Facing The Future Without Fear!
Psalm 27:1-3, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.”
Never before in my lifetime have I witnessed such fear and fear-mongering as we are now being exposed to, embracing and expressing. Whether through social media or news outlets, information and misinformation – has spread more quickly than the COVID-19 virus itself.
Someone well said if the main risk of coronavirus is contagion, the second risk, which is more present, is the virus of fear.
What is it that has caused millions of people to go running to empty the shelves in stores of so many items – especially of toilet paper? FEAR! When we see on television, masses of people rushing to stockpile food, water, masks, hand sanitizer, isopropyl alcohol, etc., fear rises up and causes us to believe that we will be the only ones who will go without.
Fear sells! Anytime there is a story that causes fear, uncertainty and doubt, the media capitalizes on it. From terrorism, to the economy struggling, the minute most news organizations recognize an opportunity, they jump on it and transform a minor concern into mass panic. And the COVID-19 virus is certainly no exception.
In mid-April, leftists HBO host, Bill Maher, called on the news media to calm down and give a proper perspective to their coverage of COVID-19:
"Now that we’re starting to see some hope in all this, don’t hope-shame me," the "Real Time" host said. "You know, the problem with nonstop gloom and doom is it gives Trump the chance to play the optimist, and optimists tend to win American elections."
"So, look, if this insanity happens again, news sources have to rein it in. Everyone knows Corona is no walk in the park. Because you literally can’t walk in the park. But at some point, the daily drumbeat of depression and terror veers into panic porn," he added. "Enough with the 'life will never be the same' headlines. ... Everything looks scary when you magnified it a thousand times."
"Giving the proper perspective isn’t a cover-up of the truth. It is the truth... We need the news to calm down and treat us like adults... Trump calls you fake news. Don’t make him be right."
False fear, or genuine fear exponentially elevated, is a faith transplant. It focuses on the apparent and mistakes it for the actual. It grips the heart and controls the mind. As such, it’s a form of idolatry. How so? What is an idol? An idol is anything that controls you other than the true Lord God in Heaven. In the Old Testament an idol wasn't just something the people worshipped but something they feared. An idol is anything that you have to check with before obeying God. The Apostle Paul reveals that unnatural, ungodly fear is a spirit. When the spirit of fear controls your life, then you are under the lordship of an idol.
Whatever exercises the most control over you and exacts the most commitment from you is your god or gods. Dudley Hall said, "If we have another god, we will fear him.”
What you fear the greatest determines the object of your faith. In Numbers 13:31-33, ten of the twelve spies that scouted out the Promised Land saw the giants inhabiting portions of the land and feared them more than God. These ten Israeli spies made wrong comparisons – giants versus us – instead of giants versus God! In contrast, two of the spies saw giants also, but from the perspective of a true faith that feared God more than them. Joshua and Caleb, in their Minority Report challenged the fearful: “Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them” (Numbers 14:9).
Why are we so fearful as a people? Because we have so little fear of God. Fear of God is at an all time low in every type of house