Do not be afraid. It’s one of the most written and most quoted phrases in the Bible yet I find myself fearing something each day. Sometimes it’s the future, not knowing exactly where I’m going or what lies ahead, other times it’s the present, the here and now, having to make big decisions I don’t quite feel qualified to make, but more often than not it’s reality, remembering that the world just isn’t as safe or as kind as I would like it to be.The world will give you a hundred reasons to be afraid but there’s one reason not to that trumps out all the rest, God is with you.
If I’m being completely honest here, which I like to be when I’m writing or speaking online, for most of my life I have been a very fearful person. When I was younger I would have these really vivid nightmares about every possible thing that could hurt me and despite having a relatively peaceful life there have been moments where I’ve found myself in situations with the potential to end terribly but, what I have found is that my imagination has always been more intense than my reality. Though I’m not sold on the whole ‘the Bible says fear not 365 times’ thing it is a reoccurring theme throughout scripture. Jonah’s fears lead him to the stomach of a whale, Moses’ fears almost stopped him freeing the Israelites and Peter’s fear led him to deny one of his closest friends. As humans we are fearful but when we put our trust in the Lord fear no longer has the ability to control us.
“Fearless is not the absence of fear. It’s not being completely unafraid. To me, Fearless is having fears. Fearless is having doubts. Lots of them. To me, Fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you to death”- TS
As I sat waiting for the bus this afternoon listening to a 7 minute podcast I’d downloaded on a whim in the morning I realised something. I was sitting there noticing the ‘suspicious’ body language the man standing near me was exhibiting, planning exactly how I would defend myself if he tried anything funny, slowly moving myself out arm’s length and literally preparing for any confrontation that could occur and then I realised that the mini sermon I was listening to was literally talking about that much quoted phrase ‘do not fear’. Ironic.Throughout the Bible God tries to give us words of comfort; do not be afraid, if God is for you who shall be against, fear not for I am with you, but instead of just pausing for a moment to take that in I found myself focusing on all the things that could potentially go wrong, forming my own escape routes and emergency plans rather than leaning into the comfort and love God.
I know it’s said a lot but God created you, he knows the plans he has for you and his intentions to you are always loving. Yes we’ll face things in this world that might push us to become fearful, but as it is written in 2 Timothy verse 1 ‘God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind’. Accept the comfort and strength God has made available to you and know that he is constantly working behind the scenes creating opportunities for you to show your fearlessness.
I hope you’re week is filled with hope trust and fearlessness.
love and light