June 30, 2014
Walk Through Your Fear
But when I am afraid, I put my trust in you (Psalm 56:3, NLT).
Friend to Friend
We live in Kansas City where summers normally include some pretty fierce thunderstorms. Our four-year-old grandson, Justus, is not a fan. The driving rain, loud thunder and often-violent lightning frighten him. We have tried to reassure Justus with such logical explanations as the thunder is nothing more than God rearranging the furniture in heaven and lightning is nothing more than the angels setting off fireworks. I know. He didn’t buy our explanations either.
We normally keep Justus one night a week to give his mom and dad a little break and to get our “Justus” fix. He is a little hunk of joy that lights up the world and makes you feel like you are the most important part of that world. After picking him up for our weekly date, we headed home but got caught in a torrential downpour.
As the thunder boomed and the lightning cracked, Justus put both hands over his ears, hoping to shut out the frightening sound of the summer storm. Dan and I kept reassuring Justus that the storm would pass. Dan said, “Mimi and Papa are right here with you, Buddy. It’s okay!” It was not okay with Justus. In total frustration, he turned to his Papa and exclaimed, “Papa. Do something! Can’t you pwease turn down the stowm?”
I have often prayed basically that same prayer. “God, can You please turn down the storm in my life? Can’t You make the thunderous chaos go away? And the flashing pain is so hard to handle, Lord. I am scared.”
One of the enemy’s favorite weapons to use against us is fear. Fear can hold us hostage, consigning dreams to the realm of impossibilities, and paralyzing faith. Purpose vanishes, and uncertainty rushes in to fill the void. When dealing with fear, we need to remember lean into God’s promises. Joshua did.
“Yes, be bold and strong! Banish fear and doubt! For remember, the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9, TLB).
Joshua’s job consisted of leading more than two million people into a strange new land and conquering it. What a challenge - even for a man of Joshua’s capability. Learning to hear and follow the voice of God is a challenge. Without God, it can be a frightening trial. With God, it can be a great adventure.
Just as God was with Joshua, He is with us as we face new challenges. We may not conquer nations, but every day we face intense needs, difficult people, and daunting situations that are out of our control. God promises He will never abandon us or fail to help us. Armed with that truth, we can choose to face fear head on.
We can learn to walk through fear instead of cowering in its shadow or hoping it will somehow disappear. We can choose to live beyond ourselves and elect to act against our weak character because when we step beyond our strength, we are stepping into His.
Gideon was afraid. I understand his fear, don't you? There he was, threshing wheat and minding his own business, when an angel appears with orders that seem totally beyond Gideon’s ability. Fear reared its ugly head. Uncertainty erupted in Gideon’s heart.
“If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all His wonders that our fathers told us about. The Lord has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian. How can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family."
Oh, how familiar those questions sound. Like Gideon, my first response to a challenge is too often fear followed closely by a list of excuses why I can’t do what God has asked me to do – as if God were unaware of who I really am. God responded to Gideon with a truth that changed everything, "I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together." Gideon could not wrap his meager faith around the fact that God’s presence shifts the balance of power in any fearful circumstance. Gideon was calculating the situation as if he were God.
We try to play God. We turn to others for wisdom instead of falling on our knees, where wisdom lives. Fear is a control issue. Its opposite is trust. Playing God is the root of all fear because when we assume the role of God, we are relying upon our limited resources instead of His limitless power. The result is impotent living. Every opportunity to fear is also an opportunity to trust. Just keep walking through your fear.
Father, I come to You today with a sense of helplessness. I am desperate for You, Lord. I need Your strength and power to sustain me because everything seems to be falling apart. I want to be a woman of faith and stand strong when trouble bombards my life but I cannot do it alone. I am afraid and seem to worry about everything. Today, I turn to You and celebrate the truth that You will turn to me and be my refuge.
In Jesus’ name,
Now It’s Your Turn
When did God take something bad in your life and bring good out of it? Describe that experience. Remember the truth that God is the same yesterday, today and forever and what He did in your past … He can do today and tomorrow. He is faithful – even when we are faithless.
Read and memorize Psalm 59:16. Choose to sing a new song of praise – no matter what happens today. Record this verse on an index card and keep it with you. When fear and doubt come, meet them with this powerful promise from God.
More from the Girlfriends
Need help? Get Mary’s E-Bible Study, How to Find Your Missing Peace, for practical ways to win over worry and experience peace in your life. Check out Mary’s weekly online Bible study, Light for the Journey, for practical ways to tap into the power of God’s Word. Enroll now and have access to all of the 2014 lessons. Be sure to connect with Mary on Facebook or through email.
Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 1311
Huntersville, NC 28070
Originally published Monday, 30 June 2014.