I’ve talked to more than one person this week who is scared about the political climate of our country. I try to be aware without getting caught up in fear. I don’t think we actually know what is going on, and there are always fear-mongers who try to get people stirred up. For some reason people really get off on scaring other people. I think it must be the power they feel from it, or they are trying to hand off their own fears. The media seems biased to fear and evil. Humans have always been extremely vulnerable to fear, and it is debilitating. Fear, not hate, is the opposite of love.
Refusing fear doesn’t make you naïve, in my opinion. Fear just saps your strength. There are so many things you can be afraid of if you give in to living in fear. Anxiety is the number one mental health problem with depression a close second, and can get ahold of you and paralyze you, taking all the joy out of life. Both are fear-based. And do we really know who is telling the truth? Who would choose fear?
The antidote to fear is trusting God.
Praise teaches you to trust. I just learned that writing it. For weeks God has been pulling me to a fast of praise for the next 40 days, and I have resisted. I didn’t want cycles of success, struggle and failure like last year. Finally, after 40 minutes of going back and forth in which I offered to fast from worry and fear, he said “I will do it, you just agree.” I got it, and agreed to a fast of praise. You may have noticed I was just surrendering fear and worry over failure. I didn’t feel I knew how to praise well enough to do it for 20 minutes a day for 40 days (or even ten minutes, though I suggested that). When He said he would do it, I realized it is like every other good thing–He is at work in us doing it–whether we know it or not, and I surrendered.
The thing is, God has to have permission or surrender; or at least unwitting co-operation to work good in us. It’s part of the rules of engagement in this war over freedom, and is so much better than learning through suffering! Even though suffering makes a very good teacher.
And what is praise? It is looking at God’s goodness. This is such an irony, because I was afraid to try to focus there and yet it is the reason I am writing the Bible as a story of God’s goodness! And when He said through me “praise teaches trust” I knew He wanted to help me because the stretch ahead is going to be challenging (Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy). The first part of Exodus is out–YEA!!!
You see, He is so good He knows what we need and actually wants to help us with it before we ask! When Moses asked to see His glory, God showed him His goodness, His character. Moses had already seen the power and glory, but still he asks to see the fullness of God, and God gives him His character. His glory comes from His character–the goodness.
He is all good and that is why you can trust Him (Them).* Even when things aren’t good you can turn to Him and trust Them* to lead you through it or get you out of it.
*This mighty band of three that make one God.