If you pick up an arrow and carefully examine it, no harm will come to you. But an arrow in flight is a different story, especially if it’s aimed at you. Fortunately, God promises in Psalm 91:5:
“You will not be afraid of the terror by night, Or of the arrow that flies by day.”
God doesn’t say that there won’t be dreadful dangers at night, nor does He say we will not see warfare. But the believer who puts their trust in God and runs to Him for protection “will not be afraid” of threatening perils.
Fear – The Opposite of Faith
Fear seizes its victims and paralyzes them in torment. The opposite of fear is faith – not in ourselves or even in our faith – but in God. When the disciples said to Jesus, “Lord, increase our faith,” they focused on their ability to have faith and not on God’s ability and willingness to help them. Jesus responded, “If you have faith as a [tiny] mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”
Faith is our trust in God to back up His Word – to do what He promises He will do. Either we trust God to be faithful to His Word, or we don’t.
God is Able and Willing
Few of us doubt God’s ability to help us. However, many Christians doubt God’s willingness to aid His dear children, as if they are better parents than God. What parent would want their children to suffer to teach them a lesson? Yet, when we don’t see healing, we rationalize that it somehow must be God’s will to teach us something. Jesus displayed God’s will for all to see. He “went about doing good, healing all who were oppressed of the devil.”
God’s will is evident in Psalm 103:3. He forgives all our iniquities and heals all our diseases. When we confess Jesus as Lord and believe that God raised him from the dead, we are saved – destined for eternity in paradise – and will not be disappointed. When we walk in the light of what God’s Word says, “the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.” A believer can’t commit a sin that is greater than the power of Christ’s blood to cleanse it.
Just as Jesus shed his innocent blood to pay for all our sins, his wounds healed us in every way. God gave us (past tense) forgiveness of sins and healing through Jesus’ perfect sacrifice for us. We have received God’s forgiveness and healing through Christ. If we feel guilty or sick, we need to run to God’s Word to claim His promises.
How We Grow in Faith
We can trust God to back up His Word. That is faith – trusting in His ability and willingness to forgive and heal through Christ, as He promised. We don’t need to ask for more faith because God already gave us the faith of Jesus Christ when we believed in him.
As we read the Bible and pray according to God’s promises, the faith of Jesus Christ is energized more and more in our lives. We exercise our “faith muscles” by relying on God to fulfill His promises. Trusting God’s loving care is how we manifest on the outside what’s already on the inside – the faith of Jesus Christ!
The Fear Extinguisher
1 John 4:18 tells us that “perfect love casts out fear.” As we ask God to do what He promised – and He does – we comprehend more of His great love for us. God’s love in our hearts casts out fear. Love becomes our fear extinguisher because it energizes faith in our lives. Remember learning about potential and kinetic energy in school? We’ve already got the full potential to walk in Christ’s faith. Love is the catalyst that turns “potential” faith into “kinetic” faith.
We see this principle in our lives all the time. When we see someone’s loving care for us, we trust them more with our heart. Our love for them grows, activating more trust (faith) in them. It’s the same with God. We call out to Him, He responds in love, we love Him more, and our trust (faith) in Him is activated. Pow – the potential faith of Christ becomes kinetic in our lives!
When we know someone’s got our back, we’re emboldened to do things we would otherwise fear. When we know God’s got our back, fear flees!
Faith – Our Shield
Fear has seized hearts worldwide – fear of financial loss, fear of losing God-given rights and liberty, fear of sickness and death, and the list goes on. Fear thrives when we feed upon worldly news and false promises of security, all orchestrated by the prince of the power of the air. He shoots forth his flaming arrows to deceive us into not trusting God.
However, faith – our trust in God’s love for us – is our shield to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
As we seek the Lord in His Word, our expectation of His loving faithfulness grows, and He delivers us from all our fears. Trusting God at His Word becomes our shield of faith, extinguishing all the flaming arrows aimed to paralyze us in fear. We will not be afraid of the arrow that flies by day!