by Paula Harrington
Of all the things that Jesus commands us to do in the New Testament; I wrestled the hardest with worrying. I know I’m not supposed to do it. Sometimes I don’t. Other times, fear sneaks up and invades before I even realize that it’s there.
I recently stayed a week in Haiti, and although the country is the poorest in the world, the Christians there are rich in faith. God is doing great things in their midst, but the first night, anxiety crept in.
I had been out of the country before, but this trip was different.
I lay in my bed a thousand miles from home and asked God for strength to do his will in a place I had never been,
- a place that didn’t have a church building on every corner
- a place that wasn’t founded on Christian principles
- a people whose main religion is voodoo.
“Do not worry” is easy when life is comfortable, when we’re feeling safe, happy, and content. But put yourself in unfamiliar territory and do not worry becomes a battle.
After that first sleepless night, my fears faded. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that God was there and took them away like he has done so many times before.
We had a devotional the following evening with several beautiful Haitian children. I couldn’t help, but smile when the song leader led “I Am the Lord (Do Not Fear),” based on the beautiful scripture Isaiah 43.
Following Christ is freeing but there are too many of us with a faith full of fear. Too many who are terrified that God is constantly trying to trip them up so he can send them to Hell. That’s not our God. That’s not who he is.
He wants us to get to Heaven more than we do. He’s on our side. But he never said we wouldn’t be overwhelmed with problems.
Too many of us resent the waves and fire in Isaiah 43. As children of God, we expect to be protected from the troubles. Instead, we’re in the midst of them with a Redeemer who promises to rescue us.
- Let go of worry (Matthew 6:25).
- Reject the spirit of fear that originates in the world (2 Timothy 1:7).
- Approach the throne of God with courage (Hebrews 4:16), believing that you are his child.
Let the words “do not fear,” echo constantly throughout your heart and soul. God has redeemed you. He will protect you. Do not fear.