We often find the exhortation to put aside any fear on the lips of Jesus towards His followers. It is also often coupled with the call to have faith! What does the uniting of these two exhortations mean for us today? How should we understand these words of Jesus in our own lives?

So often children experience fear when they are in a position that they have not encountered before. They are afraid of the unknown. This is also a common experience as people approach death – there is fear in their hearts because they do not really know what to expect. For some the encounter with the unknown is a source of excitement – for others a source of dread. I wonder if it is faith that makes the difference between a life of anticipation and expectation and a life of fear and dread?

I think that there is a definite link between faith and peace of mind and heart and insofar as it is peace that drives out all fear then we can safely conclude that a person of faith is far more likely to approach different experiences in life without fear. This is how I want to live my life. It is the best way to be able to enjoy all the good things that life has to offer. It is also very comforting to know through faith that we never have to face our hardships and struggles without the grace and presence of the Holy Spirit! It would seem to me that it make a lot of sense to live a life of faith in comparison to a life apart from the grace of God.

Jesus tells the father of Jairus to have faith and cease being afraid for the health of his daughter. The great benefit of faith is that whatever happens we can know that the hand of the Lord is in control and that He will bring the best possible outcome for all. We may not always understand the reasons behind the actions of God in our lives but with faith we can trust that He knows best. This is not ‘copping out’ of the problem but putting the question of God’s will in its proper perspective, that is, the wisdom of God not just our limited understanding of life and all that it means.

Jesus assures that the person of faith has nothing to fear because God will always be there to care for them and lead them towards eternal life. This does not banish fear from our lives per se but it does give us good reason to live a life free from the dread of fear.

Am I a person who experiences fear, anxiety or panic attacks? How can I bring these areas of my life more fully under my faith in God?

Lord Jesus, you gift me with faith but sometimes it does not seem to be strong enough to overcome al of my fears. Increase my faith so that I will leave fear and useless anxiety behind and embrace fully a life of trust in you.