Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Faith vs. Fear

It's no secret that I am a believer in Jesus Christ, and that I have chosen to trust Him with everything on my plate right now. But, during the last few days my faith was tested - not only by the setbacks we seemed to experience at the hands of our insurance company, but also by the opinions and influences of other important people in our lives. I found myself being less sure of the path we have been pursuing, feeling defensive, imagining terrible outcomes, and struggling to connect with God. I felt pressured to make a decision and do something now.

Once the door to UCLA opened today (thank you Lord!), I stopped and thought about the events of the last few days and I tried to put everything in perspective. There are so many ways to look at it, but I really think that it comes down to the conflict within my heart (and the hearts of others) between faith and fear.

Fear is not of God. There are numerous places in the Bible where the Lord tells us to "fear not". So, if I choose (yes, it is a choice!) to remain fearful, I am disobeying God. I must repent of my fear and continue to trust God in all things. His ways are not my ways. His timing is not my timing. But He is never disengaged from the goings-on in my life, nor is He ever late. I'm sure Lazarus' family thought the Lord was too late to do anything for Lazarus. But when Jesus arrived in His own time, He did for Lazarus what no one else could do - He raised him from the dead!

Furthermore, I must really come to understand God's character, and I am so grateful to Pastor Bayless for teaching me about that these last few months! There are those that would have us believe that God, if he even exists, is a bystander to the events in our lives. That he sits on his all powerful hands while our lives are in crisis. That he likes to make us squirm. What a lie! That is the most twisted and inaccurate picture of our tenderhearted God.

The God of the Bible is, among many other things, a loving father, most compassionate and generous. He wants us to trust Him completely, and in turn He will supply all our needs. He loves to give to us that which we need, and beyond that, the things which simply make us happy.

Luke 7:11 says:

Don't bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn't a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we're in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn't think of such a thing. You're at least decent to your own children. So don't you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better? (The Message Bible)

I asked God to provide the best possible medical care for my precious husband, and He has made it so. He gives good gifts! The best ones! We had to wait longer than we would have liked to, and I still don't understand why, but His ways are not my ways. From this point on, I need to stay in faith and rebuke any influences that are fear-based. Fear is not going to get us through this, but faith is!


Sandy said...

When those moments of fear creep in, I remember this prayer:

I believe God, please help my unbelief.

It's a way to recognize that while we cast our faith in God and His plans, the earthly side continues to try to evade our thoughts. With all the roadblocks you've been encountering, it's understandable that fear would find a place in your thoughts also. It is temporary, and as a strong woman of faith, you recognize that. You and Michael will get through this!

Terri @ in His hands said...

Joannah, I don't have enough time to write what I want to tell you but this weekend I went to Going Beyond, a Priscilla Shirer conference and the theme was The Interrupted Life. Well, needless to say, I couldn't stop thinking of you!
A few quick points to share:

"If we really believe He is God and is faithful, we wouldn't try to control things." Ouch!

The enemy will trick you into thinking God will only speak to you through other people--that's a handicap-you need to be in the Word yourself to hear the word of God because He speaks to YOU.

If your interrupted life makes you think, this is beyond me, I can't do this---it's probably God because the enemy is never going to have you do anything that you need to tap into the Holy Spirit's power to accomplish. The enemy wants you to rely on yourself, not God.

Lots of good stuff but those stuck out to me. House full of family, got to run but please know I continue to life you and Michael up. God is good, all the time.

AprilMay said...

I needed to hear/read this today. We found out my husband did not get the job that we thought God had given him (it was the PERFECT job for my husband) and we are both really struggling with WHY. Why, when we are about to lose our home to the bank? Why, when we don't have enough money to pay the bills and creditors keep calling? Why would God withhold the perfect job, at the perfect company, from my husband? We were so sure it was God finally answering our prayers...
It is so hard to have faith sometimes, but who else can we lean on? Thank you for this post!!

Alex and Jill said...

I just sat and nodded my head, YES, the entire time I was reading this.

Great post!

Penny Malley said...

Joannah, I am so glad this worked out well for you and Michael. So glad. But I have a feeling you would have written this very same post if Michael had not been accepted, as well. God is working mightily in you, and your faith has been evident from the beginning. You are in my prayers, Girlfriend, you and your cutie-patootie husband.

Number 6 and no more counting! said...

"fear is not going to get us through this but faith is". I admire your faith and believe that you are right. You are one strong cookie.

thank you, for this uplifting post.

You are in my thoughts and prayers.


Paula said...

AMEN Sister!
You've got the right attitude.

Jill said...

Joannah, I am going to quote myself from a comment I sent much earlier in your journey, "Joannah, I am praying for moments of clarity, calm easy breaths for YOU, and understanding for each of you as you search for meaning in all of this."

Krista ~ Bits and pieces said...

Beautiful written Joannah~ Your heart shows through in each word! Thankful God knows this heart of your well and loves it!!!

I continue to pray with you.

May you have a Happy 4th of July my friend