Faith or Fear
by Audra Lynn
Artists and Authors
I have been struggling for a couple of years with my faith. Don’t misunderstand me. I love Jesus. I am daily choosing to continue to follow Him and believe in who He is and that He will return one day and establish His kingdom here on earth. However, I still struggle.
We are living in the generation that I believe is seeing the beginnings of the great falling away. In just the last five years or so I have seen so many whom I would have said have rock-solid faith fall away from the Lord. They have chosen to deny that which they formerly knew to be the truth and chosen instead to believe the deception of the world. Among these is my own brother. I would have said that nothing could ever deter him from his faith in God.
When he told me that he no longer believed that Jesus was God, I felt the foundation of everything I had believed in shaken to the core. It caused me to question many things. While I would have said at one point that I could never doubt Jesus and His divine nature, I truly questioned my belief system for the first time. Did I only believe these things because I had been raised to believe them? If my faith was truly so strong, then why did I feel so shaken when my brother walked away? I had to take a hard look at myself and dig deep into my heart to question who was truly the foundation of my faith. Was it Jesus or my family? Did I believe in Jesus because He is who He says He is and because I have a relationship with Him or because I simply was following in the path that had been laid out for me from birth?
Most of the people I know that have fallen away are ones like this. They had been raised in the church and now look at it with contempt and ridicule. This caused me to ask another hard question. Had they chosen to walk away because they no longer believed in Jesus or because they had allowed themselves to become offended with the church?
So many questions. And it seemed for a while that I received no answer. In the midst of this, though, I came to one solid conclusion: I was not responsible for these others’ choices. Only my own. I could either choose to believe or not. And at the end of the day, for me, it all boiled down to that important point.
There have been and will continue to be so many circumstances that will test the foundation of my faith. There will be many times in which I will question whether or not God is there simply because I can’t see Him or hear Him at that moment. And what I will believe is my choice.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrew 11:1)
There are so many arguments both for God and against God. So many scientific studies claim to “prove” He exists or doesn’t. Honestly, I think it is easy to claim something is true or not based on the lens we are choosing to look through. I remember watching Stephen Hawking’s presentation of his “Theory of Everything” (not the movie, but his actual televised presentation) and feeling at the end like it actually proved the opposite of what he was saying. To his argument that everything at one point had more or less exploded into being, my response was, “Well, yeah. God spoke and it was there.” Again, we should think about what is the lens we’re using to look through.
By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. (Hebrews 11:3)
The choice you have (the choice you make even when you don’t feel like you are making a choice) is whether you believe in God or not. The question of Jesus being God—to be a little more specific; but I’m not writing this for the sake of debating theology.
Right now we are experiencing a certain level of global crisis and discomfort. Things seem a bit on edge, and we don’t seem to know exactly what is going on or who to believe. The coronavirus is infecting more and more people every day, and the word “pandemic” seems to have struck fear and panic into the hearts of people all over the world. I believe this is only a blip on the radar compared to things to come. And yet it seems to be changing everything regarding our daily lives—at least for the moment. The question at this moment is, What are we going to choose to believe when things get shaken up? In just this small measure of discomfort, the hearts of men are being revealed in huge ways, and we are seeing the beginnings of things to come.
What are we going to choose when we are being ridiculed and falsely accused? What will be our foundation when we are persecuted, beaten, thrown in jail or when our loved ones die or even betray us? If we can’t keep our faith in the “small” things now, how will we be able to stand strong in the “hard” things?
Simple faith is the hardest faith because it often defies what our eyes see or what we are feeling in the moment. Again, it is a choice. I can’t say this often enough or strongly enough. For many, it will come down to that. It will fly in the face of everything we are being shown, and at times it won’t make sense. Our hearts will be sorely tested and be whittled down to the bareness of our souls. This is for the sake of our purification and cleansing to make us ready for Him.
By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.
These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. (Hebrews 11:7–10, 13–16 ESV)
If you look at these people in worldly terms, they seemed absolutely crazy. Likewise, the world will call us crazy because we are choosing to believe in what we can’t see with our natural eyes, but only in our hearts, through faith.
But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 19:14 ESV)
There’s a reason it’s called child-like faith, y’all.
For me the choice is simple. Not easy, but simple. I can choose a world where Jesus is God. Where His goodness and faithfulness prevail. Where He is the light in the midst of great darkness. And if I choose Him and trust Him, He will not let me fail. Or I can choose to live in that darkness where there is only fear and death and no meaning. For me, there is no choice, really. Jesus is the only way worth choosing.
Have you ever questioned the foundation of your faith?
For more from Audra Lynn, we recommend Vow, her second album from Forerunner Music. Featuring 17 songs and soulful vocals, this album declares Christ’s devotion and determination to conquer sin and death, all for love. Available at the Forerunner Bookstore.
Audra Lynn is a worship leader/singer and intercessory missionary at IHOPKC. She has been on staff since 2003, when she moved to Kansas City with her family. Audra and her husband, Matt, have three little boys and love their home in KC. Her greatest passion is to pursue Jesus and hasten the day of His coming with prayer and worship.
Audra has two worship albums, Fading and Vow, which are available for purchase on iTunes.