Riding the Roller Coaster of Life: Feeling Fearful and Finding Hope!
Fear is one of our most primary feelings. There is ‘healthy’ fear, like the kind that alerts us to real dangers. And there is ‘unhealthy’ fear, that has us worrying about the wrong kinds of things, or that interferes with our lives and well-being. (In the Bible “Fear of the Lord”, is a good kind of ‘fear’, but really points us more to “reverence for” rather than “being afraid” of God.)
A little Bible trivia suggests that “Do not be afraid” is one of the most common phrases in scripture. We can count 365 occurrences-which adds up to “One ‘be not afraid’ for every day of the year!”
What are some “go-to” passages we can turn to when things are scary and we are afraid?
Psalm 27 “The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear?”
Psalm 23 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for you are with me!”
Joshua 1:9 (God’s commissioning of Joshua to take Moses’ place) “I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed-for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go!”
Psalm 46 “Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth be moved….”
Isaiah 43:1 “Do not be afraid. I have called you by name. You are mine!”
John 14:1-6 “Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid…”
Matthew 1:20 (to Joseph) “Do not be afraid to take Mary for your wife…”
Luke 1:30 (to Mary) “Don not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God!”
(and 357 more!)
And then there is this thing we need called ‘hope’! And where do we find hope?
Psalm 62:5 “For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him.”
Psalm 71:5 (Senior Citizen’s Psalm!) “For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth.”
Psalm 130:5 “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;”
Romans 5:1-5 “and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts”
Romans 12:12 “Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.”
1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.”