Corona has people’s hearts trembling, the economy shaking and the world shivering.
It is a challenging time for all of us – waking up to new developments every morning has made each day unpredictable. This insecurity and daily uncertainty has some of us in a state of fear. Worrying not only about the illness itself and our loved ones, but also about our jobs, paying rent, bills and buying food in the months ahead – anxiousness now swims in the pits of our stomach.
Living in Sicily and being a business owner myself, understandably I had concerns about the direction this was heading. But when my own heart began to tremble greatly, it made me take a step back and ask myself why. I am Christian, after all. And fear has no place in my heart. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
The only fear we should have is that of God, which is a different type of fear entirely and is not to be confused. While earthly fear is defined as “the emotion caused by the threat of danger”, the “fear of God” is that of reverence, awe, the “beginning of wisdom”* and true recognition of His Almighty Power. It is the fear of disappointing Him as we would be with our own parent or a loved one – and as a result our obedience is a sign of love and respect.(*Proverbs 9 – 10)
The Bible teaches us that we should not fear anything from this living world or worry about what lays ahead, no matter how trying or difficult. Although fear is part of our human nature and an instinct to protect ourselves physically, it should not be our spiritual state to be fearful. It undermines your Faith and Trust in God’s Will. Where there is complete faith, trust and love for Him, fear melts away. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves torment” (1 John 4:18). Do not torment yourself with worry. Set yourself free from fear, hold steadfast to the Lord and you will find joyful peace in your love for Him.
The New Testament gives us a prime example of how our human nature can take over our spiritual state. In a rocking boat being beaten by a violent storm, Jesus (Yeshua) peacefully and deeply slept while His disciplines battled to empty the boat of water. Finally jolting Him awake from His slumber, they shouted desperately to him “we are perishing!”. He got up, silenced the storm and turned to them. “Where is your faith?” He asked, incredulously. Here they were in the presence and the safety of the Lord Himself, yet they were overwhelmed with earthly fear. In that moment the visual scene of the terrifying storm seemed so much more powerful than their sleeping Lord. This shows us that no matter how loud and in your face your earthly challenge is, strong unmovable faith is silently sitting in the corner reading a newspaper, not giving a second glance, safe in the knowledge of its power. But God knows that fear is in our human nature, hence why we are constantly and lovingly reminded “Do not fear” throughout the Bible. The disciplines themselves, with rock solid faith, were fearful despite being beside the Creator Himself! How much more are we vulnerable to the grips of fear being physically distant from God above us in Heaven.
Another interesting thing to note is how the Lord slept peacefully! Amidst a storm! This is how we should aspire to be. While everyone is running around us like headless chickens, we Christians are the ones who should be calm and collected. But how is this possible? Well, let’s work backwards. Calm comes from Peace, Peace comes from Faith, Faith = Trust, Trust = Love. When we build our relationship with God every day, we are nurturing our love for Him. In this Love, we find Trust, Faith and Peace as they all go hand in hand. Without fear and anxiousness, your soul bathes in peace. And there is so so much joy in that peace.
We must remember to regularly check in with ourselves, talk to God every day, study His Word and keep an eye on our faith. It is our spiritual fortress and the armour that protects our soul from worldly disturbances and worries. Like any fortress, it needs constant maintenance. If you feel that familiar anxiousness swimming in your stomach once more, or your heart beginning to tremble, ask yourself “Where is my faith?”. You have it, but where is it? Use it. Put back on your armour. Nip fear in the bud by trusting in the Lord and replace fear with faith. If at any time you are not able to quench it on your own, call out to God and He’ll top up your faith and strengthen you. Ask Him to give you the wisdom to make the right decisions and the strength to endure whatever lies ahead. Embrace each storm that comes your way as the opportunity to test, tweak and tune your faith.
“Faith is the fortress that protects my soul
The seed within that takes root and never lets go”*
(*Above verse written after my Employment Tribunal case ended in May 2016)
In the coming blog posts, I’ll be sharing more spiritual insights and exploring ways that can help us connect with our Creator and Saviour.
Some other quotes from the Bible on this topic:
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you” (Isaiah 41:13).
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)