Part 5 — When bad things happen it is very easy for me to slip into panic mode. I used to immediately lose sight of God and any trust in him and just see the seemingly insurmountable problem before me. It would overwhelm me and I would panic. This has happened so many times and after all was said and done I would be embarrassed that I panicked and did not trust God. I am less easily panicked these days, but it still can be difficult when unexpected events occur.
Yet the Bible tells us bad times will come and we should continue trusting God in them:
- You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. Psalms 91:5-6
- He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is established; He will not be afraid, Until he sees his desire upon his enemies. Psalm 112:7-8
- And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, though they are a rebellious house. Ezekiel 2:6
- Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. Revelation 2:10
- Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Ps. 46:2
It is comforting to know God knows about the bad things that will happen to us and already has a plan. We just need to trust Him.
Often when I am worried I have difficulty sleeping. According to the following verse even in the bad times we can trust so much that we will be able to sleep well through it all. “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; For the Lord will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught.” Proverbs 3:24-26
On Bible story which illustrates this well is found in Acts 12. Peter was in prison awaiting a trial that would surely end with his execution. Life really cannot get much worse than that. If there was a time to be fearful, I think this probably qualifies by human standards. Yet in verse seven the angel who comes to let Peter out of prison has to strike him to wake him up so they can leave. Peter was sleeping so hard the angel could not just call his name or gently pat him on the shoulder. The angel had to strike him! That is a deep sleep! It appears to me Peter was not fearful. He had already known and seen others executed. He was under no delusions about where this was leading, but he slept. Even so, he was placing his trust in God and sleeping. That is pure faith.
WOW! I find this concept absolutely mind-blowing! How about you?
Part 6 — Like an Infection
Ever been around someone who was down and depressed and after listening to them talk about their troubles and ailments for awhile you were down too? Any attitude or emotion can be contagious. You can be infected with another’s happiness, sadness, fear, anger, joy, etc. This is likely a portion of the reason God told Gideon in Judges 7:3 to tell those who were fearful to go home. Giving too much voice to your fears can cause you and others around you to be fearful just like spending time with someone who shares their many fears and lack of trust in God can cause you to be fearful.
Soon we will talk about what to do instead of giving voice to your fears. I will also have some practical suggestions for applying all this knowledge to real life.