The shape of our lives is directly influenced by 2 factors: fear and faith. They stand apart as polar opposites. They both seek to determine our worldview, which influences our choices.


At their core, fear and faith are about expectations. It is the internal calculation of the question, “What would happen if…” It revolves around the things yet unseen.

My own equation to understand fear is:

C + A + R + E = Level of Fear

Circumstances:
These are the situations and conditions that form our context. The external elements of our surroundings can help add to or ease our level of fear. If you are with an unsafe person, but are in a public space, there is a lessening of fear. Conversely, if you are with an unsafe person, but in a quiet street late at night, you will most likely have a high level of fear.

Ability:
Our ability is the level in which we are able to handle the circumstances surrounding us, and the circumstances potentially facing us. Using the same illustration for circumstances, if you were with an unsafe person late at night in a quiet street but was a master of Krav Maga and could disarm any person in the world proficiently, you would probably have no fear whatsoever.

Resources:
These are tangible and intangible assets available at any given moment. They can include finances, relationships, enthusiasm, creativity, and so forth. Our resources shift from time to time. For instance, let’s say you have a large sum of money in the bank and $10000 in your pocket. If you lose your wallet and all your ids, your access to those resources are currently cut off.

Experiences:
This is what we’ve been through. It’s the established patterns that lead to certain expectations. For example, if we get scratched by cats whenever we cross their paths, our experiences will form in us a level of fear whenever we see a cat. (This is not a personal story, just a hypothetical situation)

Our level of fear, according to this paradigm, is dictated by our assessment of what was and what is to extrapolate the potential of what will be. How we determine these things which shift and change, sometimes at a whim, will influence how much fear we feel.

When we make choice according to fear, our lives become an endless game of whack-a-mole. We try, sometimes successfully sometimes unsuccessfully, to control the potentials of fear by managing our circumstances, shoring up our abilities, gaining more resources, and seeking for consistency in our experiences. Even if we are able to control and manage all of this, there is always the potential for any one element of this equation to break free from our grip.


Ironically enough, faith follows the same equation.

C + A + R + E = Level of Faith

The difference between these two equations is the inclusion of God.

(C+G) + (A+G) + (R+G) + (E+G) = Level of Faith

When we look at our circumstances, we may find difficulties, trials, hardships, and mountains all around us. Yet, Paul prays in Ephesians 1 & 2 that our eyes will be opened to see that we are seated with Christ in heavely places. We may feel that we are in darkess, but Psalm 139 tells us that even darkness is light to God.

The inclusion of God in our understanding of our ability changes our confidence in what we are able to do. Paul says in Philippians 4, which is an exhortation to us, that he can do all things through Christ who strengthens him.

Likewise for resources. James 1 says that every good gift comes from God. Jesus tells us in Matthew that if we ask, we will receive, if we seek, we will find, and if we knock, the door will be opened. God’s desire, as taught by Jesus, is to pour out good things to us.

 

In terms of our experiences, we are given hope in God who redeems… who breaks the patterns of our experiences. It says in Psalm 30 that God turns our mourning to dancing and our sorrow to joys. Joel 2 gived us assurances that God can restore the wasted years. Revelation 21 gives us an image of God’s heart to make all things new. No matter what we have experinced, God can bring new things to pass.


If we want to live a life where we manage fear, it will require us to CARE. We have to care about every little detail. We have to care if things seem to deviate from our plans.

If we want to live a life where we live in faith, it will require us to see how much God cares. We have to trust that He is God who numbers the hairs on our heads. (Luke 12).

 


We have a choice. We can look at our circumstances, ability, resources, and experiences with the inclusion of God or apart from Him. We have a chocie to live according to the demands of fear or the freedom of faith. We are not ignorant of the realities of where we are at, what is available to us, or what we’ve been through… but we are also not ignorant of who God is, wht He’s done, and what He is abke to do.

God is inviting us to include Him in our equations, to make a choice, and to live by faith.

Published by Young Song