Fear has a way of making us believe things that are not true. Panic attacks epitomize this. For more than 20 years, I was convinced that I was going crazy or had some terrible, life-threatening disease. Yet, this was not true. For more than 20 years, I believed a lie. Let me share another story about a man who believed a lie for more than 20 years.
Jacob was a proud father. His twelve sons must have brought him tremendous joy. There was one son, though, of whom he was most proud. His son, Joseph. He was so proud of this young son, that he made a special robe for him–a robe of many colors. That gift to Joseph represented his father’s favor.
The older brothers were jealous of Joseph, and decided to get rid of him. In a fit of envy, they sold Joseph to some Midianite traders. To cover their wickedness, they took his special robe and doused it with the blood of a goat. When they went back to their father, they handed it to him and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe” (Genesis 37:32).
Immediately, Jacob cried out in misery, “It is my son’s robe! Some ferocious animal has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces” (v33). His favorite son was gone, or so he thought. He simply saw the evidence, and believed a lie.
Years passed, and Joseph became governor over all Egypt. During the famine, his brothers came seeking food. They did not recognize their younger brother. But, after a few discussions with them, Joseph eventually revealed himself to them.
When the older brothers went back to tell their father that Joseph was still alive–to tell him the truth–Jacob could not believe it (Genesis 45:26). Eventually, Jacob did learn that Joseph was alive. But for more than 20 years, Jacob believed a lie.
When panic strikes, the evidence seems very real. Something must be terribly wrong–a rapid heart beat, shallow breathing, numbing hands, pain, terror. Yet, we do nothing to track down the truth. We simply accept that the evidence is real.
How long have you believed the evidence?
Today, I encourage you to track down the truth. Had Jacob investigated this story of an attack, he might have learned the truth and saved himself years of anguish. Ask God to help you find the truth. Once you find it, “then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).
Prayer: Father, I will no longer believe the lies of my enemy. Reveal to me the truth, O Lord, your truth and love that I may believe and be set free. Give me the strength and courage I need to “track down the truth” whether it’s physical or spiritual, past or present, real or perceived.