The great enemy of faith is fear. God invites us to trust in his promises; to trust that he has saved us from sin and has given us heaven as our home.
But fear threatens that because it is the opposite of faith. Fear teaches us to make decisions that are based on self-preservation, or on keeping the things that we want. It can ultimately be a very selfish feeling. Not that fear is bad in and of itself, it's what it leads us to believe and do that matters. Any mother who has feared for their child's safety can tell you that. On the healthy side of things, that kind of fear can cause a mother to protect her child. On the unhealthy side, it can cause her to live life as a nervous wreck. In either case though, it may still be sinful because fear tends to put the emphasis on our own efforts and not on God's.
Consider how we're often, as Christians, afraid of society, or afraid of how people may react if we tell them about Jesus, or tell them that the way they live their life is contrary to God's will. Yet we know we should share Jesus and promote the truth of his word. Fear is a sneaky enemy.
The antitode to fear is to recognize your place in history. While none of us are indispensable to the operation of this world and the progress of humanity; all of us are part of God's plan. Nothing happens in this world without our gracious God knowing it. The one who has numbered the very hairs of your head, and knows when each one falls, also knows how your life and the circumstances of it, fit in to his divine master plan.
But if we had our choice, we'd rather work against God's plan. But God changed that in us when he rescued us from our sinfulness, when he placed us into his family and then put us in the midst of his unfolding plan. You and I, by God's abundant grace, are part of the Holy Christian Church. This is not a building, or a movement or an organization. This is a group of human souls, bound together by the love of God, and sharing that love in all we say and do. We, together with those all over the world who believe, are part of God's plan to bring the message of Jesus to the very ends of the earth. By that measure, nothing we do is insignifcant, even if it looks that way in the eyes of the world. It is significant because God is using us to share his love.
And that's what chases fear away. Being a part of God's plan means God has taken control away from us. We are not in charge of the final results. We are not responsible for God's plan succeeding or not. We proclaim God's love. And God's love is everything. And we have nothing to be afraid of.
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