Do we recognize that fear is the absence of faith? How do we handle our absence of faith?
20 His parents answered them and said, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 21 but how he now sees, we do not know; or who opened his eyes, we do not know. Ask him; he is of age, he will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed Him to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue. 23 For this reason his parents said, “ He is of age; ask him.”
As we continue to read the reaction of others to the healing of the blind man, we encounter the interaction between the parents of the blind man and the Pharisees, the “investigators” of this incident. The parents, obvious believers of Jesus’ healing and power, denied what they thought and believed of Him. They were afraid of being excommunicated from their synagogue. We see this happen later as Jesus is being tried as His Rock, Peter, denies Him 3 times in a row.
Now in this instance, they did not so much lie about Christ, but they avoided talking about Him altogether. How often do we do that? How often do we neglect speaking what is on our minds for fear of the reaction? I mean, I know there have been times that I didn’t speak up for merely what others might say or think. These folks were worried about their lives being disrupted. That seems like a legitimate reason, doesn’t it? My point here is not that they did something wrong, per se, but rather that they acted in fear.
We all act in fear. In fact, every single story in the bible talks about a fear of some sort. Why? Fear is the opposite of faith. It also becomes a story of God’s faithfulness despite our lack of faith. What is the first thing mentioned whenever an angel of God or even Jesus Himself at times appears before someone? “Do not be afraid.” We are a fear filled people! Why are we filled with fear? Because we lack faith.
It could be fear of losing our jobs, fear of losing a relationship, fear of not being good enough, fear of being alone or abandoned, the list is endless. I struggled for a long time with a fear of abandonment. Once I realized that God will never abandon me and that His promise of that is secured through the love of the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ, I have known that I have nothing to be afraid of in that area. A key verse that helped me through this is Hebrews 13:5-6 “5 Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “ I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” 6 so that we confidently say,“ The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?”
You see, God uses our fears to strengthen our faith. It is in the recognition of our fears that we are able to turn to Him and say, “God, I have this fear. I know you have given me Your Spirit of strength and power, not timidity (2 Timothy 1:7). Replace my fear with faith in You.”
What are you afraid of?