Sunday, June 7, 2009


Dcn Dale Matson
Fear may be seen as a kind of negative faith. If faith is the substance of things hoped for (Hebrews 11:1), then fear is the substance of things not hoped for. Job exclaimed, “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me” (Job 3:25). Job was a righteous man but he was not a man of faith initially. For many fear is the anticipation that something ill may befall them and the best course of action in life is to avoid taking risks. The problem with this is that many folks have had to settle for second best on many occasions in their life. Fear has put up obstacles in the path of life and those folks have steered a course around those obstacles. How many times have you said, “I’m not interested in doing that.”, when if you were honest, you were really afraid to do something? Maybe there has been a desire to change careers, have children or for some even leave the house. We can be in bondage to our fears. Fear is not of God. “God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
I had a fear of flying that developed over time and kept me out of airplanes for twenty five years. I lived in Wisconsin and had an opportunity to interview for a teaching position at Fresno Pacific University. I needed to fly to make it happen. It would have been logistically impossible to interview any other way. With God’s help, I was able to face that fear and the rest is history. Since that time I have flown all over the world. I’m still not that comfortable on a plane but fear no longer keeps me grounded. So, how does one deal with this fear that can cause us to avoid a path that would help us to grow as individuals?
My mentor at F.P.U. was Dr. Bob Wilson. He was a fearless man and I remain envious of this quality in him. For years I believed that he was fearless because he had made peace with God following a diagnosis of a deadly form of Cancer. He had said to God, “Thy will be done.” He lived twelve years after his diagnosis. Over time I have come to understand better his fearlessness. Bob genuinely loved everyone and our Lord. It was not so much the passing through the dark night of the soul of the Cancer diagnosis; it was because he was a man with love in his heart. The most poignant Scripture passage for me in dealing with fear has always been 1st John 4:18. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear hath torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love.” We do not pray to not be afraid. We do not pray to be fearless. We pray that God would grow in us the fruit of love.


Anonymous said...

A good word for me as I've been hesitating to arrange a planned flight to Chicago for this very reason! Dying itself doesn't necessarily intimidate me, it's dying by plane that does!

Dale Matson said...

Would you be afraid to fly if you were the pilot?