No Fear

Wildflowers by Cracker Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana
Wildflowers by Cracker Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana

I was reading the psalms the other day and I ran across Psalm 112:

“Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever.  They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.  Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.” (Psalm 112:6-8)

Exploring the Monument Rocks, Kansas
Exploring the Monument Rocks, Kansas

The state where I live is currently in a state of crisis due to the pandemic.  Not only do most weeks bring more bad news, but some of the news is targeted against those who love the Lord and His ways.

A petrified log near the King of Wings, Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness, New Mexico
A petrified log near the King of Wings, Ah-Shi-Sle-Pah Wilderness, New Mexico

I’ve had to watch the people around me deal with the fear that comes with the news each day.  Every day it’s something new – new cases of the disease, new deaths of people whose music and talent you’ve enjoyed for years, new horrors (murder hornets, anyone?), new ways to fear catching COVID-19, new ways of persecuting those who love the Lord, new ways of honoring evil and calling it good.

But I’ve also had the privilege of watching some truly righteous people deal with the exact same situations.  When the first rumors started, they did not turn to fear.  Instead, they turned their hearts to the Lord and His strength and His word.

Cliffs on Goat Peak, Cabinet Mountains Wilderness, Montana

These people were not shaken by bad news.  Do they mourn the loss of loved ones?  Yes.  Do they pray for the sickness to end and for righteousness to prevail?  Of course.  Do they take precautions to stay healthy?  I’ve certainly seen them wearing masks and washing their hands.  But they are not afraid.  They know that God holds them and they trust Him more than fear what is around them.

Ice block at the bottom of Zapata Falls, Colorado

I wonder what we would look like if we trusted God like the people in the psalm – the ones who do not fear bad news, whose hearts are steadfast, and who trust in the Lord.  I wonder what our Facebook feeds would look like, what our conversations would sound like, what the thoughts in our minds would be if we truly trusted God like that.

Looking out of the caves on the Main Loop, Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico
Looking out of the caves on the Main Loop, Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico

Trust is active, not necessarily passive – you can be trusting God with all your heart and still show up at a rally against a law that promotes evil.  The difference is that trust invites perfect love, and perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).  The lack of trust invites fear of the evil that is coming because you have no hope that there is something – really Someone – that will take care of you and be with you even if the worst happens.

Red Rock Falls, Glacier National Park, Montana
Red Rock Falls, Glacier National Park, Montana

“In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.  No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame.  Who, then, are those who fear the Lord?  He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.  They will spend their days in prosperity, and their descendants will inherit the land.  The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.  My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.” (Psalm 25:1, 3; 13-15)