Fear and doubt come naturally to me. I’m well-practiced there. You could say I was born knowing how to fear and doubt. Trust is in a different department, which can’t operate simultaneously. You can only have one or the other, and for me, fear and doubt usually overrules trust after only a short reign.
This past week, it bothered me that trusting God doesn’t seem to be an attitude that sticks for long. One day, I can be totally devoted to God–fully convinced of his goodness, faithfulness, and love–then I wake up the next morning with fear having crept into my thoughts overnight.
When the doubts show their ugly mugs, I have to remind myself to trust God instead. Sometimes this is a minute-by-minute exercise. Doubts say that God is other than the Bible says he is. But if the Bible is right, then I can silence all doubts. The first letter of John says, “God is love” (4:16). “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:18-19).
With my mind focused on God, I have no reason to fear. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” This verse gives me reassurance when I’m feeling afraid since there’s the promise of “perfect peace” for anyone who is steadfastly trusting in God. Verse 26:4 then gives the guarantee for the promise, the reason why trusting God brings peace: “Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.” God dispels fear, like a lamp illuminating darkness, because he is unchanging and immovable. “I AM WHO I AM,” the Lord said to Moses (Exodus 3:14).
God is worthy of trust. We do not need to fear because we know God loves us and he will never change. He promises it. He says he will never abandon us. He will do anything for those he loves, even sacrifice his son Jesus to rescue us from death.
As you think on where Christmas started, with a baby “wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger,” remember that God loves you as much as he did on that night in Bethlehem when he gave the greatest gift the world has ever seen. Then let God silence your fears and doubts.