Standing safely behind the metal fence, looking out across the valley, I caught sight of distant buildings. “That’s our city!”, I exclaimed.
As my eyes drifted downward I glimpsed my sandled toes precariously close to the crumbling edge of the pavement. My body seemed to tip forward of it’s own accord. Fear gripped and dizziness overwhelmed. Clutching the railing I closed my eyes, planted my feet wide, and breathed deep.
Fear dissolved as I reminded myself that the asphalt pavement and the barrier fence were more than enough to keep me from tumbling down into the cavern below.
Many of us spend an awful lot of time fearing things that never come to pass. This in spite of God’s promises to us that He will never leave or forsake us (Deut. 31:6); that He’ll supply all our needs (Phil. 4:19); that He works all things together for good (Rom. 8:28), just to name a few.
I write and teach about freedom in Christ. It’s my passion to see others set free just as Jesus has set me free. Yet even as a “freedom writer”, there are times that I fight fear. Even this past week, while working on this post, I battled against fear and self doubt. I recognize my tendency to slip into fear mode more quickly nowadays and this is what I do:
The Bible gives great examples of those who exhibited great faith in the midst of fear. Abraham trusted God when asked to sacrifice his son Isaac (Gen. 22). Rahab risked her life to hide spies sent into the Promised Land (Josh. 2). The Israelites fled the Egyptians, running smack dab into the Red Sea (Ex. 14). Talk about shaking in your sandals reasons to fear!
All of us have circumstances that usher in fear so how do we muster up the courage to put one (tentative) foot forward into that great expanse of sea and trust that God will create a safe path for us? That He will take us through fear to faith.
Let’s look at some ways to gain courage:
- Go straight to God and give Him all your anxious thoughts knowing that He cares deeply about your feelings. I Pet. 5:7
- Acknowledge that He is in control and that all our striving in our own power will never be enough. Ps. 103:19, II Cor. 12:9
- Be still and wait, knowing that He draws near to those who draw near to Him. Jm. 4:8
- Plant your feet on the Rock and declare loudly your strength in Him! Ps. 40:2, Phil. 4:13
- When He tells you to move, step forward, watching as fear becomes faith. Ps. 138.3
- Recall God’s faithfulness. I keep a Bible reading journal and often look back on previous entries to remind myself of God’s past work in my life. Ps. 77:11-12
- Express thankfulness to God, because we are commanded to be thankful in all circumstances. I Thess. 5:18
- Find someone to share with. Pain shared is pain lessened and you may even bless someone by allowing them the chance to stand with you.
Maybe you are living in a place of fear right now, wondering how things will ever work out for you. I know, believe me I know, how very hard it can be. I also know that Jesus is on the side of those who love and trust Him. He says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isa. 41:10 ESV
I’m praying for you today dear reader, that God will speak to you and strengthen you, that He will give you hope to sustain you, and that through it all you will be filled with the joy that comes from knowing Him.