Faith without Fear
I did not want to get off the sofa. But the cat kept “meowing” loudly. And I could tell that it was more of a distress call than a hunger call. My wife wanted a cat; I’m allergic. So we got a cat. The compromise was for him to stay outside.
Erin was out of town with family this weekend, so caring for the cat was left to me. Abe and I get along, but I think he knows how to bug me. Every time I open the door, he’s waiting to skirt into the house. How he knows which door I am about to open and when is beyond me. Once inside, it’s a cat and mouse game. He likes to taunt me from beneath the beds in our house.
So the “meowing” outside didn’t readily draw me at first, but I could tell that something was wrong. Getting off the sofa, I walked outside to see the cute but dumb creature sitting perilously in the only tree of any size in our yard. He wanted down.
Erin and I don’t own a ladder. But we do have a 3-stair folding step. I grabbed it out of the garage, stood on top of it, and reached upward just below Abe. The cat didn’t move. So I walked over to the front porch, took two chairs, arranged them below the tree, put the folding steps on top of the chairs, climbed up the steps, and took hold of the cat. It was at this moment that he decided to dig his claws into a tree branch – it took several hard yankings of his scruff to get him down. Moments later he was purring in my arms.
As scared as he was, Abe didn’t trust me at the moment when faith was most needed. I had to force him out of the tree. Only after the fact did he appreciate what I was doing.
One of the most common commands in the Bible is not to fear. And in Mark 4 we see a great example of consuming fear. With a storm raging around their boat on Lake Galilee, the disciples wake up Jesus who was sleeping on a pillow in the stern. The disciples rebuke Jesus, “Don’t you care that we’re going to die?”
Since Jesus was asleep, the disciples saw this inaction as a sign of his unwillingness to help them…we do the same thing.
When God is silent in our lives, it doesn’t mean that God is asleep to our cares. Jesus certainly wasn’t apathetic towards the disciples – in fact he’s right there with them! And He’s showing them through his actions to have faith in deliverance.
After calming the storm He asks, “Why are you fearful? Do you still have no faith?” Jesus wanted his disciples to have faith, not fear. But a difference exists between worldly fear and fear of the Lord. Many Psalms tell us to fear the Lord. A theme of Proverbs is that fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. We should not fear those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul. We should rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Fear God, not man.
But the One we fear is the One in whom we place our faith. And He’s the one that comes to us and says, “Do not fear. I am with you.” What an amazing display of His love.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom should I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life — of whom should I be afraid?”
Faith without fear – what a gracious gift from the Mightiest Being.