Don’t be afraid, for I am with you!
Don’t be frightened, for I am your God!
I strengthen you—
yes, I help you—
yes, I uphold you with my saving right hand! -Is. 41:10 (NET)
I have come to terms in recent years with the fact that I have let fear rule a large portion of my life. I have allowed it to control much of my activities. Fear of heights, driving, success, people, etc. You name it — I seem to fear it. Much of my life I have allowed it to hold me back, keeping me from my potential for Christ.
Truly, fear has not ruled every single aspect of my life, but it has covered enough of it as to have me looking back with regret over opportunities not taken. It is not like fear is the only sin I am guilty of (yes, I regard it as a sin just as worry is), but it is perhaps one of the most impeding, in terms of my mission for God, and certainly on my mind a lot. Even the fear of going back to school has stricken me recently. There was a time in my life when I enjoyed it — now I am saddled with the “what ifs.” I must not allow such fear to keep me from His work.
So what has brought all this up? A recent road trip down to Virginia to see my ailing sister-in-law has reminded me of the way I allow fear to cripple me. I find cities, heavy traffic, large bridges and more often seem to instill in me a modest sense of terror. This has been something I have needed to contend with more as I have become older. I am starting to hear myself say “I am too old for that” or think somehow I am no longer capable of doing things that I most certainty am able to do. Much of this fear I would have deemed foreign and unreasonable just a few years ago, but it has now become my new reality which I have to contend with regularity in my life.
The only way I know to conquer fear is with faith. That is something that comes from God alone. I cannot create it, I can only ask for it. I am in the process of asking for an increase in faith with regularity. I must. As a Christian, I am to serve Christ and do my part to help grow His kingdom while I am here on Earth. Satan certainly loves to see me succumb to fear as it renders me virtually ineffective for Jesus.
And God will exalt you in due time, if you humble yourselves under his mighty hand by casting all your cares on him because he cares for you. – 1 Pet. 5:6-7 (NET)
If we are to live successfully for Jesus, we must cast our cares upon Him. We cannot go it alone any more than we can obey the law and find salvation in that. It has always been about faith, and that is what replaces fear.
May God grant us as His children the faith we need to live for the advancement of His kingdom, being ever careful to give Him all of the praise and glory for what He has done for us and through us. Amen.
I sought the Lord’s help and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears. -Ps. 34:4 (NET)