When Fear Is No Longer Fearsome

When Fear Is No Longer Fearsome

Christians are not called to avoid scary situations, we are called not to fear them.
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A girl moving away from home for the first time.

A gymnast taking the floor for the gold medal.

A Jesus follower sharing the gospel.

What do these three scenarios have in common? They all are preceded by fear. As the girl hugs her mom for the last time in a couple of months, as the gymnast steps up the the audience of millions and as the Christian risks the friendship he holds dear, they all hold fear.

Does this mean that they are the wrong path, though? I think not.

Fear doesn't always signal to us that we venture on the wrong journey. Rather, it sometimes shows us that we are following the right one.

God tells us countless times through His word not to fear. I recently read Joshua 1:9 where the Lord encourages this young man on the verge on conquesting powerful enemies. He says, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

I don't know about you, but I would be pretty scared to go into a foreign land and fight a bunch of peoples much stronger than mine. I would grasp any way out, after all, we humans don't prefer to live in fear. To not fear looks to us like running away from what causes us to fear.

God has another way, though.

For although God doesn't want us to live in fear, He doesn't want us to quake and shrink back from the scary things in life. He didn't say to Joshua, "You know what, this is a pretty scary circumstance, so you don't need to fear. Go back to the place you stayed before and walk away from what causes you to fear." No, He instructed Joshua not to fear but to be strong and courageous because He, the Lord, would go with Him into this scary battlefield.

That's the difference.

Joshua no longer faced his fears alone.

And so he replaced his fears with the perfect love of God and depended not upon his own strength, but upon the strength of the Creator of the universe. He ceased fearing not because he left the darkness, but because he went with the light.

There is a lot of darkness right now, and it is scary. It is scary to move to strange places, risk friendships, be intentional and do something about the future. It is scary to share the gospel and obey Christ with everything that we have. But we are not called to turn away from these fears but run towards them with the Light of Christ with us.

Last Sunday, we sung Hillsong's "Oceans" in church. The song arouses a strong emotion of faith, of trust and of sacrifice. But something occurred to me this Sunday. I realized that following Jesus upon the waters doesn't always mean I won't be afraid at first. Sometimes, most of the time, it is scary.

And these fears tell me, tell us, not that we chose wrong, but that Jesus is leading us to deeper waters, waters that only He can control. That is why I take comfort in my fears because they remind me, hour by hour, minute by minute, that I need Jesus for this. The darkness reminds me that I can't do this without the Light.

That makes all the difference.

So when you catch yourself fearing the life to which Christ calls you, let these fears encourage you. Let them guide you to a Savior who can calm every storm. Let these fears make you brave.

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear." -- 1 John 4:18

Cover Image Credit: Pixaby

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.
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Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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finding healing in the ultimate healer

Leaning on God and not myself.

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I started pulling out of my driveway on Monday. It seemed like a normal Monday and I was rushing to work (as usual). I then found out about a close family friend's death as I tried to get out of my driveway blocked by police cars. I got past them and finally reached the end of the driveway.

Then it struck me.

I stopped breathing. I became light-headed. I felt as if I could not go on. Why would all this hurt happen to me?

I had lost four people in five weeks and I was hurting more than ever before.

Why God? I shouted this question in my car on the way to and from work. I cried and cried and cried.

God does not always give us a why. But He does give us a promise. A promise to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

I began searching for solutions to my hurt... guys, friends, sports, busyness. I could not escape this hurt because I was missing out on the One who is the Ultimate Healer and the Ultimate Void Filler.

I decided to open my heart to those in my Christian community and I found these amazing lyrics from the son, "Though You Slay Me," by Shane & Shane:

Though You slay me
Yet I will praise You
Though You take from me
I will bless Your name
Though You ruin me
Still, I will worship
Sing a song to the one
who's all I need

Our hurt is never an excuse to ignore God. It is an opportunity to pursue God.

I do not need other things in this world to fill voids, I need God. I need Him every single second of the day. He is teaching me a lot during this season of hurt in my life: I should be thanking Him for the growth that I am experiencing in my life and thanking Him for the opportunity to love others hurting well.

If you are feeling the way I have been lately, I urge you to rest in the truth that you are by no means alone in your struggles. You must reach out to people in the church and ask for prayer and help. You must focus on what God is doing in your life as a result of the hurt you are feeling. I believe that God uses the people who feel most unusable to transform lives. God uses our hurt for His glory because He is a God who deserves all glory. How can you bring God glory in your life?

I wanted to conclude with this challenge: let your "whys" turn into your "thank yous" and your emptiness turn into the fullness that can only be found in God.

Cover Image Credit:

Anna Schoeck

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