Tuesday, April 29, 2008

But what if...

(Why are you so afraid? Part 3)

It occurred to me while writing this that I'm starting to see that all fear is future fear. Hard to fear for your life when your dead! It's not what is, really, that has us all turned inside out. Those emotions are more like grief, anger, relief, happiness, hurt. Reactions to what is, right now. In a sense I guess we could say that all fear comes from what we don't know. (It's an anticipatory emotion, right Cass?!) It's rooted in the future. Of course, it's not necessarily in the real, God-ordained future. It's in the future of our imagination.

This reminded me of a quote by Elizabeth Elliot:
There is no grace for our imaginations.

Grace is given for what we will have, what we will do, what will come. There is no faith for what will not be. Our fear comes from wondering if that future faith, that future grace, will be sufficient for what we see might be.

But what if my daughter _______ ?
How can I live without _____?
What will happen if _____?
If he really does ______ again, I don't know if I can forgive him.
But what if I see her and she _______ . I don't think I can stand it.
How could I cope if my son _______?

How do we battle back? The answer's not different than the last post, just applied a little further down the road. Is the God I know, love and serve today going to be there tomorrow? Will the power of the cross diminish tomorrow? Will He who began a good work really be faithful to complete it?

In case we were wondering and needed a little reminding, God gave us His Word...

But it doesn't seem like God loves me. It seems like God is punishing me.

Consider Romans 8:32...He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things.

But it seems like this is destroying my life, not helping.
Consider Romans 8:28...And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.

But what if I don't have what it takes to keep going?
Consider 2 Corinthians 9:8...And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.

But what if I lose my ______?
Consider Colossians 1:16-17...For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

Also, consider Philippians 3:7-8...But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.

No matter where we are, no matter what life brings, no matter who remains with us, God's faithfulness will endure forever. And in case we need a little repetition to remind us, consider Psalm 136!

1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
2 Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
4 to him who alone does great wonders,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who by understanding made the heavens,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
6 to him who spread out the earth above the waters
for his steadfast love endures forever;
7 to him who made the great lights,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
8 the sun to rule over the day,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
9 the moon and stars to rule over the night,
for his steadfast love endures forever;

Get the point??


Cassie said...

Oh yeah! Props to anticipatory emotions...well sorta!~ <3

eileen said...

I remember a quote from many, many years ago that came from the Baptist Standard ~ or maybe Dr. O'brien..
"Trust the Lord & tell the People"
Anticipatory emotions! Love that one!!

Kim said...

Wouldn't it be great if we would follow that simple advice!? If we'd do the first part, we probably wouldn't even have to tell the people. They'd probably come ask us, "What do you know that I don't??"