I was driving down the road listening to K-Love on the radio recently and I heard the announcer say: Fear says, “What if”; faith says, “Even if.” Today many of us have fear-filled minds. The "what ifs” are intimidating. What if I get the coronavirus? What if my aging parents get it? Maybe you're a restaurant owner or entrepreneur, weeks or months of little or zero income could destroy what you've worked a decade to build. What if you're living pay check to pay check and your work place temporarily closes? These are real, substantial, consequential reasons to be concerned about life right now. But we can have faith in God “even if” trouble comes.
Fear can start early. As a 7-year-old child I started having "night terrors." It was a reoccurring dream about my family falling into the ocean and being eaten by sharks. For weeks I would wake up screaming at 11 p.m. Looking back now, the odds of a family that lived in Indiana being eaten by sharks seems quite silly! But it was real to me. My mom tells me that out of desperation she took me to the doctor. She said that at the end of the visit, Dr. Descoli knelt down and looked me right in the eyes and said, "This will stop. You will be ok." My night terrors never returned. Whether what you are facing is something real, like a disease, or something imagined, like my childhood fear, this is a moment when we need to look to the Great Physician, Jesus Christ, and hear him say: "This will stop. You will be ok." What is the Great Physician’s prescription for fear? In a word — trust. As a child, I trusted that doctor. As an adult, I trust God. Let me use T.R.U.S.T. as a way to reveal God’s prescription for fear.
T is for Truth. The great truth of the Bible is John 3:16 which states, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” The truth that we are loved and God paid the ultimate price for our salvation should calm our fears. We can face a lot when we believe that we are loved and valued.
R is for Relationships. We are designed for connection. While in the current coronavirus crisis we have to rely on non-face to face ways to connect; relationships still matter. Going through anything is better with others than alone.
U is for Unavoidable Reality. Despite low mortality rates the current crisis forces us to face our mortality. While unpleasant, facing our mortality is good for us. We are all going to die someday from something; the death rate is 100%. Auto accidents, disease or old age, eventually death comes. The Christian faith gives us the way to prepare for death. Through Jesus we have the certainty of heaven.
S is for the Sovereignty of God. The God of the Bible spoke our entire universe into existence. While we have free will, He is still very much in control. Everything that happens in our lives either He sent or allowed. When circumstances feel out of control, they aren’t. God is in control, period.
T is for Track Record. In the Bible, we often see the word remember. God’s people are told to remember how he has blessed and taken care of them. The Jewish people would often remember how God freed them from slavery in Egypt. That great act of redemption gave them confidence when their situation was scary. When God answers a prayer, write it down. When God provides for you, write it down. Remember. God is faithful. Looking at his track record builds our faith and dissipates our fear.
We Christians trust God for our eternity. In the midst of challenges make sure to trust him with our today.