Some people suggest the opposite of faith is doubt. Not that too much doubt is a great thing, but my own faith has always incorporated a measure of doubt: I wonder about this, I have hesitation about that, I seldom trust God 100%. But I still have faith.
I have come to believe the opposite of faith is actually fear. In one form or another, the words “Do not be afraid” appear over 140 times in the Bible. Along with its cousin, anxiety, fear saps our joy in life, fear prevents us from doing important things, fear erodes our sense of God’s goodness and power. So many things I would have done . . . but fear got in my way.
The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 26, and from then until Easter we will be letting God heal our fear, learning to face our fear with courage and peace. Faith does not mean we don’t have fear; faith means being doing what Godcalls us to do in spite of our fear. Do you want to stand up straighter, trust God more deeply, and live more authentically? Me too! This Lent let’s walk together a path of overcoming fear.
Our Lenten worship series is called
Not fearless--which is impossible and dangerous, but fear less—which is freeing and life-giving. We will study Jesus’ teaching about worry, what the Bible says about fear of strangers and foreigners, with Peter we’ll attempt to walk on water, we’ll remember that there is no fear in love, and with Jesus in Gethsemane we’ll pray our way through fear. Even after he rose from the dead, Jesus had to keep telling his disciples not to be afraid. He’s telling it to us this Lent.
Our church-wide Lent study is called “Overcoming Fear.” We will read and discuss Adam Hamilton’s book, Unafraid: Living with Courage and Hope in Uncertain Times. Copies are available at church. Each session we will also get a Bible memory verse and practice techniques for reducing fear and anxiety.
Do you want to stand up straighter, trust God more deeply, and live more authentically? Me too! Let’s do that together!