Defeating Fear

The account of Jesus accompanying Jairos to heal his daughter reminds us of an important life principle. When messengers from Jairos’ home came to inform him that his daughter had died, Jesus told him not to be afraid. Literally, Jesus told him to stop being afraid, and believe or have faith. Jairos was to have faith in Jesus and what Jesus was about to do.

Jesus’ instruction to Jairos reminds us that there are two parts to overcome fear, stop being afraid and believe. 1 John says that perfect love drives out fear. Jesus told the father not to fear, but to believe. A firm faith in Jesus will overcome fear, because it opens us up to acknowledging God’s love for us. 1 John tells us that those who fear have not fully understood God’s love for them. What we tend to do is put faith in our ability to understand and solve a fear inducing situation. Sometimes that works and we do solve the situation and defeat fear. There are other situations that are beyond our ability to understand, so that our fear persists usually in the form of worry. However, Jesus tells us to be like children. Children understand very little and accept that they cannot change their situations, but they do trust in those who love them and believe it when they are told it will be all right. Their trust results in their fear subsiding. This is how Jesus tells his followers to live. We must unlearn this tendency to trust ourselves, our abilities to understand and problem solve and learn to seek help from Jesus. As we trust in Jesus and his love for us, the reasons for fear and worry melt away. In other words, the worrisome situation is not really the problem, but how we respond to it. The problem that tempts us to fear is actually an opportunity to grow in our trust in Jesus and then see his solution unfold.

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