Tag Archives: panic

Faithless Panic


Sometimes at night, I’ll send my son to his room to get his pajamas. He’ll get to the stairs and say, “Are you watching me?” After he turns on the light, he goes up the stairs. He asks again then turns on the hallway light. I watch him as he walks across the balcony and gets to his room, but that when he stops. He peers into the dark room and asks, “Can you come with me?” I get frustrated and tell him to turn on the light, but his fear keeps him outside the door. I remind him that I’m watching him, but he wants me to come turn it on before he enters.

It can be a nightly thing sometimes. I try to explain to him that his fear is in his head and that he can just walk in. I remind him that there are other times when I’m going up the stairs behind him, and he runs into the dark room hiding in the darkness. It proves he has the ability to go in the dark room, but that doesn’t stop him from panicking during times when he’s just as secure. To silly from my perspective and also frustrating that he doesn’t get it.

I think that’s how Jesus felt when he was sleeping on a boat they were all on. A violent storm arose and the disciples panicked. They went to Jesus, woke Him up, and said, “Lord save us, we are going to die!” (AMP) Isn’t that how it usually goes. We let our fear of whatever cause us to panicky to the point we think we’re going to die, and we flip out. It’s often as silly and frustrating to God as my son’s irrational fear of taking two steps into his room to turn on the light.

In Matthew 8:26, Jesus woke up and said, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” I wonder how many times Jesus says that to us when we are in a panic, banging on Heaven’s doors with prayer. What often seems so big, daunting, and scary to us is so little to Him, and He wonders why we don’t trust Him more. Has He failed you before? Has He left you? No. He’s still in the boat with you. Have faith that whatever has you panicking right nows under His control. He’s watching you and won’t let you down. Have faith that He will be true to His promise to never leave you nor forsake you. Even if things don’t go the way you want, they go according to His plan and purpose got you. He sees the bigger picture. 

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Don’t Panic

  
It didn’t take long after David killed Goliath for Saul to despise David. He tried to kill him underhandedly over and over again by putting him in positions where the odds were against him. Each time David was outnumbered or up against the wall, God made David victorious. I Samuel 18:14 says, “David continued to succeed in everything he did, for the Lord was with him” (NLT). This only made Saul hate him worse.

Even though David was successful each time, it was still stressful for him. In Psalm 59:4, David cried out in prayer, “Wake up! See what’s happening and help me!” He was scared and felt like God was asleep and not even paying attention to his situation. He was afraid and unsure that God even knew what was happening to him. He prayed long and loud for God to deliver him.

I find it interesting that one writer says that God was with him and made him successful and David’s own words were, “Wake up, God!” I wonder how many times in my own life that God is with me and I don’t even realize it. Just because I’m going through a difficult  situation, it doesn’t mean that God is asleep or has abandoned me. It doesn’t mean that He’s not paying attention.

Instead, God uses these times to prepare us for greatness. The struggle is what gives us the character and strength to do what God is calling us to do. Just because we can’t see God’s hand in a situation or don’t feel His presence, it doesn’t mean He isn’t there with us. Whatever we are facing, God is there with us. We can change our prayer from, “God, where are you” to what David said in verse 9. “You are my strength; I wait for you to rescue me, for you, O God, are my fortress.” Even though David had moments of panic, he remembered where his strength and protection came from. We can do the same.

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Panic Prayer

Sometimes when I get into a situation that doesn’t look like anything like what God promised, I panic. I then pray and remind God what He told me. “God, you said that if I did this, then you would do that. So why am I in this situation? Where are you? Why aren’t you being true to your promise?” Have you ever prayed a panic prayer like that? You heard God, did what He said, and the results weren’t what you expected.

When that happens, we trend to freak out a bit. We hear God and then our imagination creates what the outcome should look like. When it doesn’t turn out that way, we ask God why He isn’t holding up His end of the bargain. We think our obedience should be rewarded. We even think our act of faith should be broadcast to all of creation, but we end up in a situation that requires more faith.

Jacob was in this same boat in Genesis 32. God told him to return to the land of his father Isaac. On the way, he sent servants to his brother, whom he had double crossed, to tell him that he was coming. The servants came back with the news that his brother was coming and that he had 400 men with him. Jacob’s mind went to work. He thought of the worst possible scenario. In verses 11 and 12 he prayed, “Save me, please, from the violence of my brother, my angry brother! I’m afraid he’ll come and attack us all, me, the mothers and the children. You yourself said, ‘I will treat you well; I’ll make your descendants like the sands of the sea, far too many to count’” (MSG).

He didn’t know if his brother was still angry 20 years later. He didn’t know if his brother was coming to kill all of them. He saw a small piece of the puzzle, made assumptions, panicked, and prayed. He’s not that different than we are. He saw a situation snd thought of the worst outcome. He didn’t trust God, so he reminded God of what He had said. I wonder how that makes God feel. I wonder if He does a face palm with some of our panic prayers and says, “Will you just trust me?”

It’s one thing to pray a promise of God so you can build your faith and another to use it to remind God in case He forgot. Jacobs situation wasn’t anything like what he had imagined. In fact, his brother was coming to bless him. The same is true of our situations. If God has promised you something, and you’ve acted in faith, don’t look at the circumstances. Trust God to do what He said He will do. There’s no need to panic pray. God keeps His promises and is true to His word.

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