“When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.”
Is fear the opposite of trust? I used to think so, but I am now less inclined to believe it.
Daniel was a young teenager when Babylonian invaders captured him, his three friends, and many others and took them to live in Babylon, exiled from their homeland. They were the best and brightest of the young men of Israel, and now they were slaves in a foreign country. Some believe Daniel could have been as young as 15 years old when this happened. He was human. He had to be afraid even if only a little bit.
Then 66 years later he is thrown into the lions’ den for disobeying the injunction to pray to King Darius and no one else. From all biblical accounts, Daniel was a strong and faithful man who refused to be swayed from his convictions no matter what the consequences. I am sure Daniel trusted God’s plan for his life, but I also believe that he had to be just a little bit fearful of those sharp teeth biting into his flesh. Was the lions’ den God’s will for Daniel? Yes. Was he afraid? How could he not be?
C.S. Lewis once said, “We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.” Yes, I trust Him and His plan for me, but I am weak and afraid. It’s the same dilemma which caused the man with the son tortured by a demonic spirit to say to Jesus, “Lord, I do believe; help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)
Unbelief is the opposite of trust. Fear is not the opposite of trust unless it is an all-consuming fear which leads to unbelief. We must acknowledge it and trust God’s sovereignty over every situation in our lives. We must not be ruled by our fear. When we are afraid, we must trust in Him. Trust Him in the fear. Trust Him in spite of the fear.
“Lord, I am frail and weak in faith. Thank You for being mighty and faithful and so very loving. Cover me with Your grace. Give me strength. I love You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”