear where I tend to over-think what people will think of me.
Was I too tough?
Was I too tender?
Did I say enough?
Did I say too little?
Did I press this issue correctly?
Did I gloss over another issue?
What will people think, when they find out I am a Jesus freak?
Will this group of people not like me, because I said this?
Will I win over this group of people, because I said that?
The wisest man who ever lived after Jesus rightly said that the fear of human opinion disables a person. The only antidote to this is a trust in God.
So I don’t have to fear what people think of me, because I already know what the One who created me, already thought of me.
I do my best, and give the rest to Jesus. I remember one pastor said that he works like an Arminian, but sleeps like a Calvinist. Not a bad motto to live by.
3. The Lack Of Validation. We live in this crazy world where our existence is justified by our online activity.
If you don’t snap that picture, you actually never ate your lunch. If you don’t post a picture of your recent trip, you actually never went on it. If you don’t tell everyone about how you stubbed your toe, it actually never really occurred. If you do any type of activity, and never post or update anyone about it, did it actually happen? I don’t know, you tell me. Ironically we are alone, together.
There is nothing wrong with this, until we actually are living only for this.
If Jesus paid attention to you, it does not matter who did not give attention to you.
If Jesus calls you His masterpiece, it does not matter who else calls you something else. The point is that we don’t need to fear if we go unnoticed. Because the Creator of the Universe, noticed us perfectly, knows us personally and loves us unconditionally. And even though other people might not know about our good works, Jesus Himself says that He knows and sees our good works.
“Fear not,” is the most frequent command found in the Bible. The Bible talks specifically about fear over three hundred times. The Bible encourages us not to fear explicitly, over one hundred times. Jesus tells us to “fear not,” at least over thirteen times in the New Testament.
Perfect love casts out fear. We know Who that perfect love is. His name is Jesus.
We don’t have to fear anything, because we know the One who has already overcome, everything.
Question: What fear are you currently experiencing? How does knowing Jesus eliminate the fear from your life?