Can You Experience Fear and Trust in God at the Same Time?

Photo by Rodolfo Clix from Pexels

Does trusting in God mean that you never have fear? Right now the world is shrouded in fear from the coronavirus, and yet, we may be tempted to think that trusting in God means we never fear. There may even be some who are not afraid of the coronavirus thinking the whole thing is overblown, and that it is because they trust in God that they do not fear it. While this may be true for some, the reality is, fear is a very natural God-given feeling. Even Jesus experienced fear when He was in the garden of Gethsemane. After all, He was human as well as divine. God gave fear to us for a reason. Without fear, we don’t avoid the things that are truly harmful to us, or have the adrenaline rush to be able to escape from a predator. Without fear, we may not be motivated to take the steps we need to achieve what we want to achieve, or protect ourselves and others from certain dangers. This is evident by the actions of certain carefree partiers that we see packed on the beaches in Florida. The challenge is, how do we let ourselves experience our fears and use them to protect ourselves, while not being overcome by them? How do we trust God in the midst of those fears?

“I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, your wonders of old I will remember.”

~ Psalm 77:12

In the Old Testament, God constantly reminds His people to remember the works He has done for them. Why? In order for them to have trust in difficult times, in times of suffering or woe, they needed to remember that He was their God and He was looking out for them. They needed to remember and be grateful for the times He has saved them in the past and the ways He has always provided for them. That even now, He did have a plan for salvation and would save them, even if it wasn’t in the way they expected. They needed to remember that they were His people and He was their God. This is the key to having trust in God. That despite any evidence you may feel to the contrary, you know that He loves you and your loved ones more than you can ever imagine. That no matter what happens, He is with you and them. That He will take care of you and your family. And that despite your best efforts, even if sickness and death does come knocking on your door, He will carry you into His arms to your eternal home, where no pain and suffering can follow you and every tear will be wiped from your face.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”

~ John 14: 27

There is a reason the phrase, “Do not be afraid” appears many times in the Bible, and that is because God knows that we, as humans, need to hear it. True trust is not stoicism. It is not carelessness. It does not take unnecessary risks. True trust acknowledges fear is present, yet, has faith in God in the midst of that fear. True trust knows the love of God. It remembers how God has saved us in the past and has faith that God will save us in the future. That is what makes faith so powerful. It is a choice to have trust even in the midst of fear. It’s not that where faith is, fear will never touch it. But rather, that there too in the midst of trembling fearful hands rising up in prayer towards God, trust and peace can prevail.

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