Turning Fear Into Faith
By Ken Stevens
That ugly and omnipresent thorn called worry! Since it's a chronic,
recurrent condition, it's been called the "Worry Disease." I think worry must be Satan's
best weapon against man. Our minds are incessantly preoccupied with our daily cares. During
peace-filled, "quiet time" moments of prayer and reflection we confidently profess our
faith to God and feel His peace. Yet, this is so often immediately forgotten, preempted by
the next worrisome preoccupation. At time, it's maddening! Too often our "old nature"
chooses to worry rather than to trust God. Worry is a sin because we aren't taking God at
Virtually everyone is stressed out today. We fear various problems and
what they may do to us. For example, I have worked in pharmaceutical marketing and medical
communications for 30+ years and have witnessed incredible changes in the healthcare
landscape. I laugh out loud when I remember how in the past I used to complain about
various working conditions. However, they were minimal compared to today's constant stream
of pressures. Now there are insecurities about the marketplace, the unrelenting ferocity of
managed care, stressed-out clients willing to change their ad agency "on a whim," and the
constant barrage of economic and socio-political uncertainties. It seems every industry,
both private and government, is beleaguered by economic crises today.
I guess crying in my beard (?) is both selfish and narrow-minded.
Whether we live or have lived in affluence or in abject poverty, we will always have fears
and anxieties. Let's face it; we live in a fallen world. We have to deal with it, and
there's only one way do that: constantly pause and know that God is in control.
When I'm having dark days and am beset by challenges of all sorts, I
put my distress in God's hands and really trust, really believe. He always
delivers, and the more I trust, the less my discomfort, and the better the outcome.
Besides entreating the Lord, I must also thank Him. Since the human
race is innately selfish, our conversation with God is often a big, one-sided "all about
me." But when we balance our requests with heartfelt thanksgiving, i.e., when it becomes
an integral part of our lives, giving thanks can only diminish our despair and contribute
to inner peace and real joy. It's so easy to avow faith and to rationalize it. But faith
in action, which means practicing our faith day by day, moment by moment, is the hard
Let's face it. Every day is a life challenge to varying degrees. The
storms we face-personal, social, work-related, spiritual, or financial-will always be
there. In order to put things into the proper perspective, there are several actions we
1. Start every day with a thanksgiving prayer. One of my favorites was
written by Fr. Thomas Hopko:
We praise You, Lord Jesus for showing us how to live day by day
without fear, serving obediently, always entrusting our lives into Your care. And we thank
you Lord Jesus for showing us how to die, how to gain the victory, how to attain the crown
of life by commending our souls into the Father's hands.
2. Repeat the Jesus Prayer ("Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy
on me a sinner") for focus.
3. Recite short Bible verses. These can also help to assuage the
anxieties of life whenever those inevitable afflictions rear their ugly heads. Meaningful
verses like the following can really lift the weight of our woes:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication,
with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God which
surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians
Be still and know that I am God (Psalms 46:10).
Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not upon your own
understanding (Proverbs 3:5).
There is no formula, no antibiotic, no magic elixir for eradicating
worry and fear. It's a matter of developing childlike faith, a conscious effort to trust
in God. If and when He is willing, that burden will become lighter as we grow in His
wisdom and grace.
Bottom line: There can be peace in our hearts only when we turn
to the One, True Source of peace, Jesus Christ. As He affirmed, "[My] peace I leave with
you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give you. Let not your heart be
troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).
Every day requires a reaffirmation of faith. If we seek God and His
values, God will provide for us in wonderful ways we can never imagine. To know the
pardon, joy, peace and power that come through Christ, we must personally receive Him by
faith. And if our hearts are to change, our faith must be real.
May God shower the St. Luke community with strong and relentless faith
and the firm desire to give perpetual thanks.