Faith? Or Fear?

Where do you draw the line between faith and fear? Between trusting and doubting? Between peace and anxiety? Is there room for both emotions in our hearts at once? I remember the day when it hit me that I could not have faith while holding on to fear. I was either going to choose to trust or I was going to choose to doubt.

How many times have we heard or said the following, “I’m really praying and hoping that things work out for the best. I’ve talked to God about this. Now I’m just hanging on to the hope that He’ll answer me.” Or maybe it sounds something like this, “Dear God, please, or rather pleeeeeeze help me with this problem. You know I trust you; I just need to know that you hear me. I’m trying to believe you. I’m trying to trust you. I’m trying…”

Trying is not trusting nor is fearing faith. We are either trusting God’s providence in our lives or we are not. We are either believing God is benevolent and kind and is looking out for our best interests and hears the cries of our heart or we are not. When it comes to faith, there is no middle ground.

I was pondering some problem in my life one day when I came across a commentary on faith by Iyanla Vanzant in One Day My Soul Just Opened Up. She had just powerfully made this point, when it sunk in for me. All of my anxiety and worry were a demonstration of my lack of faith. I was only fooling myself into believing that I was demonstrating trust while at the same time holding on to my fear. The two were opposites and could not be reconciled unless one was exchanged for the other.

In order to embrace faith we have to exchange our fear and mistrust letting go of them in order to receive the other. This is demonstrated so well in a story in the Bible found in three of the Gospels—Matthew 17, Mark 9, and Luke 9. I believe it is repeated three times because it makes such an essential powerful point. Jesus had come down from the Mount of Transfiguration and met with a father whose son was possessed by an evil spirit. The disciples had unsuccessfully tried to cast out the demon. Jesus came upon the scene and inquired as to what was going on. The father responded by telling Jesus that the disciples had been unable to cast the demon out of the boy. He then proceeded to say, “If you can…” Jesus immediately responded by saying, “What do you mean, ‘If I can? Anything is possible to him who believes.’”

There is no room for in between when it comes to trust. We either believe God is capable of handling our problems or we don’t. Period. I either choose to relinquish my fear and misgivings and give my problems over to God, or I babble on in prayer about faith and trusting and leave with my problems still in hand. I can just hear God saying to me, “What do you mean, ‘If I can?”

Jesus’ next statement is powerful; “Anything is possible for someone who believes!” Anything. That doesn’t leave much room for doubt now does it? It doesn’t say, “Some things are possible. A few things are possible. A limited number of things are possible.” It says, “All things are possible!” Maybe the problem with our lack of faith is our lack of imagination. Maybe the problem that we believe and expect so little of God is that we know so little of Him/Her. Maybe the problem is that we have made God small, easier to understand, and more like us.

We have a Big God. The Creator of All That Is listens to us and will answer according to our best interests because we were created in love, made for love, redeemed in love, and are destined for love.

If you are struggling with faith, spend more time getting to know how Big God Is. God will dazzle your senses, inspire your faith, strengthen your weak knees and exceed your expectations! The scripture reminds us to taste and see that the Lord is good.

Walk forth today in faith, tasting, believing, trusting, never doubting that God is love!