Thursday, December 9, 2010

Faith and Fear Cannot Coexist.

“…verily I say unto you there were fears in your hearts, and verily this is the reason that ye did not receive.” (D&C 67:3)  As I read this scripture, I wondered why it was so important to get rid of fear before going to the Lord for guidance.  I brought this question up to a friend, who said that the reason we don’t need fear is because the Lord is going to give us exactly what we need.  Even if it is not what we WANT, it will be what we NEED at that point in life. 

Even though I know that the Lord has helped me before in life, there are times where I am hesitant to go to the Lord for help, because I am either scared to ask for help, scared of the answer He will give me, or because I do not feel like I am worthy to go to the Lord and request His help. 

President Gordon B. Hinckley, in a talk entitled “God Hath Not Given Us the Spirit of Fear”, states, “Who among us can say that he or she has not felt fear? I know of no one who has been entirely spared. Some, of course, experience fear to a greater degree than do others. Some are able to rise above it quickly, but others are trapped and pulled down by it and even driven to defeat. We suffer from the fear of ridicule, the fear of failure, the fear of loneliness, the fear of ignorance. Some fear the present, some the future. Some carry the burden of sin and would give almost anything to unshackle themselves from those burdens but fear to change their lives. Let us recognize that fear comes not of God, but rather that this gnawing, destructive element comes from the adversary of truth and righteousness. Fear is the antithesis of faith. It is corrosive in its effects, even deadly.  ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.’ We have nothing to fear when we walk by the light of eternal truth.  How great and magnificent is the power of love to overcome fear and doubt, worry and discouragement.” 

The fear that we feel does not come from the Lord, but rather from Satan.  Satan wants us to feel discouraged, to feel unworthy, and to feel like we cannot go to the Lord for help. This is because he knows that, the closer we are to the Lord, the greater chance we have of returning to live with Him in the next life.  The Adversary does not want us to be happy, and he does not want us to have the Lord’s spirit in our lives.  He wants to make us as miserable as he is.  Elder Russell H. Bishop, in a talk entitled “Turning Fear into Faith”, states, “Each time you feel hesitancy in yourself, each time you recognize fear, you have recognized the presence of evil.  In the instant that you recognize fear, turn from it by turning to the Lord in prayer. This doesn’t mean that you’re ignoring the fear; it means that you’re treating it exactly as fear should be treated—by turning it over to the Lord, who has the power to change our feelings and to give us his Holy Spirit.”  Every time those fears and doubts arise in our minds, we should go to the Lord; more so than when we don’t have those thoughts.  The more those thoughts and feelings come into our minds and we dwell on them, the more detrimental.  Fear does not allow faith to grow and mature.  “Faith and fear cannot coexist.”  If we truly want to have faith in the Lord, we need to let go of those fears that are holding us back from seeking His help in our lives.  We need to make the conscious choice to go to the Lord at all times, and lean on Him when we need help.  “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)  The Lord wants to help us.  One of His main concerns is helping us in this life to make our way back to Him.  If we can remember that in our everyday lives, and go to Him, nothing will hold us back from the blessings He has promised us.

Elder Richard C. Edgley stated, “Choose faith over doubt, choose faith over fear, choose faith over the unknown and the unseen, and choose faith over pessimism.”  So that is what I will do.  I will choose to have faith in the Lord and remember that all He does is for my benefit.  He is not the one that wants me lost in this life, or the one who wants me to think that I need to go through all things alone.  I cannot allow my natural human nature to take over what my spirit is trying to tell me. 

Yes, I may struggle with this for the reminder of my life, but the fact of the matter is that I am choosing to fix it now.  I am choosing to make a change in my life, and allow my trust and my life to be in the hands of my Heavenly Father.  He knows more than I do what I need, and I just need to know that He will direct me to things that are for my good, whether I see that or not.  “…inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me… you shall see me and know that I am—not with the carnal neither natural mind, but with the spiritual.” (D&C 67:10)  I am choosing faith over fear, and will attempt to get rid of the fears that plague my life.  In so doing, I hope to gain a better relationship with God and Jesus Christ, and gain a stronger testimony and understanding of the plan that they have for me.

No comments: