Pastor's Page

From the Pastor's Desk

April 2020

 

 

Worried or Afraid

“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?”

Psalm 8:3-4

While in high school, I had to go to the doctor to get a sports physical. During my physical the doctor went over all the standard questions. For example, Do you smoke? Do you drink? etc. Then he asked me, “Have you ever dealt with depression?” Truthfully, I told him no. But I didn’t stop there. In an attempt to express my faith, I continued by qualifying my answer by saying, “Because I’m a Christian.”

See, according to my mind at that time, Christians don’t deal with depression. After all, that would indicate a lack of faith in God. Right?

Of course, I understand better now. I understand that both Christians and unbelievers deal with depression and anxiety at times. Sometimes they even require medical interventions to help them cope. However, at the time I made this blunder, I had connected depression with unbelief.

Thankfully though, through studying God’s Word and hearing the testimony of other believers I’ve come to realize that I was wrong. Being a Christian doesn’t mean you won’t ever deal with something like depression. Rather, what it does mean is that you’ll do what you can to find help, and that includes seeking the Lord.

Now, I say all that, because we’re currently dealing with a worldwide pandemic and, although depression may not be any more common among us, the emotions of fear and worry may be. In other words, you may right now feel a little scared or worried about your life, about the life of others, about the future, about when this whole ordeal will finally come to end, etc. However, due to the fact that you’re a Christian, you may think you need to suppress those feelings or ignore their presence.

Now, why would we do that? Why suppress or ignore those emotions of worry or fear? Could it be because we’ve told ourselves that to worry or be afraid is a sign of unbelief? That is, could it be that we’ve done with worry and fear what I once did with depression? In other words, are we tempted to connect worry and fear with unbelief? So, if I find myself experiencing those emotions, it must mean I’m not really a Christian or maybe not a very good Christian.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve read in articles or Facebook posts statements by Christians to the effect of, “Christians aren’t to be afraid or worried in times like these.” Now, I don’t think this is the intention, but these sorts of statements can make it sound as though being a Christian exempts one from fear or worry.

But here’s a question to consider: what if I am trusting in Jesus and I’m still a little afraid at times? What if I am trusting in Jesus and I’m still experiencing worry in the back of my mind? Do these emotions indicate that I’m not a very good Christian or maybe not a Christian at all? After all, the Bible tells me not to be afraid and not to worry. So, what does this mean? Does it mean I should just suppress those emotions or act like they don’t exist? Is that what Christians do? Should I just puff out my chest and act like I’m okay, you’re okay, the world’s okay, it’s all going to be okay? Is that what Christians do?

I would suggest that’s not what Christians do. See, the mark of being a Christian isn’t that you don’t ever experience worry or fear. Nor is the mark of being a Christian that you suppress or ignore those things. Rather, the mark of being a Christian is that when you’re worried and when you’re afraid you know what to do, you know where to go, and you know the truth that supersedes your worries and fears; that causes them to ultimately melt away.

You know that you can cast your burdens on Jesus; knowing that He cares for you. You know that He is mindful of you and cares about you as a shepherd cares for His sheep; as a loving father cares for his beloved child. You know that Christ died for you, Christ rose for you, Christ is coming again for you, and Christ is right now with you. And, in light of those things, your fear and worries can begin to melt away. In other words, you haven’t ignored or excused the worry or fear. Rather, what you have done is you’ve dealt with these things in a very Biblical and Christian way. 3 From the Pastor’s Desk – cont.

So, the next time worry or fear rear their ugly head, don’t suppress these emotions or ignore them as something that’s beneath you or contradictory for you as a Christian. Rather, do what a true Christian does with them, cast your worries and your fears on Jesus and look to the truth of the cross. Deposit your worries and fear there and go in the strength and courage of Christ. For “He will strengthen you and help you and cause you to stand, upheld by His righteous omnipotent hand” (How Firm a Foundation).

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

Psalm 23

Pastor Gideon

Watch past Sunday morning Services here - (click this link)

 

 
  April 2020  
SMTWTFS
   1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  
     
Bible Search
Contents © 2020 Emmanuel Lutheran Church - Aspelund • Church Website Builder by mychurchwebsite.netPrivacy Policy