Read Luke 8:41-56
“But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole” (v. 50).
What would you say is the opposite of faith? My first thought would probably be “doubt.” In this verse, however, Jesus juxtaposes faith and fear: “Fear not: believe only.”
“What’s wrong with fear?” you might wonder. “Isn’t fear a natural human response?” I certainly find it comes naturally to me. Actually, when faced with a perplexing situation my response most times is more akin to panic.
A certain amount of caution is wise. But when we allow fear or worry to gain the upper hand, it can blot out the truths of God’s wisdom, His power, and His goodness. Instead, all we can see is our big, scary problem.
Charles Spurgeon said it well. “The very essence of anxious care is the imagining that we are wiser than God, and the thrusting ourselves into His place to do for Him that which He has undertaken to do for us. . . . Anxiety makes us doubt God’s lovingkindness, and thus our love to Him grows cold. We feel mistrust, and thus grieve the Spirit of God, so that our prayers become hindered, our consistent example marred, and our life one of self-seeking.”
A little worry can work like termites, almost unseen but totally weakening the structure of faith. So, when we are faced with that undesirable diagnosis, that unforeseen roadblock, that unexpected sorrow, “Fear not: believe only.” (Ashlee Englund)
We must keep our eyes on God.
This devotional is the Sunday, December 13, 2015 entry of Opening the Word. Buy your copy today!