God’s Peace Vs. Fear
Jamie TenNapel Tyrone was faced with devastating news. Based on a genetic test, she had a 91% chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease—the disease that had robbed the lives of several members of her family. Fear. That’s a big part of facing a circumstance like Alzheimer’s disease. Fear of getting it, fear of what it will do to you, fear of having to care for someone with it. These are all well-founded fears in light of a disease that can’t be cured, prevented, and at the moment, not even slowed down.
On hearing this news, Jamie was flooded with emotions and images of those in her family that had suffered with AD. It was traumatizing to think it would be just a matter of time before those images became her reality. She even contemplated suicide as she faced what seemed like a death sentence. As a nurse, she dug deep to find her calm, rational side, but when she was alone with her thoughts she was terrified.
Jamie is a believer in Jesus. As she considered her faith, she realized that suicide was not an option. The preservation of life, body and soul, was not something discretionary. We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has given us. God has a purpose for every life, and Jamie knew that God held the answer to that purpose.
As the initial shock of the news subsided, and as she sought the Lord, researched AD, and found support from family, friends and the medical community, Jamie began to experience God’s peace, comfort and purpose. That nurse she had been in her younger years, who had never stepped away from a challenge and had persevered in difficult circumstances before, began to emerge. The fear that attempted to shadow her mind, had to be confronted.
Fear that paralyzes has to be battled in the mind. Keeping your mind on what God would have you do, and trusting Him to use your unique experiences and skills is where His peace defeats fear. Isaiah 26:3–4 characterizes the Lord as the source of peace, as completely trustworthy, and as “the Rock eternal.” God’s peace is based on who He is and on His desire to personally bring you peace and offer you a safe place to learn to trust Him. He will give you the strength to battle fear, and a sense of purpose that can bring you hope, no matter what challenges you face.
What fears do you battle the most? How do you respond when battling fear?
What role does faith in God play in how you look at your circumstances?
Have you experienced peace from God in the past? How did that peace change your perspective on your circumstances?