From Fear To Faith

I have long said, one of the problems is extremes. As an avid hyperbolist (A word I just invented,) I’ve been known to take things to the extreme. But I would tell you, that one of the problems plaguing the 21st century is the level of extremes. Sometimes, maybe a lot of times, moderation is the key. Most problems that happen in our world, happen when people take something good to it’s extreme end. This is the problem with cookies, with vacation, with charity. Too much of a good thing, ends up not being a good thing. Paul talks about this in 1 Corinthians 6. He’s reminding the Christians that they have freedom in Christ (and in their own land) to do as they please. But not everything that’s legal is beneficial. That moderation is key. Too much of a good thing is not a good thing.

As soon as we finished recording the sermon last Wednesday and loaded up the gear, I realized that a point I had planned to make, but had never written down on paper was vital. It’s important enough that it kick started this new habit I’d like to get in. We’ll call it “A bridge from Sunday” for now, but my hope is, to regularly supplement the weekend message with a few additional thoughts to go “deeper.” To ask, or maybe answer a few questions that will help us chew on what was discussed a tad further.

Which leads us to week 1. And crossing the bridge from fear to faith. It doesn’t sound very preacherly (another made up word. This seems like a terrible habit to start…) to say “Too much faith is dangerous,” so perhaps I’ll put it differently and say “Put your faith in Jesus, the right way.” I could have faith that Jesus will take the wheel when I’m driving my car, but that doesn’t mean I should close my eyes and let go of the wheel. A moderate amount of fear in a situation like that leads me to driving safely, with both eyes on the road. It’s not because I don’t trust Jesus to take care of me, but it’s because I believe, through faith, that he instilled in me a brain that allows me to operate a vehicle safely. Abandoning fear completely, and placing my faith in Jesus to drive my car will likely lead to danger, to accidents, and injuries or death. We all know that to be irresponsible. But, there are so many times, ways and opportunities to balance fear and faith that we miss.

I trust in Jesus to provide for me financially, and he HAS. But I also have a healthy fear of foreclosure, and have an emergency fund set aside for rainy days. I trust in Jesus to give me as many days on this earth as he chooses, but I also try to eat right and exercise so that those days are long and beneficial. I have faith that God can heal anyone from anything, but I also believe that God placed brilliant scientists and doctors on this earth. In the immortal words of the TV Dr. Larry Fleinhart: “How else would a creator reveal himself, but through his creation? and to deny the mind of that creation is to deny the mind of god!” Faith, requires me to believe that God is an all knowing creator, but a healthy dose of fear reminds me that the great physician is not the only one who can heal me physically.

In Faith, I could jump off a building and trust that Jesus would stop me from dying. But fear reminds me that it would hurt. In fact, Satan tries to tempt Jesus with that exact proposition. “Prove you’re real with a jump…” But Jesus rebukes satan, because God is not to be put to the test. This is the balance of faith and fear. Like I said in the message “The main difference is what fuels you,” If your fear fuels every decision and every thought, if it fuels every conversation, we have a problem. If my faith fuels me, then I am aware of the fear, I deal with the fear, and I have the full confidence to know that God is in control. So go, be led, not by fear, but in faith, that God is working and is still in control.

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