"The What Times"
Feelings of fear, while discomfiting, nevertheless provide blessed opportunity for "the faith which worketh by love" (Galatians 5:6).
When we feel ourselves or people about whom we care to be in jeopardy, the path to the Throne of grace shines with the possibility of loving God by trusting Him. "What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee" declared the Psalmist regarding opportunities made possible by temptations to fear (Psalm 56:3). The "What times" cause us to realize our need for personally and prayerfully relating to our Heavenly Father, as led by the Holy Spirit and made possible by our access through the Lord Jesus Christ. Be it a minor concern or a significant cause for alarm, feelings of trepidation can become rich blessings if we see them as God's callings to come to Him for wisdom, enabling, and the peace of heart that leads those who trust the Lord Jesus through the challenges of life. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee" (Isaiah 26:3).
Note also the Apostle Paul's correlation of faith and love. God devotedly works in our hearts in times of threat, beckoning us to Himself for His loving care and provision. As we seek Him, we love Him in devoted response whereby we please our Lord as we trust Him. We must view anything that offers such a possibility in positive terms, even as Paul declared, "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong" (II Corinthians 12:10). Paul knew that trouble gives opportunity to avail ourselves of God's strength, and again, he also knew that seeking his Lord in trouble constitutes an act of love for God that tranquil times do not offer.
The "What times" of temptation to fear are not easy. We rightly look forward to eternal rest from such challenge. However, we presently face those times in the realization of the opportunity they provide to love God by trusting Him. When trouble looms and we feel the feeling of being threatened, a possibility shines through the dark horizon. Through Christ, we can overcome our natural inclinations, trust our Heavenly Father, and thereby love Him. Again, "faith worketh by love." Faith and love are inextricably bound in the hearts of believers, the former serving as a tangible expression of devotion to God, and the latter revealing His gracious working in our hearts and our loving response.
"I will love Thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust."
Weekly Memory Verse
"When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek."