Most of us have a built-in instinct to run away from something that’s chasing us. We don’t need to ponder the question over in our mind or get on our knees and ask God what to do. We know what to do. Run! But when something happens that fills us with an overwhelming fear and no foreseeable answers, what should we do then?
What we do when we’re afraid is a foundational reaction that will strengthen us with all the conflicts that come against us in life. God tells us that when fear grips us and we don’t know what to do, then we do nothing. We give the problem to Him and WAIT for His peace and His wisdom to come to us.
In Isaiah 40:31 we’re instructed to wait on God – “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength”.
Fear often puts us into a state of panic, and it’s during these times that we make wrong decisions and do things that we wouldn’t normally do. When we’re gripped by fear we need to remember two things: firstly, the emotion of fear is built in us to bring us to a sobering state of awareness and realize that certain things are happening; and secondly, that the devil takes advantage of this “fear” and encourages us to react to it negatively.
Jesus tells us many times in the New Testament, “don’t fear”, because He knew that when people were filled with fear they acted impulsively. He wants us to wait for Him. He wants us to give Him the circumstances and the problems that are bringing this fear into our hearts.
He has overcome the world – He has already won over every problem that initiates fear, and so He wants us to give the problem to Him and wait for Him to respond.
Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!”
We notice here that King David, when crying out to the Lord for help, did three things when he was gripped with fear. First, he gave the problem to the Lord, then he waited while he regained his courage through his confidence in God and then he waited.
Why did David do this? Because he knew that God loved him, that He heard his prayers and that He answered prayers. He knew that God would not “leave him or forsake him”, and he knew that faith in God was the opposite to fear. David knew that if he would give God the problem the fear would fall from him and he could regain his thoughts and his strength.
Initial fear brought David quickly up to date with his situation, but the prolonged fear that lingered in his heart could have caused him to react wrongly and be killed if he didn’t know to give it to God. Jesus is our shepherd and the One who we can call friend. There is nothing that Jesus can’t do if we will just tell Him about it and then trust Him for the answer.
You might ask, “Well, if God is omnipotent and can see the situation before it happens, why do we need to tell Him? Shouldn’t He just get on the scene and help us right away?” No, He shouldn’t. Why? Because God wants us to mature and to be like Him, filled with His spirit and His wisdom, and He wants us to trust Him and not our emotions. He doesn’t want us to live foolishly and then expect Him to just appear and save us from disaster. We do not tempt God. He is not our servant in this world: He is our Lord.
He wants us to be strong and wise so that we can continue His ministry here on earth. If He just dives into every situation automatically, then He will deny His own mandate and that is for us to have a free will to make our own choices. He doesn’t want anyone to come to Him that doesn’t want to be with Him, so He waits for us to come with a humble heart.
Our faith is made strong in the middle of our trials. As each one comes – and the Bible says that they will come – the initial fear hits us and we’re scared, BUT we go immediately to God and give the problem to Him. We don’t give any attention to the fear or to the devil who is working it. And then we wait for Him to lead us in wisdom and direction so we can get through the problem in victory.
Each trial we go through builds our faith and trust in God and our love for Him grows. Fear may be the initial shock in a bad situation, but perhaps instead of running from it we could run with it to God because it’s really just another opportunity to be able to cry out, Abba Father, and know that He is there waiting for us with the answer.
In prayer we give God the problem and our hearts are filled with praise for Him because we know that He WILL lead us safely through it and our faith and trust in Him will grow. We don’t let fear rule us. We let God direct us and that fear will quickly melt away and become an emotional feeling of thanksgiving. Praise God!
What would you rather do: Run in a direction because God is leading you or run because the devil in the guise of fear is chasing you?
“But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” … Isaiah 40:31