Is it possible to not have fear?
Can our faith really be so strong that we feel great hope and peace in the face of deep trials or pain?
I've been thinking a lot about this question lately.
Neal A. Maxwell once said,
"If our love of God is sufficiently deep, then we will be sufficiently assured of His enveloping loving-kindness. With this perspective, our fears can shrink. Dread can dissolve. Additionally, there need be no ultimate fear for mankind's future solely because of proximate circumstances, vexing and besetting as the latter may be."
Our fears can shrink?
What an image. I picture fear as a cancer. And the medicine is whatever causes it to shrink. So just what is this medicine? ... So powerful to cause fear to shrink?
The answer that comes right to mind is the word faith. But this can be such a broad term in my mind. What exactly does this mean? According to the above quote it is according to the depth of our love of God.
The wise Neal A. Maxwell again said,
"We are to "look to God and live" (Alma 37:47). Peter advised that we are also to cast our cares upon God, because He cares for us (see 1 Peter 5:7). Why not do the same with our fears?"
Okay. So, to shrink our fears we must cast our cares upon God. How exactly is this done?
Neal A. Maxwell:
"Yet, hesitantly, we poise on the brink of real submission. But since God has given us life and all else we have, anyway, how can we really withhold ourselves, our attitudes, or our substance from His shaping love? Our degree of submissiveness thus becomes a true reflection of the degree of the consecration and love we have developed for Him.
Similarly, the dimensions of our fears expose the degree to which our love for Him remains yet to be developed."
I had to re-read this last quote over and over. It really hit something with me. The answer lies in our "deep" love for God and our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Will our fears ever shrink?
Perhaps if I surrender to Him more. Acknowledge His grace. And more fully trust that He loves me too.
Maybe shrinking our fears is something that takes a lifetime.
I've had many moments of calm that have come to me in my times of great worry. Most often my worry is strongest within the imaginations of my mind. The "what ifs" that could turn bad. It is usually in the moments I turn to Him humbly that He speaks peace to my soul. And my fear starts to shrink.
So, I guess the real question to my first question is,
How do I deepen my love for God?