Fear Factories

Read: Psalm 46

Charlie Brown once said, “I’ve developed a new philosophy, I only dread one day at a time.” Hopefully that is not our attitude toward life but too often we allow fear to develop this kind of attitude within us.

Most of us remember the T.V. reality show “Fear Factor” in which the producers would create fearful circumstances to see who would win the contest of overcoming their fears the best. How often in your life do you create this scenario for yourself? How often do you allow your mind to become a factory that produces unnecessary and unneeded fear?

When we do that we end up with the dread that we see in Charlie Brown’s quote above. God’s Word reminds us that we do not have to live with that dread or that attitude. We have a Savior in Jesus who has overcome our greatest fears and anxieties, let’s turn to him when that fear arises.

I saw some recent statistics that said that 54% of Americans are afraid of being in a car crash. 36% are afraid of food poisoning from meat. 49% are afraid of not having enough money for retirement. 25% are afraid of natural disasters. We are fearing things that may not even come to pass in our lives.

On the slope of Longs Peak in Colorado lie the ruins of a huge tree. Naturalists say that it stood for over 400 years. It had weathered thousands of storms and had been hit with lighting 14 times. At the end, an army of beetles attacked the tree and leveled it to the ground.

This tremendous giant, that age had not withered, that lightning had not blasted, that storms had not subdued fell at last before beetles so small that a human could crush them between their forefinger and thumb. How often do we allow the beetles of worry, fear, stress, and tension to destroy our happiness and effectiveness.

In Psalm 46 we are reminded that God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. In verse 7 it says “The Lord Almighty is with us; The God of Jacob is our fortress.” It doesn’t mean that we will never have to face hard times, suffering, or unfortunate situations. If we read the story of Job we are reminded of that.

However, in the face of those storms God is with us and will walk with us through them. But we should not fear or worry about such things when they are only fragments of our imagination. Satan places them there to eat away at us much like the beetles ate away the 400 year old tree in Colorado.

In closing this week here are a few other portions of scripture to remind us about being on guard with our fears. God is with you, do not allow your life to be a factory of fear!

“Be strong, do not fear.” Isaiah 35:4
“Whom shall I fear?” Psalm 27:1
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you..” Isaiah 43:1
“Fear of man will prove to be a snare.” Proverbs 29:25
“Perfect love drives out fear.” 1 John 4:18
“You will have nothing to fear.” Isaiah 54:14

Make it personal: Name your greatest fear today. Then go to the Lord in prayer and ask him to take it from you. There is no reason to fear things that have not, may not, and will not happen, so why should you allow those to rule your life? Jesus will calm that sea if you wake him up in the back of the boat (Mark 4:35-41).

Have a fearless week everyone,
Glen Rhodes, Minister of Discipling and Community Life, Arthur Mennonite Church