“13 And who will harm you if you are deeply committed to what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear or be disturbed, 15 but honor the Messiah as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. 16 However, do this with gentleness and respect, keeping your conscience clear, so that when you are accused, those who denounce your Christian life will be put to shame.”
1 Peter 3:13-16
Fear, doubt and worry are enemies of our faith. It is not uncommon to feel them. That is simply part of living in a broken world, and is not held against us. What is a problem is harboring those anxieties and allowing them to change and control our behavior. When worry consumes us, it keeps us from living as we should, freely in Christ. When fear overwhelms us, it robs us of our joy, which points toward Christ. When doubt creeps in and is entertained rather than refuted, it causes us to be silent in our witness to others and prevents us from acting out our hope.
Life is difficult, there is no doubt about it. There are trying times and difficult circumstances to deal with on a regular basis, and as much as we would like to leave all our problems behind, to run away from them, denial of the issues that come up does not allow Christ to work in us, strengthen us and to be victorious in all the ways He can be, because we are not allowing Him to reign over us. Refusing His work because we allow ourselves to be consumed by something other than Him squelches the Spirit’s work in our hearts and lives. We miss out on so much when we live as if we prefer the struggle over the victory.
Obviously, the enemy is perfectly happy to see Christians hobbled, crippled and silenced by fear, doubt and worry, and our own sinful nature feeds right into these patterns of behavior and attitudes of the heart. In order for us to GoLove others as we ought, we need to trust God first in everything. We trust in His provision, His protection and His authority over us. Being consumed by the troubles of this world binds our hands and hearts. Being consumed by Christ frees us to really live. There is no comparison. Trust in Him and live.