Fear is a universal experience. We all have fears. Fear of rejection. Fear of loneliness. Fear of not having enough. Fear of not being enough. Fear of failure. Fear of pain. Fear of death. Fear of disappointing others. Fear of ridicule. And the list could go on and on and on.
Fear stops us dead in our tracks. It keeps us from living out our lives as God wants us to, it stops us from sharing our joy with others, and it keeps us from developing close relationships. Why is fear so powerful and hard to overcome? I really think it's because fear is sent straight from the Devil himself. He wants to do everything he can to stop us from becoming the person God wants us to be, and he especially does not want us to grow closer to God.
It's pretty clear that I have not been doing a good job being fearless because over the past couple days God has drilled it into my head that I don't need to be afraid and that I need to just trust in him.
First of all, our youth minister gave an awesome talk about fear on Sunday night. I just have to give a side note about him because he is the ultimate example of fearlessness. He, his wife, and their six children are soon leaving our church to become full-time missionaries. They are selling and giving away everything they own to go and share the Gospel with the world. They completely and totally trust God with everything in them, and it is evident by the way they are living out their lives. It's so inspiring and amazing!
Later that night after the talk on fear, Thomas and I were reading through some of Matthew together, and I almost starting laughing when I saw what passage we were on:
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is life not more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your lifespan? Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which is grown today and thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? So do not worry and say, 'What are we to eat?' or 'What are we to drink?' or 'What are we to wear?' All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow, tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil."
- Matthew 6: 25-34
THEN (When God wants me to know something, he really uses repetition to get that message across!) - last night Thomas and I had our Bible study on Revelation. We have only read the first Chapter so far, but what we have been learning so far is good stuff, my friends!:) When John saw his first vision, the vision of God, the Lord put his hand on John and said, "Do not be afraid. I am the first and the last, the one who lives. Once I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever. I hold the keys to death and the netherworld." (Revelation 1:17-18) Even though God was about to reveal some wild things to John, he told him not to fear.
Also, I was so drawn to all the titles John gave the Lord throughout first Chapter of Revelation:
- "faithful witness"
- "firstborn of dead"
- "ruler of kings of Earth"
- "Alpha and Omega"
- "the one who is and who was and who is to come"
- "the almighty"
- "him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood"
- "son of man"
- "the first and the last"
- "the one who lives"
In the video we watched, Jeff Cavins said that all those titles were used to describe God to show just how great and how powerful he is. To show how he is always on our side to deliver us from our troubles, worries, and fears.
I think the key to overcoming fear is to take a deep breath, pray, and reflect on how great God is and all he has done. When I sit and think about all of the ways that God has provided for me in the past, it really and truly calms my fears and helps me to trust and remember his promises. I am always in awe of how he works things out for my good and how his plans are always so, so much greater than anything I could have dreamed of myself.
Anyways, I'll leave you with one of my absolute favorite songs of the moment! I find it so encouraging!
Do you struggle with fear and worry? What do you do to overcome it?