And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward” (Exod 14:13-15).
Where do you get faith amid doubt and unbelief?
In the last blog, I argued that if you focus on the problem, what you’ll get is even more fear and worry than before. So what’s the alternative?
Klemet Preus was a Lutheran pastor who wrote a series of letters to his unbelieving father who was dying.
“So, what happened? Why did you stop believing?”
“I prayed to God that He would strengthen my faith, and He just didn’t answer me,” was his instant reply.
“Lloyd, you went about it all wrong. You prayed for faith, but that is not where faith comes from. ‘Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ’ (Romans 10:17). If you wanted God to increase your faith, you should have listened to His Word.” I wasn’t so sure it was wise to correct Lloyd on his deathbed, but I felt I needed to point Lloyd to the promises of God, not his own prayerful strivings” (What They Need to Hear, p. 8).
I think Klemet’s conversation illustrates an important point. Where do you get faith?
How many people think that faith comes from praying really hard?
How many think it comes from sitting quietly in a forest or meditating in front of a candle? Is that where faith comes from—from the trees?
And do you think that faith comes from focusing on your problems?
No. As Klemet quoted, faith comes from the Word. But I should clarify, faith in God comes from the Word and not all faith is faith in God.
To believe is to be persuaded that a proposition is true. So where are you getting your propositions? Where will you get faith in God?
By turning on the TV and by reading a newspaper?
With all the rioting, looting, COVID, Hollywood pedophile rings, identity politics, calls to the defund the police, and threats of imminent societal collapse, don’t be surprised if listening to the media makes you even more fearful and paranoid than before! As someone who worked in the newspaper industry, I can tell you that “If it bleeds, it leads” is a standard operating procedure, because newspapers are businesses and the sensational sells. Unfortunately, the sensational often breeds fear, too.
So where do you get your faith in God? From the Word.
By putting the promises of God before your mind, you give yourself the chance to focus on something other than your problems. By studying those promises, you know them and understand them, and finally, believe them. And by definition, the more you believe, the more your faith grows.
No wonder when Israel was shaking at the knees out of fear of the approaching Egyptians, and as they began to turn upon Moses, God gave them a promise.
And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever” (Exod 14:13).
“Don’t be afraid because here’s a promise—God will save you, and the Egyptians will never bother you again.”
And as we know from this chapter, God kept His promise! He saved Israel and wiped out the Egyptians.
So here is another principle to combat worrying:
Principle 5: Instead of focusing on the problem, focus on God’s promises.
God’s promises promote faith instead of fear. If you are worrying about something, no matter what, there’s a promise for your situation, too. Of course, not every promise in the Bible is to you. For example, God has not promised to drown your enemies in the Red Sea! But many promises are to you, and part of being a good Bible student is identifying, studying, and applying those promises to your situation. And when you do that, you will find that fear, doubt, and worry have been replaced with faith.
As the Amish proverb says, “When fear is knocking at the door, send faith to answer.”