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“Fighting Fear with Fear”

Dear CrossPointe,

I’ve been thinking a good bit about anxiety and fear the past couple of weeks since our world has come to a standstill. And, I confess, I’ve been a bit anxious about what the future holds. Will anyone I know and love get the virus? Will my aging parents be okay? Will friends and church members who own small businesses make it through this on their feet? Will people I know and love lose their jobs? Will the church be okay if this goes on for a long time? Will it strengthen us or weaken us? Will those on the fringes of the church push in and persevere or fade away? Thoughts like these have been on my mind a good bit lately. 

All this has led me to think through what the Bible says about fear, and I’ve noticed two major directions the Scriptures point us in for dealing with it. The first is to remind us of God’s goodness and fatherly care for his children. He will never leave us or forsake us! If he cares for the birds and the flowers, how much more will he take care of his children! If he is for us, who can be against us?! These are very great and precious promises indeed! 

But the other direction Scripture points us in to deal with fear is more surprising. It tells us that the best way to conquer our worldly fear is to fear God more than this world! In fact Jesus says in Matthew 10:28 very clearly, “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Then there’s these words of rebuke from the prophet Isaiah to Israel: “Do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the LORD of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread” (Isaiah 8:12–13).

Let’s just all admit that in our culture we’re not naturally inclined to thinking this way! Fight fear with fear? Yes. That’s what the Bible tells us to do. To help us see this, we’re going to consider the familiar scene from Mark 4:35–41 where Jesus calms the storm for a boat full of fearful disciples. Let’s be sure to read this text before Sunday. Pray the Lord will put steel in our spines and humility in our hearts. Pray he will draw unbelievers to faith in Jesus who might tune in to the live-stream. Pray that he will be glorified and his church will be strengthened! 

Looking forward to “seeing” you online Sunday at 10:30am. 

Grace and peace,

Brad