I hate snakes. Like more than anything in the world. They are the physical representation of evil. They stand for all that’s wrong in the world. And if they were sent into the pits of hell to never be seen again, I would rejoice. When I stumble upon a snake, my skin crawls. My stomach turns. My legs get weak and I begin to squeal. I have never been diagnosed, but I’m pretty sure I have Ophidiophobia.
Many of us have lived or are currently living our lives in fear. We fear getting sick. We fear losing loved ones. We fear COVID-19. We fear our financial positions. We fear losing our jobs. We fear losing relationships. And when it is all said and done, what we really fear is death; physical, emotional, and spiritual death.
And that’s no way to live. My fear of snakes, doesn’t impede my ability to live my life, but many of our fears do prevent us from living.
We fear getting sick, so we stay home. We fear financial ruin, so we work insane hours. We fear losing a relationship, so we obsess over and refuse to trust. We fear death, so we don’t live. Shan Wood recently said, “Fear doesn’t stop death… Fear stops life.” And if you live in constant fear, you know what he’s talking about.
And often times our “reactions” to fear (worry, not sleeping, obsessive research, extreme caution, etc) prevent us from living as well. So what do we do?
In Psalm 49, the writer reflects on some of his fears:
Why should I fear when trouble comes, when enemies surround me? They trust in their wealth and boast of great riches. Yet they cannot redeem themselves from death by paying a ransom to God. Redemption does not come so easily, for no one can ever pay enough to live forever and never see the grave (Psalm 49:5-9 NLT).
Are you scared yet? According to this writer, there’s nothing we can do to avoid death. There’s no amount of money. No amount of good deeds, good thoughts, or good vibes that we can obtain to prevent death. Seriously, are you scared yet? Fortunately for us, the prayer isn’t over. Look what he writes a little later: But as for me, God will redeem my life. He will snatch me from the power of the grave (Psalm 49:15 NLT).
According to this Psalm, the only thing that can save us from debilitating fear… The only thing that can save us from death is no thing at all… But a person. Only God can give us victory of death. Only God can deliver us from the grave.
On Sunday, we celebrated Easter… The day where Jesus rose from the grave. And Scripture tells us that because of His victory, we too are victorious. That no matter what happens, we have the promise of Eternal Life in His kingdom forever.
Which points us to one overwhelming truth. The antidote to fear is not caution… It’s Christ. And when we look to Christ as the antidote to our fear, there’s two really important practices that we can do everyday to combat fear:
1. Root yourself in reality
We love to dwell on worst case scenarios. But most of those worst case scenarios never come to pass. One speaker said, “The devil’s greatest tool is a lie… So you and I need the truth.” You’re healthy. He loves you. You have enough. The truth squashes the lies the devil throws at us and roots us back in reality.
2. Remember you’re rescued
Psalm 49:15 is key here. God has and will redeem your life. Even if the worst case scenario comes to pass, in Jesus, we don’t have to fear. He’s already conquered the grave. And he’s promised that we too are more than conquerors with Him.
Need encouragement? Try listening to THIS song.
Skeptical of the resurrection and victory over the grave?
Check out THIS article.
Or THIS one.