Lately, I have been attending a group called Encounters at my church. We are working through the book of John to answer the questions “Who is this man Jesus?” and “What does He want from me?” My main take-away right now is in reference to fear and anxiety. Yes, these things could be attributed so many other things, like genetics, but if there is a large manifestation, a lack of faith is most likely at the root. A year ago I would not have made this statement but it has been shown true in my life. In situations where I consciously trusted God, the grip of fear and anxiety loosened. (Truly awesome!!)
Faith was defined at the last Bible study as, “taking Jesus at His word.” First off, this means applying Bible verses to life. There are so many amazing promises in the Bible!! They speak to our specific root needs and to our fears.
BUT before this will do any good, you must accept that Jesus has taken your past sin, and will continue to take your sin (because nobody is perfect- that is simply not possible!). If I ever viewed Jesus as simply a man, teacher, or prophet, it was too long ago for me to remember. I believe Him to be God and the Savior of the world; my mind simply cannot comprehend Him being otherwise. A place of faith that I need to understand not everyone is at. Yet I still have far to go in that I do not understand exactly what it means for Jesus to be Savior day-by-day. Well, here I circle back to faith and the Bible.
Secondly, taking Jesus at His word means that when you ask for direction and then He gives it, you say, “Yes, Lord.” This is one place in which my desires, logic, and lack of belief that God is sovereign, good, and loving have completely wrecked. Life is messy, and sometimes the direction God is leading you in seems cruel. This is where we can put the promises from the Bible to work, though, and have faith! (Only one aspect of Jesus being Savior.)
Recently, I have felt that I have very little faith, so I love what Matthew 17:20 says: “For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.'”
Health problems have been following me for a few months now, and each time that I get more information on what is going on, I spend a day in hopelessness and fear. That is not what God wants for me, and it is not what I want, either. I pray that God will bring me to the place of trusting Him no matter what; that He would take my tiny bit of faith and make it my rock. (Well, technically, God is my Rock but without the belief in Him, He cannot speak into the situation in the same way.)
Faith is very important because it allows us to have relationship with God. Slowly, Jesus is showing me that He is the key for the lock of fear. The blood Jesus shed on the cross extends forgiveness, but also freedom from things such as fear and anxiety.
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
– 2 Timothy 1:7
That verse actually implies that we are new; the Holy Spirit creates a new identity for us when He is invited in. John 4:14 says, “The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.'” In that new Life, where does fear and anxiety fit? Faith will flow more and more, instead. So I would encourage you to ask God to give you faith and/or to strengthen the bit of faith you already contain.