I don’t know if it is just me, but it seems like the list of things to fear in the world is growing exponentially. Fear finds its way into our lives and brings its cohort worry. These two emotions can take control of our lives and influence every decision we make, big and small. If we let them they can affect every aspect of our lives. What was once healthy to eat now causes sickness. If I buy this product or that product it may prevent disease. If this candidate or that candidate gets elected all hope is lost. Most of the time our fear and worry come from a place of loss of stability. We all experience it, so how do we get past living our lives in fear? The start of getting past our fears is coming to the realization that God is in complete control of his creation.
There is a type of healthy fear. It is a fear that can better be described as the idea of standing in complete and utter awe of God in all his glory. Psalm 110:10 states that, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding . His praise endures forever!” This is not the type of fear we are speaking of. We are talking about the type of fear that paralyzes us in our daily lives. The fear that disables us and keeps us from living the lives God has for us. We begin to kill unhealthy fear when it sinks in that God is in control of his creation. That we are all inhabitants of this creation. That nothing surprises him. That he is eternal. These seem like very basic truths, but I know I need to be reminded of them often.
Jeremiah 27:5 speaks of God’s creation and his interaction with it.
“It is I who by my great power and my outstretched arm
have made the earth, with the men and animals that are on the earth,
and I give it to whomever it seems right to me.”
Within this passage we see God’s statement of control over his creation. He places rulers in power using his perfect wisdom. The power and influence of any person is given by the sovereign creator. This point is exemplified in 1 Samuel 2:6-8 in Hannah’s prayer.
“The Lord kills and brings to life;
he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
The Lord makes poor and makes rich;
he brings low and he exalts.
He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap
to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor.
For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s and on them he set the world.”
Once again we are reminded that creation is a work of God and it is He that brings blessing. We see that leaders are raised to power and relieved and brought low by God alone. It is in this knowing that fear of rulers and leaders is rightfully dwarfed by the God of all creation.
During the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, the king had a vision of these truths. In Daniel 4:17 the prophet writes, “…to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.” The king was given a glimpse and reminder of where his power and rank came from. As God reminds kings we would be wise not to forget.
It is in these passages that we may find comfort in our current life situation whether we view it as good or bad. Every fear that we have tied to the society we live in is only finite. If fear arises because of a leader we disagree with or a situation we feel hopeless in, we can find solace in knowing that God is in control of his creation. That this situation will pass but the God who has always been will continue to be forever. That the creator of all things is lovingly exalting and lowering leaders for his purposes, even if we do not understand why. We can live without fear knowing that God is on his throne and in control.