Balancing Fear

As human beings, our fears are upside-down. Often we find ourselves skittish about the opinions of others. Often we let ourselves worry about what evil people might do to us. And somehow, we have forgotten that the God who made us is far more powerful and far more dangerous.

 

Isaiah 51:12-13

 

12 “I, I am he who comforts you;

who are you that you are afraid of man who dies,

of the son of man who is made like grass,

13 and have forgotten the Lord, your Maker,

who stretched out the heavens

and laid the foundations of the earth,

and you fear continually all the day

because of the wrath of the oppressor,

when he sets himself to destroy?

And where is the wrath of the oppressor?

 

God says that, for those who know him, he is the God who comforts us. God is right here with us to have mercy on us, to show us kindness, and to shape us into people who honor him. Yet, if we are honest, we often find ourselves afraid, not of disappointing our Savior, but instead of not being accepted by those who oppose the Lord. We find ourselves afraid of what people will think of us, of what our futures may hold, of what our health might do, of violent men, of what the government might do. But the Lord tells us that such a fear is misplaced.

 

Consider how Isaiah put it. We fear men, mortals, people who die. We forget the Lord, who by his own mighty hand stretched out the heavens above us. We worry about the actions of humans. We forget the eternal life and infinite power of the God who made us.

 

So, as I say, our fears are upside-down. God is almighty. God is Creator. God is righteous. God is our Judge. We must not assume that we can ignore him and be blameless. Instead, we should turn to him, seek his mercy, and trust him. We should run to him for eternal safety, even if we are worried about the here-and-now. May we set our priorities, our devotion, and our fears aright. May we focus ourselves on the God who is eternally God and not on the things that will fade like grass on a desert summer day.

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