When I start to worry, am I remembering to consciously fix my heart and mind on my future home in heaven?
1 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going."
INSIGHT: The world’s way of fixing problems is to focus on them and to worry about them obsessively. That’s perfectly ok to do when you are still the god of your own life because that’s when everything is still actually dependent upon you. But that has to change for those of us who are in Christ. We are to live by strong faith in God, and so few actually do.
Within 2.5 years of sharing my story publicly, I had heard from hundreds of people, and many of them from other countries. One time, I paused to take a 30,000 foot mental flyover of what I was hearing and learning from all these people. I realized that there was one snare that was common in nearly every story I heard. It was like the devil had shown me his favorite hand to play and it didn’t matter what sex, race, culture, nationality or continent; he was playing the same card in everyone’s life. What common element do you see in the following excerpts, from actual emails I received?
“I am afraid that my life is over…that I will never feel good again…I’m afraid the darkness will never end. I’m afraid of losing my house. I’m afraid of my children losing faith in God because He’s not coming through for me. I’m afraid my wife won’t come back. I’m afraid of losing everything if I really surrender. I’m afraid I’m going to walk into that hospital and not come out. I’m afraid my ex-husband is going to hurt me. I’m afraid we won’t get justice in the court and my husband’s ex is going to keep the children from us. I’m afraid my health is never going to get better. I am afraid of making a making a mistake teaching God’s word and having Him be mad at me forever. I’m afraid to leave my church because of what others will think, even though I know something is not right. I’m afraid of kicking out my foolish and ungodly roommate because then I’ll be lonely. I’m afraid if I don’t find a spouse soon, I never will. I’m afraid if I totally trust God, He will ask me to do something scary.” FEAR, FEAR, FEAR, FEAR, FEAR!
Why does the devil play the fear card? Because a Christian who is ensnared by fear cannot please God (Heb 11:6). It’s an effective way to rob God of His glory, and you of life to the full. Fear is the opposite of faith, but faith is not always the absence of fear (1 Cor 2:3, Phi 2:12). Fear in and of itself is harmless until it paralyzes you or thwart’s God’s will in your life. When we walk in fear, we are not righteous because the righteous live by faith (Heb 10:38).
Jesus says, don’t be afraid but trust in Him and keep an eternal perspective. When we keep an eternal perspective on our life and problems, they become very small. When we focus on our problems or on what we don’t have, the pain and fear intensify. But just as Jesus was teaching the disciples, if we train ourselves to intentionally think about the eternal life that awaits us—a life of supreme happiness and love that will never end, our fears and worries will subside. When faced with a loss or disappointment, ask yourself this, “What will this matter a million years from now?” It won’t!