Faith Edges Out Fear
Fear and faith have the same root.
It is impossible to be faithful if you are filled with fear.
Likewise, it is impossible to be fearful when you are filled with faith.
It is so apparent that we live in a culture that is dominated by fear. The media drives that fear further into our hearts every single day. It is unbelievable how many people asked if we were still planning on going to Rio for the Olympics with the “threat” of the Zika virus. I know of a few people who have actually cancelled their summer trips to visit family for fear of terrorist attacks. It is unbelievable how many people are scared into action (or inaction) each day for no real, tangible reason. Fear is driving our society in an unbelievable way and it’s inhibiting our potential and destroying our lives.
I recently read about a woman who was bound to a wheelchair for years after a diagnosis of Parkinson’s. A new doctor gave her the news that she was misdiagnosed after a fall years prior, that they were completely wrong when they spoke that diagnosis into her life, and that she had the potential to walk. That day she didn’t just walk, but got up out of her wheelchair and jogged down the hall. Jogged! She was bound to a wheelchair for years because someone told her she would never walk again, and she BELIEVED the fear that was spoken into her!
Another story was of a man diagnosed with cancer. He passed away, but after the autopsy the coroner was baffled because there was not enough cancer in his body to have killed him. Yet another story was of a priest who read the last rites to the wrong patient in the hospital, and that patient died unexpectedly.
What do all these stories have in common? It’s not the diagnosis. Some of them weren’t even sick! It’s FEAR. They all had the fear of a diagnosis spoken into their life. There is plenty of research that supports that your belief contributes greatly to your development of a symptom or disease (check out the article “The Mind-Body Connection: Fear Manifests in Many Diseases” on NaturalNews).
So what is the opposite of fear? How do you combat fear in your daily lives? We have this answer. Did Jesus ever say, “Fear… your diagnosis”? “Fear… your enemies”? “Fear… the Zika virus, Ebola and the swine flu”? (All of which are media-driven fear campaigns by the way. Zika is a benign virus that is completely asymptomatic in 4 of 5 people, and those who show symptoms are mild and recover completely. The microcephaly increase in Brazil is likely from a combination of the following: the 2015 introduction of a larvicide to the drinking water called pyroproxyfen (designed to cause malformations in developing mosquito larva), a chemical pesticide called Atrazine being abundantly used in Brazil, vitamin A and zinc deficiency, malnutrition, and the Tdap vaccine mandate for pregnant women in 2015 [the safety of this vaccine on pregnant women has NEVER been proven]).
Back to fear… Did Jesus say, “Fear… this, that and the other”? No. He said “Fear NOT.” Fear NOT! When the disciples woke up their sleeping savior in the middle of a storm, he looked at them with what I imagine was a mischievous smile and said, “What are you freaking out about??” The apostles were no doubt like, “Umm, hellloooo… have you SEEN those waves? Oh wait, no you didn’t because you were sleeping.” I think many times we think Jesus is sleeping through our storms. “Ummm… have you seen my bank account?” “Did you hear that doctor’s diagnosis?” “Have you seen how my spouse is acting toward me?” I firmly believe that Jesus is sitting in our boats, with his sly little grin, saying, “What are you freaking out about? I’m in the boat WITH YOU!” He has seen your blood work, he knows your budget, he knows your husband or wife’s heart. That is why he can command his followers, “Do not be afraid.” He’s been there, he’s done that, he’s seen your situation and he knows how it ends. We are more than conquerors with Him, and He knows it.
So why do we fear? I’m not saying that it will be easy to not have fear. I’m not saying it will be easy to have faith. But fear edges out faith, so with fear in your heart you cannot be fully surrendered to faith. BJ Palmer wrote in the The Bigness of the Fellow Within, “Have you more faith in a knife or a spoonful of medicine than in the Innate power that animates the living world?” Where is our faith? Is it in Him and his creation, or have we taken a back seat to fear and worry?
Recently I read Francis Chan’s definition of stress and worry. It hit hard. “Worry implies that we don’t quite trust God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what’s happening in our lives. Stress says the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others, or our tight grip of control. Basically, these two behaviors communicate that ‘it’s okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff in my life is somehow exceptional.’ Both worry and stress reek of arrogance. They declare our tendency to forget that we’ve been forgiven, that our lives are brief… and that in the context of God’s strength, our problems are small, indeed.”
Ouch, right? I read that and thought of all the things I worry about… my bills, my office, my relationship, my bank account, my family, my, my, my. When you sit down and think about it with an eternal perspective and ask yourself, “Am I trusting God fully with all aspects of my life?” you may realize that you are not. And that’s when you will find freedom. I found freedom in an understanding of my health and knowing that God created me to heal and function at 100% (and certainly created me stronger than a virus like the flu, whether it be bird, swine, or Zika), I just need to remove any interference. I found freedom in an understanding that God created marriage and he will do the work of making two into one, but we have to remove any interference (make sure we are both centered on Him). There are many ways I found freedom and my challenge to you is to do the same. God works all things for the good of those who love him, and in the world we live in, we need to embrace that.
Where is your faith? It’s time to step out. It’s time to cease our worrying. Worry is just anxiety over something that may never happen anyway. And even if it does happen, why live through it twice?
Step out in FAITH this week. Rise ABOVE your fear!
Dr. Liz & Dr. Mark