Fear of the Unknown

By Chip Ingram

Some years ago after a routine doctor’s visit my wife got the call you never want to receive. Something had shown up and more tests were required. I was gripped by fear – afraid of the unknown. All of our children were living at home at the time, and my mind went into overdrive, imagining every possible scenario – most of them “worst case.” I was afraid that God would fail me. I was afraid that God would abandon me.  I was afraid that God wouldn’t do what I wanted Him to do.

There I was, pursuing ministry and telling people about trusting Jesus with every aspect of their lives, and God tested ME. He called on me to step up to the plate and meet him, head on, in the midst of some of the deepest fear I’d ever experienced. Ultimately, this particular situation turned out ok. We were blessed to learn that Theresa’s tests came back just fine, but the experience had a profound impact on us.

It seems like the “unknowns” people face on a day-to-day basis are at an all-time high. Many people are facing significant and frightening challenges in all areas of their lives: health, finances, family and career. I recently spoke at a men’s Bible study and within the first five minutes I met four people who were unemployed. For them, the unknown was how to provide for their families. They shared with me fears about losing their homes and wondered how long their savings or retirement accounts could sustain them.

What is your great “unknown?” We all have deep-seeded fears within us that can shake us to our very core.  Is it really possible to live with peace and confidence when facing such uncertainty?

Here’s the thing: uncertain times aren’t new. As Christians, how we react in the face of the unknown may be the most fundamental, strategic opportunity for the body of Christ in decades. God placed you in your life, your neighborhood, your job, your church and your family for a reason, with the complete knowledge that this time would come. He knew the precise moment you would be called on to face your fears. He did so with a specific plan in mind for YOU.

Confidence doesn’t come from getting what we want and peace is not a by-product of prosperity. Our ability to carry on in times of adversity comes directly from God’s grace; from the personal knowledge that He will meet us where we’re at and help us make it through every situation.

At some point in the future someone will come to you, scared and full of anxiety, and you need to be equipped to share with them. You’ll have an opportunity to introduce them to the God of Peace, and you can’t do that if you say all the right  things but inside are paralyzed by fear and blinded by the unknown.

This week we begin a new series called “Facing the Future with Confidence.” In it, we’ll examine what God taught Joshua in the midst of some pretty overwhelming and uncertain times. We’ll learn Biblical truths that, when activated in our lives, help transform God’s promises from “head knowledge” to “heart knowledge.”

You don’t have to live in fear of the unknown. You cannot fail because God will give you what you need, and you won’t be abandoned because God will never leave you.  Whatever unknown you’re facing, God is presenting you with an opportunity – how will you respond?

Keep Pressin’ Ahead,

Chip Ingram
Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge

Written By

Chip Ingram

Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge

Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.

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