Pastor Larson’s Corner: Faith and fear
I have a friend who works with young men who are in trouble with the law. He recently told me about a young man he counsels who never goes anywhere without carrying a handgun. He would like to get the young man to confront some of his fears so that he can begin to deal with them in a more positive way. One day when my friend brought up the subject of fear, the man said, “Hey, I’m not afraid of anybody or anything.”
That’s the way fear works sometimes. We become so good at living with it, or so good at denying it, that we are not even aware of its existence. Meanwhile, even though we don’t know it exists, it continues its destructive work deep down inside of us. This often happens below the level of our conscious thought. No wonder we so easily deny that we are afraid.
The antidote for fear, of course, does not involve a handgun. The antidote for fear is faith. This point is brought home very clearly in the Bible. Jesus taught His disciples over and over again that faith had great power to combat the destructive effects of fear. The disciples learned from Jesus that fear can be conquered by faith.
In truth, no fear can withstand the power of faith. Like fear, faith works in quiet and even mysterious ways. Sometimes it also works below the level of our conscious mind. So as we nurture faith in our lives, we begin to crowd out the fears that can so easily control us. Gradually, as faith grows, fear no longer has its way with us. Remember, that as you grow in faith, your fears will subside. We have this as one of the great and wonderful promises of God.
Pastor Larson’s Corner is written by Jerry Larson and appears weekly in the Norwegian American Weekly.
Pastor Jerry Larson retired to his cabin in Zimmerman, Minn., after 39 years in parish ministry for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In 2011 he published a book entitled “Speaking the Word Freely: Writing with purpose, preaching with power.” Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article originally appeared in the March 18, 2016, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.