People shame and harass for a reason-it works! Bullies create an atmosphere of fear and anxiety by demeaning someone’s character or behavior or appearance. And the reason it works so well is that we are wired for relationships. Most of us want to be accepted and live peacefully, so fear is a very good controlling mechanism. Sadly, most of the time fear of rejection leads us to accept worldly ideas and culture without realizing how damaging it all is to our Christian faith let alone the budding faith in others.
Jesus tells us that citizens of his kingdom are guaranteed problems with citizens of the world. The two don’t mesh. So, in this world, culture, society, Christians will have trouble. Fearing trouble leads us to fear others and “fear of man” is one of the ways Satan uses to keep us from being effective for the Lord.
How do we strengthen ourselves to withstand all that the world wants to throw at us to destroy our walk and weaken our faith? Through faith, prayer and study. It isn’t trying to figure out what Jesus would do, the real way we are going to get through life well and live the abundance that he promised is asking Jesus what he wants US to do knowing that he loves, hears us, and wants to answer us.
We must practice listening for his voice by training ourselves to pray and listen for guidance. We ask, “What do I do to get through this?” and we listen for his answer. Sometimes we are told to avoid, sometimes to just go forward, other times to wait, We trust the Lord will guide us.
Lastly, studying scripture is another important step we can take to help train us to know how to respond in times of trouble. Righteous living has advantages and there is no better way to understand how the Lord wants us to live and act than to read his book, the Bible. The Lord blesses us with peace and love when we choose to follow his laws guiding human behavior. Scripture also gives us a glimpse into ways the Lord has worked in other’s lives to help us recognize his fingerprints in ours. Scripture can also be one of the ways the Lord communicates with us as we read. Scriptures will come to mind that bear directly on our problem or a scripture will just stand out and be the exact one that boosts our faith.
Daily, we see the pressure placed on Christians in the news who are being intimidated to conform to the world’s way of thinking along with the suffering put on them when they resist. Let’s strengthen our weak knees to fight fear.
Fear shrinks us. Faith grows us
Fear silences us. Faith gives us a voice.
Fear immobilizes us. Faith give us wings.