A couple of weeks ago, I sat through a message in church that I knew with every fiber of my being was wrong. I wanted to jump up and yell, scream, stomp out of church...something. I just sat there and did nothing but get more and more angry by the second. This time last year, I would not have thought as much about the message as now. This time last year my faith had not been tested to its limit. This time last year I was blissfully unaware that the baby growing in my womb had a fatal defect and would not live. This time last year I was as ignorant as my pastor on how fear and faith coexist.
Two weeks ago, the pastor of the church I attend preached a message on fear and faith. The basis of the message was that fear and faith are opposites. He said that if you have fear then it was impossible to have faith. He believes that someone who has total faith in God will possess no fear. At first, this made me question just how much faith I do have in God because I definitely possess fear. He preached from Exodus chapter 14, when Moses and the Children of Israel were release from Egyptian bondage and Pharaoh decided to follow them. The Lord led the Children of Israel toward the Red Sea and they were surrounded by impassable land and the sea. At this point in the bible it says that the people questioned Moses' motives. Why had be brought them this far to be killed. They had no faith that God would provide them a way out. In verse 13 of this chapter it says
And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.
The pastor pulled specifically from this verse. He said that because the people feared they had no faith. I question his thinking on this. I really question his thinking on this. I do not think that fear had anything at ALL to do with the lack of faith those people exhibited. I do not think their fear was a result of their lack of faith. I think even people with the strongest of faith have fear. Just look at Job. No one was more tested than that man. Through the fire, Job never lost faith. He did however fear. Fear is threaded throughout the book of Job. The bible itself tells us to fear God. Well I think fear is fear and you can not separate fear of God from other fear.
I have been through the fire, am walking through the fire, and I have fears...very definite fears. I also have deep faith and trust in God that He will carry me through the fire. Just because he carries us does not mean we avoid the fire or trials. Those trials do cause fear. They even produce more fear sometimes. At least that has been my experience. You know, I think a certain amount of fear is even healthy.
I am curious how others feel about this. Leave me a comment and tell me your thoughts on this. It will not hurt my feelings if you tell me I am off base. I know there are differing opinions out there. I am curious what yours is.