God Doesn't Want You to Be Afraid
Why we should trust instead of worry during chaotic times
I understand the reasons people might feel anxiety these days. There are many things happening in the world today that seem concerning. Nations are at war or on the brink of it. The COVID-19 pandemic is raging in India and other parts of the world. Tech companies and billionaires are experimenting with artificial intelligence and brain-computer interfaces. Church membership is declining and global persecution of Christians is increasing.
But I don’t want you to be afraid. In fact, God doesn’t want you to be afraid.
When it comes to worry, anxiety and fear—which are all forms of the same emotion, just experienced on different levels—Scripture commands us to avoid them. The Bible says don’t worry, don’t be anxious, and don’t be afraid.
God would never command us to do something if it weren’t possible for us to do it. He wants our lives to be free from worry, anxiety and fear because these emotions distract us from Him. They rob us of our families. They steal our joy. And these emotions only exist because we allow them to exist.
He wants us to be informed
That’s one reason, of course, I write these articles about the end times and the events in our world that represent fulfillment of Bible prophecy. God gave us these prophecies not to cause us anxiety but to comfort us. He doesn’t want us to be fearful or confused. He wants us to be informed.
Through a proper understanding of these passages, we lose all fear and dread of the end and can instead look forward to it. We can face the future with courage and certainty. But those who don’t understand these passages may very well give in to fear.
One Scripture that has been on my mind lately is Psalm 11, which is about our faith in the Lord. Here’s the passage. Don’t just skip past it to get to my commentary about it. This is God’s Word and I want you to really read it:
In the Lord I put my trust;
How can you say to my soul,
“Flee as a bird to your mountain”?
2 For look! The wicked bend their bow,
They make ready their arrow on the string,
That they may shoot secretly at the upright in heart.
3 If the foundations are destroyed,
What can the righteous do?
4 The Lord is in His holy temple,
The Lord’s throne is in heaven;
His eyes behold,
His eyelids test the sons of men.
5 The Lord tests the righteous,
But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates.
6 Upon the wicked He will rain coals;
Fire and brimstone and a burning wind
Shall be the portion of their cup.
7 For the Lord is righteous,
He loves righteousness;
His countenance beholds the upright.
Should we fear or should we trust?
More than anything else, this psalm written by King David tells us that God is in control. Those are David’s first words: “In the Lord I put my trust.”
He is responding to the worries of people around him. He may have heard talk of people fleeing to the mountains—people trying to escape the world. People were at war (“the wicked bend their bow”). They had been persecuting the righteous (“they may shoot secretly at the upright”). Society felt like it was collapsing (“the foundations are destroyed”).
David himself had experienced this violence. Most Bible scholars think this psalm may have been written by David when he was in the court of Saul. It’s possible David might have even been referring to Saul’s murder of priests, women and children at Nob, as described in 1 Samuel 22.
Regardless of the situation, under the unrighteous leadership of King Saul, the foundations of Israel’s government were being ravaged. David opposed Saul’s wickedness and was quickly becoming the focus of the king’s hostility. David probably saw injustice everywhere, and may have been referring to enemies who literally were trying to kill him.
That’s probably why his friends and advisors were telling him to flee into the mountains. They thought he should go into hiding or try to escape the situation.
But David didn’t listen to them. Despite the surrounding chaos, David comforted himself with the reminder that the Lord was in His temple. God was not absent. He was paying attention to the events of the world. He had his eyes on the righteous and He even had plans to punish the unrighteous.
In fact, that punishment feels pretty apocalyptic:
Upon the wicked He will rain coals;
Fire and brimstone and a burning wind
Shall be the portion of their cup.—Psalm 11:6
“Why are you telling me to flee or worry about the wicked?” David seems to be saying to those who are panicking. “I trust God. He is in charge. He is still on His throne and He is in control.”
Turn your worries into prayers
Yes, the world may feel turbulent. That’s because we are closer to the Rapture and the events of the end times than ever before.
If fear and anxiety are the kinds of thoughts God tells us to avoid, then we have to consider those thoughts to be agents of the enemy. They have been planted in our lives by the devil.
Personally, I have faced worry and fear in my life. I went through intense seasons of anxiety early in my career as a pastor. Fear began to overwhelm me and impact my ministry. I only overcame those thoughts by treating them like my enemies. With God’s help, I learned to turn those thoughts into prayers until I found victory.
That’s the secret: Transform your worry list into a prayer list! In fact, this is exactly what the Apostle Paul advises us to do in his letter to the Philippians.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.—Philippians 4:6-7
Are you anxious? Then you should be praying. That’s how you will find peace.
Many of us go through the world like we are orphans who have been abandoned and have to take care of our problems. But we are not orphans. We are the children of a loving Father. Our Father is in control—not only of our world, but of the entire universe. He is the solution to every problem and He is the comfort to each of our worries. He has promised to take care of us.
We don’t need to flee like birds, startled by evil and fluttering away to a safe place. The tumultuous events of our times do not sneak up on us. God gave us the prophecies of the Bible so we will be prepared for these events—and prepared for the return of Jesus. We may not know the exact day or the hour, but we know the seasons. We can see the signs of the times.
And when Jesus does return, we can lift our heads and our hearts toward Him, without fear.
In the Lord we put our trust, for the Lord is righteous. “His countenance beholds the upright.” He sees us. He knows. He controls all things.
And most importantly, He loves us.