Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Faith Not Fear

"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid."
- John 14:27, NIV

Nothing is scary if we trust in the Lord and his promises.

Fear is natural emotion we all experience. We might feel it in response to the unknown, being out of control or potential loss or harm.

But fear is also an indicator of a lack of faith in God. The Bible tells us not to fear:

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
- Isaiah 41:10, NIV

When fears arise, we need to go to God and work them out. Ask him to help us understand the source and perceive what is true. There is always a lie or misbelief beneath a fear. Once we see the truth, we exercise the faith to trust the Lord and stand on the truth.

Fear in the Parable of the Talents

Fear is probably Satan's greatest tool for enslaving people and holding them back from truth and righteousness. 

In the parable of the talents in Matthew 25, read the conversation between the master and the slave who hid his talent instead of using it to earn a return:

"And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, 'Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed. AND I WAS AFRAID, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.' But his master answered and said to him, 'You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.' For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." - Matthew 25:24-28, NASB

The slave said he was AFRAID. Afraid of what? He thought the master was harsh and unfair, so he did nothing with his talent. As a result, it was taken from him and he was sent into the outer darkness.

Do you see the lie the slave believed? The master in this parable represents God. The slave did not believe God is good and generous. Therefore he did nothing with his talent. It was FEAR that motivated him instead of FAITH.

Except for a healthy fear of God, let us cast fear aside. As fears arise, we can take them to the Lord, work them out and get to a point of faith and truth. Then we will be unencumbered and free to earn a return for the Master, who is coming back quickly!
"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."
 - Hebrews 11:6, NIV

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