The Rev. Carl Buffington of New Covenant Church knows it isn’t easy to live without fear. However, it is indeed possible for us as believers. Carl explores why.
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for the Father has been pleased to give you the Kingdom…” Luke 12:32
Jesus is adamant. Throughout Scripture, he tells us, “Do not be anxious,” or “Do not worry,” and ”Do not let your hearts be troubled.” It seems he means it: Don’t be fearful!
Today’s world is filled with fear, anxiety and worry. It’s everywhere. It’s legend. You wonder, would Jesus have said the same things if he lived in our world, in our day?
What’s the antidote for fear? How do we begin to live lives that are fearless?
I think it begins with trust. In John 14, we read, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” So, where is our trust level? Do we trust the person who is telling us to not be afraid? Do we trust him to be who he says is and have done what he says is accomplished? Do we really believe that…
the fullness of deity was pleased to dwell in him?
he is the image of the invisible God, God with a face,
he is the firstborn of all creation,
in him all things really move and have their being,
all things were actually created for him and by him,
he is indeed the first and the last word about every single soul’s destiny,
he does in fact have the whole world in his hands?
Do we trust him to be who he says he is? And do we really believe, trust, that he’s accomplished all that we say he did?
Hell has been defeated.
Death’s victory has been stolen.
Heaven’s gates have been opened to us.
Our salvation has been procured.
Now absolutely nothing can separate us from his love.
He has made us children of light.
We are citizens of a kingdom that cannot be shaken.
Trust is a gift we give to God. “ Trust is our gift back to God, and he finds it so enchanting that Jesus died for love of it.” (Brennan Manning, Ruthless Trust, page 3.)
… for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.
Do we then trust that it has indeed pleased the father to give us the kingdom? What have we done to earn his pleasure? Not a thing! Is it only facile optimism that says, “God loves me as I am and not as I should be”?
He loves me in the morning sun and in the evening rain,
when I pass and when I fail,
in fidelity and in infidelity,
when I’m good and when I’m not.
How firmly do I embrace the truth that God knit me together in my mother’s womb, made a plan for my life before my parents ever conceived me, had a dream of his own for my life in this world?
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2.10)
Could it be true?
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear. (1 John 4.18)
Do we really buy that the Father is pleased with us not because of anything we do but because of who we are in his sight as his creation, and that his perfect love will drive out all fear?
What has helped you on your journey toward living fearlessly?
Carl Buffington is the Rector of New Covenant Church in Winter Springs, Florida. Contact Carl.