Dealing With Fear And Trusting In God

dealing with fear

Dealing with fear is a universal experience. But shouldn’t Christians be immune to fear? Isn’t that what we tell ourselves all the time?

We say we trust that God is in charge, but then act as if we alone determine our own fate. I know I’m guilty of this.

My family was dealt a bit of unexpected news this week. It’s caused an uncertainty that won’t be resolved quickly. Now in the still of the night, fear is slipping through the pathways of my thoughts like storm clouds gathering in the distance.

I say the Jesus Prayer. I tell myself that God is in control of everything. I’ve begun asking for the intercession of the saints.

But the fear is still there.

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Orthodox Christians are watching the events surrounding the Holy and Great Council, the first gathering of the Orthodox Church on this grand a scale in over 700 years. It is a monumental event, and one that could be an excellent opportunity for Orthodoxy to take the world stage.

But as the day for the Council draws near, dissension among the bishops of the various churches threatens to cause the assembly to collapse before it occurs. Debate over the agenda has seen some churches calling for more discussion prior to the Council, and others threaten to pull out entirely. The Orthodox Churches of Bulgaria, Serbia and Antioch have signaled they may not attend if certain issues are not addressed.

Some observers have said the dissenters are creating havoc and destroying a chance for Orthodoxy to share its message with a world ready to hear it. Others say the debate is preventing heretical changes to doctrine that would undermine two thousand years of church history.

Have we forgotten that the Holy Spirit is in charge?

Whether the Council is a rousing success or a complete failure, it is under the watch of the Holy Spirit. We are to pray for God’s will to be done, not ours.

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I would do well to remember this in my own life. God’s will, not mine. Dealing with fear by trusting in God.

We fear uncertainty because we desire the outcome that suits our own purposes. We have our own plans, without considering what God has in store for us. We see through a glass darkly, as it were.

Do not reckon as a truly wise man that one whose mind is subject to fear on account of temporal life.   – St. Isaac the Syrian

My fears that I may not have what I want, or that I may face hardship, are founded in the belief that I alone control my life. But hardship brings the knowledge that we are not in control, and that we are subject to trouble all our lives.

I truly believe that God allows trouble to come to us to teach us, and to call us closer to Him. When my life is going exactly as I want it, I know I do not pray as fervently as when I am facing crisis.

Do you?

God has a plan for His church. The gates of Hell will not prevail against it. He has a plan for us as well. Let us pray for His guidance in the actions of His bishops, and in our own lives. Let us not fear, but trust. God is in control, even when He is silent.

Lord have mercy on you. Lord have mercy on me.