Promise #3: God Has Accepted You
And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness. (Romans 4:5)
If I asked you to remember a time when you failed, you’d probably not have to think too long or hard about it. Avoiding failure is like trying to evade death––impossible, regardless of how hard we strive against it. We’re terrified of failure, of appearing weak or insufficient before God and other people, and this fear can produce exhaustion on the one end or paralyzation on the other.
Yet, God gives us a magnificent promise in Romans 4:5: “[He will justify] the ungodly” who believe in him by faith in Christ. Justification means, astonishingly, that it’s “just as if we had never sinned.” Jesus, the God-man and the epitome of godliness, did what ungodly and forgetful sinners could never do: He took our place upon the tree, since we, in our ungodliness, could never earn God’s acceptance, and since God, in his righteousness, could never justly sweep our sins under the rug. On the cross, Jesus became sin––he became our unacceptability before God––so we might become his righteousness––so we might be accepted by God.
When you’re struggling with the fear of failure, remember God’s promise: He has accepted you––justified you––in his Son. You can be sure that if he starts a good work within you, he will finish it. And you can rejoice and persevere even when you fail since your hope isn’t in yourself, but in God who gets glory as you learn to trust and fear him.
Fight Your Fears
Fighting fear isn’t a one-and-done event, but a continual posture and practice before God, who is worthy to be feared. It’s like muscle memory––the more you fight, the more you will fight. Just like a piano player rehearses her music until she memorizes the sequence of notes and the song is second-nature to her; and just like a track athlete trains his muscles through repetitive workouts, so we learn to fight our fears by continually coming back to Jesus and to his Word of truth.
Not if, but when we are afraid, we put our trust in him (Ps. 56:3), in his character and promises.
Portions of this article were taken from the book Fight Your Fears: Trusting the Character and Promises of God When You Are Afraid.
Kristen Wetherell is the author of Fight Your Fears: Trusting the Character and Promises of God When You Are Afraid and the co-author of the award-winning book Hope When It Hurts. She writes regularly for digital publications and enjoys teaching the Bible to women at retreats, events, and conferences. She and her husband, Brad, are members of The Orchard and parents to Joanna. Read Kristen’s writing at her website and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Featured Image: ©Getty/Suphat Bhandharangsri Photography