Move forward in faith, not in fear

In a few short weeks, the class of 2012 is going to graduate.  Currently, most of us are doing one of two things: 1) searching for a job or 2) avoiding that search.  Finding out what comes next can be rather frightening instead of inspiring.

While the reality of life after graduation can seem daunting or downright scary, as believers in Jesus Christ, we have an option outside of succumbing to fear. We have a higher calling. I’ve been discovering that selfishness is the direct result of fear.  I start thinking more and more about what I need, where I will be, how I’ll survive.  In this progression I lose sight of the most important thing: God and His kingdom.

Selfishness is easy. In this time of transition, we have three options.

Our first option is to entrust our futures to ourselves. This looks like controlling every situation and individual possible for my own personal benefit, and protecting myself from every sort of pain possible. It means risking little and trusting my own efforts for my “salvation” from what I consider to be the worst case scenario. When things do go my way, I become filled with pride because I feel I deserve this good thing. However, living in this perspective means living tightly, curled in on myself. There is no real life there.

The second option is to entrust myself to others. I can put all of my hope for “salvation” in the hands of those who may or may not hire me.  I become so dependent on their response to my application, that my identity and self-worth become ingrained in how they view me.  This option only leads to certain disappointment, resentment and pride. I become bitter toward job applications and the people who interviewed me, because in essence, they “failed” to “save” me from the pain of uncertainty.

The third option is the option of real life in Christ. I can choose to entrust myself to the God of the universe, who is really in control of all of life’s circumstances.  1 Peter 2:23-24 brings us back to the truth of the Gospel. It shows us Jesus’ example when it says, “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24  He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” In Christ’s death and resurrection, it is possible for me to die to the sin of personal selfish independence, or unhealthy dependence on others, and live instead in the freedom given by entrusting myself to the One who died for me.

This is the real, abundant life. When I have done my best to steward what I have, the results are God’s. He has promised that His kingdom (one focused on God and others instead of self), will never fail. He will never leave or forsake us.  He knows our needs and knows that we are dust, fully dependent on Him for our livelihood. What a wonderful thing it is to be a child of this King! Let us celebrate as we remember His faithfulness, and move forward in faith instead of fear.

Story by Katelyn Mithoefer | Staff Writer | mithoekl@grace.edu