Devotions for the office “Fear” 4/4
On Friday 27th March 2020, our office shut its doors like many many others as a precaution against the spread of the Coronavirus that cause the disease covid-19. Many Many things to write about this whole experience, but I embarked on an experiment to live stream the week’s devotions, themed on “fear” for my team mates. Some were able to join, others were not. I was asked if I could share the text from the devotions. This is 4 of 4 originally shared on Tuesday 2nd April 2020.
Here we are, Day 4 of working from home – how did you all get on? It is getting really hot in our house. Ali managed to arrange for some meat to be delivered. Nice to know that will work! Our internet is only just holding up with all the people, we had to hold an internet planning meeting so that not everyone is trying to do a video call at the same time! We are having a compound coffee break each morning to sit outside in the shade and reflect together. It is nice. AND Nepa finally got restored to our place, which is super cool!!
The past couple days we’ve talked about faith & fear & lies & Resources & Robes & Rings and renewing our mind.
On Monday I talked about the relationship between faith and fear, On Tuesday I talked about the process of renewing our minds and believing truth instead of lies, yesterday we talked about fear in relation to resources.
If faith is the birthing point of hope and hope is the opposite of fear, the greater our understanding of who God is, the greater our faith. The greater our faith, the greater our hope. The greater our hope, the less our fear.
Faith can be built in many different ways, and today I want to dig into the idea of Trust. The idea that trust is also part of our faith journey, a part that helps us to counter fear.
As Christians we claim to trust God. Have you met a Christian that didn’t claim to trust God? But do we REALLY trust God? Trust and Faith go hand in hand. It is a symbiotic relationship, one can’t exist without the other, what happens to one has an impact on the other (for better or worse). As our faith grows, our ability to trust God also grows, and as we make choices to trust God, so our faith grows. Trust is a choice we make. We make that choice based on loads of different factors, what we know, information, previous experiences, what other people have told us, what we read. It all impacts our decision to trust or not. If we think back to our psychology lesson from this week, (Believe, Think, Behave, Feel) where does ‘trust’ live? Is it a feeling? Is it a behaviour or a thinking or a believing? I think that it belongs in the ‘Believe’ category.
Here is why.
On the -ve side of things, if you do not trust someone you believe that they don’t have the best intentions. It shapes how you think about them and changes you behaviour around them, and can made you feel somehow, maybe uncomfortable or cautious.
On the +ve side of things, if you trust someone, you believe they have good intentions and it also shapes how you think about them, and changes how you behave around them and how you feel, happy and safe.
Wind in the trees
If we believe God is trust worthy, if we make the choice to trust him, it will reduce our fear. BUT, we need to have faith in order to trust God. Faith is evidence of things unseen, you can’t see the wind. You CAN see the effects of the wind but you cannot see the wind, there is a mystery to it. Faith’s evidence is our stepping out into the unknown, to trust God that it will be okay. If faith develops trust and trust reduces fear, what does the Bible say about developing our faith?
Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing the word of God. It is because hearing words does something different in our brain than simply seeing the words and reading them in our own heads. It is important for us to be hearing scripture. I would go one step further than that and say it is even MORE effective if we ourselves read it out loud because we are utilising multiple functions and senses in our body.
Everyone is unique and how we do things and what works for us is unique but if I am trying go memorise something I have to repeat it out loud over and over again. If I am trying to learn lyrics to a song, I HAVE to find the correct lyrics, and sing them out in order to remember them. It takes repetition and practice to get them into my brain. I easily forget the lyrics to songs I haven’t sung in a while, even ones that I have written! It isn’t even enough for me to simply hear the song, I have to try and sing it myself. For others they can repeat back having just heard it – bless them, I’m not like that! For me, and maybe for you, I think the same is true of scripture. To get it into our systems, into ourselves, in order to grow our faith and our ability to trust God, we need to read it out loud and repeat it and, oh by the way, that is part of renewing our minds. 🙂
We say we trust God, but I think sometimes our behaviour betrays us. What would it look like if we really trusted God? How would we think differently? How would we behave differently? How would we feel differently? We have to take that step of faith and choose to trust him to discover that he is trustworthy.
This may or may not surprise you, but the Bible has a lot to say about trust! Some verses are encouraging us to trust God. Some help us understand the consequences of trusting God. https://dailyverses.net/trust
So today’s exercise – grab your paper and pen, is to ask God to reveal to you by His Spirit, one way that you have not been trusting him. Then, do some research and ask a friend for help if you want and find some scriptures that remind you that he is trust worthy.