Fear and Faith Together?

Hebrews 11:7–By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

We’re living through truly frightening events right now. Anybody who doesn’t think so is in denial.

But there will no doubt be preachers or other “do gooder” Christians telling us not to fear. Have faith. All is well when you trust in the Lord. Etc., etc., etc.

At the risk of repeating a message I’ve shared here before, what’s wrong with having both fear and faith? That’s how it was for Noah. Fear and faith aren’t mutually exclusive. They can coexist.

Courage has been defined as fear faced with resolution. Courage doesn’t mean the absence of fear. It’s putting fear in subjection to resolution and taking action.

Christians are just as prone as anyone else to die in earthquakes, tsunamis and nuclear radiation fallout. God may be merciful to His people, and Christians will be among those with incredible survival stories.

But don’t count on it.

The important thing is to be as Noah. Think of what he faced. God was going to wipe out the world as it was then. How frightening is that?

Yet Noah, moved with fear, acted in faith. He heard God’s words and obeyed, trusting the Lord for the outcome.

Besides, fear can be a good thing in its proper place. We learn as little children not to touch a hot stove. As adults we take it for granted that avoiding being burned by a hot stove is normal behavior. But it had its roots in fear.

We take precautionary actions when storm warnings are issued to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Why? Because we’re afraid of being injured or killed. We put our faith in our decisive actions and the shelter we choose until the storm has passed.

We mix fear and faith all the time. There’s nothing wrong with that.

So perhaps we could amend the definition of courage I gave above. Courage is fear faced with faith. Faith enables us to act with resolution.

Explore posts in the same categories: Christian Life, Thoughts from John


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