The Bible is not merely a book of facts. It has a purpose far more important than just communicating useful information. Accurate knowledge is essential, but serves no purpose if we do not act upon it.
This is an issue that every Christian must face. As we read the Bible, it challenges us. It reminds us of the reality of faith that is expected of us and inspires us to aim for the same quality of experience as its authors.
In John’s Gospel, Jesus exhorts His followers, “Do not let your hearts be troubled … You trust in God, trust also in me.”
Within these few short words, there is an ocean of spiritual power waiting to be unleashed in the heart of every believer who lacks confidence.
The first thing to notice is that fear and despair are volitional. We can choose from our perspective whether we will live a life handicapped by ‘what ifs’ or whether we will choose to confront our fears. Fortunately, we don’t even have to do this alone. Paul reminds Timothy that God has not given us a spirit of timidity; the whole crux of this passage we have taken a single verse from is the promise of God’s Holy Spirit sent to transform us into Christlikeness in our attitudes and actions.
Secondly, Jesus reminds them that they trust in God – harking back to the Psalms where the characteristics and benefits of the man who trusts in God are spelled out in the very first verses. But He doesn’t stop there.
Jesus challenges them to trust Him in precisely the same way – taking the authority of the Divine by claiming to be the visible mainfestation of the all-powerful, invisible Creator. In essence, he’s saying. “By trusting in me, I guarantee that you will experience the inner peace and steadfastness promised to those who trust God;” – something He can only back up with genuine results if He truly is who He claims to be.
This then is the Good News – that these guarantees are not empty words on paper, but promises that are fulfilled by the indwelling Holy Spirit – our personal guarantee that Jesus is Lord over all things.
If Jesus is Lord over all, then there is nothing left to fear.