It was with tremendous grief that John had lost some of his most beloved friends in the span of a few months.
«The bullets are flying nearby»—he used to say, implying how fragile and uncertain he perceived his life.
For many, the tragedies that occur around them make them think that, sooner or later, their turn of misfortune will come. Natural disasters, wars, crime and violence, hunger, diseases, loss of assets, deception or betrayal make the human being feel vulnerable and fearful. «Fear is one of the most widespread emotions of modern society,» pointed out Joanna Bourke, professor of history at the University of London and author of the book Fear: A Cultural History.
However, the same situations that frighten us provide the ideal context for the development of our character and the manifestation of God’s intervention. It was in the burning furnace that Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego showed to the Babylonian Empire the value of true faith (Dan. 3). It was in a den, surrounded by lions that Daniel saw his guardian angel (Dan. 6). It was during the long drought in Zarephath of Sidon that a poor widow became a witness to God’s loving care (1 Kings 17). And the patriarch Job left us a great example and legacy when, in the midst of his suffering, he kept on trusting his Redeemer (Job 19:25, 26).
Likewise, King David had to deal with many difficulties like wars, treason, death threats, family problems, and even the loss of his children. However, he learned that each of these situations represented an opportunity. «Whenever I am afraid—he said—I will trust in You.» In other words, when I am afraid, I also have e opportunity of trusting God, the opportunity of strengthening my character and demonstrating my faith and having the opportunity of seeing how God acts in my favor.
Have you ever thought of your problems this way? Keep in mind the fact that tribulations develop the necessary patience to edify the character (Rom. 5:3). Remember that God is capable of doing great things or those who wait for Him (Isa. 64:4); and that «the Lord . . . knows those who trust in Him» (Nah. 1:7). Because fear can be seen as an opportunity, we can say that the world is full of opportunities. Today, try to take make the most of these opportunities. From the bottom of your heart, repeat this statement with confidence: ‘whenever lam afraid, I will trust in You.