Monday, December 31, 2012



Every day when you wake up, you are blasted with the message that there is something fearful out there that can harm you or bring on inevitable disaster for you and even the planet. I don't care what channel of news you watch; they are all the same. There is a feeding frenzy on the bad news and when the bad news begins to turn into good news, the news isn't worth covering any longer.
We just witnessed this with the fires here in southern California. When the fires are threatening, there is non-stop coverage to the point of layers of repetition. Or, if there is a slow day in the news-a day where nothing disastrous is imminent or a serial rapist is not on the loose or no asteroid is heading straight toward planet earth, then they still are bound to make something up and interview a man who once talked with a space alien.

Bad news is everywhere! When this stream of bad news is set before us, it is usually about something that is about to happen or could happen-in the future. This bad news always elicits fear. Fear occurs when your future is out of control. Remember years ago when we were in the gas crisis; the lines at the gas stations were amazing. Those who waited in line might have had gas in their tank, but they wanted to top it off. They were fearful that there would not be any gas tomorrow.

Fear is a horrible thing that can actually paralyze you and keep you from moving forward with your life. Fear of the future can also cause you to make bad or unwise choices. There are several common fears.

There is the fear of missing out that we see demonstrated by Adam and Eve in the Garden. Moses feared being embarrassed when he was to go before the people of Israel and before Pharaoh. This was a sense of feeling inferior for sure. Paul probably suffered from the fear of being wrong and therefore lived a dogmatic life, attacking the people of the way who were walking to a different drumbeat. Fear is always about the consequences we feel we are going to face in the future. Those who fear the future are most likely to fumble the present!

By the way, have you noticed that many of your fears have nothing to do with you personally? Like when the fires are burning without any possibility of getting to you, it still generates fear. This is also true of the mighty hurricanes that rip through certain parts of our country or earthquakes anywhere in the world. Just like second-hand smoke; I call this second-hand fears. Whatever makes your future spin out of control, fear is the result. Fear turns out the lights in your life so that you are faced with darkness and doom in your future. Fear is the darkness where negatives are developed.

What's interesting is that you can't control the future. There is nothing you can do. It takes a certain amount of pride to think you can. So, what is the answer to this dilemma?

In the book of I John there is a great antidote given for fear-to actually cast it away from you. It says: There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. PERFECT LOVE DRIVES OR CASTS OUT FEAR FROM YOU! Perfect love is complete love. If we can experience this complete and full love, then fear will be cast away!

In this passage there are three kinds of love relationships referenced. FIRST-God loves you. This is the first step in casting out fear so that you don't have to experience its paralyzing hold on you. God loves you no matter what and He is not waiting for you to perform well enough to achieve acceptance with Him. This is the essence of the Good News of Jesus. Jesus came to communicate the love God has for us. You are to make the decision to receive God's unconditional love for you.

SECOND-You love God. You are to reciprocate God's love for you by responding to Him-actually focusing on God with a heart of gratitude and love for Him. Practically speaking, as you learn to follow Jesus, you show your love for Him by your obedience to Him-trusting Jesus with everything!

THIRD-You love others. You first receive God's love for you, then reciprocate this love back to Him and finally you are ready and freed up to release your love for one another.

Now think about this! If you are caught up in God's love for you, your love for God and then your love for one another, there is no room for fear. Therefore, fear has to go! When you are experiencing this kind of love in your life, you will find your faith muscle getting stronger and there will be no fear of your out-of-control future. You can turn your fears over to Jesus and let Him at the controls.

Try this on for size: When fear knocks at your door because your future is out of control, send faith over to answer it.