There is an advertisement airing now on TV in which a woman says you cannot be full of fear if you are full of faith. It is supposed to be uplifting and positive but I think that is incorrect and misleading. I think it is possible to have fears despite having faith. I also think it is normal to have doubts and fears.
I do have doubts, insecurities, and fears. I had many of them after my husband unexpectedly passed away. At the time, I was worried that the other shoe was going to drop, or that something was going to happen to me or our son. I wasn’t trying to live without faith. However, when your entire world is rocked, it is normal to have doubts and not know when all be again be okay.
Throughout my grief journey, I have developed a stronger faith. For me, without it and our loved ones, I don’t think we would have made it. I remember the struggles of the early days, of feeling like I was in a fog and couldn’t think. I couldn’t answer a question in the first few days when asked. Part of me was broken. Part of me was lost that day.
Now, two years later, those broken pieces are healing. The light is coming back in. The part of me that was his wife is gone and I am a widow. However, I am blessed with memories, photos, and a son who has a lot of his dad in him. I expected to grow old with my spouse so those expectations have had to change. It has been a challenge, but I am feeling more positive and hopeful. That is a blessing.
Another thing I have heard that troubles me is when preachers say you can just claim what you want and the Lord will give it to you. Also, that if you are truly in God’s will, no harm will come to you. These are not always the case. The expectation that all will be right if you desire it enough can be very painful when reality sometimes sets in.
As my husband went to the hospital and the paramedics, doctors, and nurses worked on him, I prayed that he would survive. I didn’t want to lose him. I didn’t want to say goodbye and I wasn’t ready to do so. Despite my earnest prayers, that was not the answer. Instead, my husband passed away. I did get to say goodbye, but he was already gone. He was already in Heaven.
I don’t always understand the ways of God, but I truly believe that He is loving. I believe that He cares for us. I believe that He will be there for us. He promised to be with us during the trying times in our lives. Like the Marines, He is always faithful. Despite my questions, that helps comfort me.
Speaking of faith, let’s remember Job from the Bible. He believed in God but lost everything — his wife, his children, his property, his animals, his vocation. Even in his loss, Job still worshipped the Lord and believed that he would be okay. He had questions and doubts. He also had faith and knew that despite all the losses, the Lord would stand by him. His life certainly was full of tragedy yet he still believed. Job’s faith is a comfort to me.
Have you noticed that there are quite a few scriptures about not being afraid, not worrying, not doubting, but instead putting our faith and hope in God? It seems that He knew we would have struggles, fears, questions, and doubts. He knew we’d need Him. (Graphic and fear image are from Power Point clip art)
Here are a few of the scriptures that have helped me:
- “But now, this is what the Lord says…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” — Isaiah 43:1
- “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” — Psalm 46:10
- “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow — not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” — Romans 8:38-29
- “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you in my righteous right hand.” — Isaiah 41:10
- “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 4:6-7
- “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” — Psalm 23:4
- “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” — Jeremiah 29:11