Do not fear, but trust

Instinct for self-preservation is the strongest one. Fear is unavoidable. The aphorisms of the ancient Holy Fathers came to my mind when I thought about it. A disciple asked a monk: “Why do I fear when I’m crossing the desert at night?” “Because you are still alive” – answered the monk. By this answer the monk make the disciple understand, that he is still a part of this material world and has not experienced death in Christ. It is still ahead. Natural biological laws can still influence  him. On the other hand, we can interpret this expression literally: while we are alive, fear is an inalienable part of our nature. It is a natural psychological reaction.

But how can we overcome it? Only faith can answer this question. The meaning of the word “faith” is “trust” if you translate it from the Greek language. And there is a sentence in the Old Testament in which it is said, that perfect love casteth out fear: Because fear hath torment (1 John, 4:18). Faith and trust caused by the love to God are those things, which change us and can make us better. When we come to God and live in Christ, then we get a completely different type of genesis.

Christos Yannaras, a present-day Greek scholar, gives an example from Gospel (Matthew, 14: 25-32), in which the disciples were sitting in the boat at night and saw Christ was going towards them on the sea. They thought it was a spirit and cried out for fear. But the Lord said them: “Be not afraid. It is I”. Then Apostle Peter said his master: “Lord, command me to come to you on the water”. Christ answered: “Come. It is an appeal addressed to all of us. “Trust Me, and come to Me no matter what, because it is Me who commands and calls you”. We can find this “come” in each His commandment and word. In Gospel it is said, that the Apostle got out from the boat and went on the sea, prevailing over any natural laws. But because of the strong wind, waves and storm, Peter was scared and began to sink. But God took his hand and they got in the boat.

It is important to understand, that while Peter was looking at Christ he fully trusted Him. But when he looked back, he thought about himself and was scared of what he saw, then he began to sink.

We can also trust the Lord, but this does not mean we will manage to cope with our nature. God does not ask us to go on the water, He said this Apostle Peter. He says in his commandments: “Accept Me, trust Me and come to Me”. Then there will be nothing impossible for the believer. Then it is possible to overcome not only fear, but even death.

We need to understand, Who says this, Who calls us. It is the true person, but it is the true God as well. God, Who showed us love and all its fullness. His will is not something imposed from the outside, but it is our inner law of life. At the same time a sin is not just a violation of instructions, but it is a violation of the law of life. And that is why it is the way of death.

To live in trust – this is the only possible way to prevail over fear. And God says it in Gospel: “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Matthew, 10:30). “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?” (Matthew, 8:26) – this question is addressed to all of us. 

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