Why do so many of us pretend that we are not afraid? If you cannot define your fears, then are you self-aware? I have learned over the years that I am always afraid of something at any given moment. This is not because I am a “scaredy cat.” I have come to realize that the sooner I can clearly identify the fear, the earlier I can apply faith to the fear. The longer we pretend that we are not scared, the more likely we are to become discouraged or terrified.
Denial of fear is not faith. Trusting the Father with our fear is faith.
There are a great deal of statements floating around the internet accusing people of fear. Frankly, these statements are true – but what we do with our fears is what concerns me. Most of the time, when we are living in fear, we are quick to accuse others of not being sensitive to our fears. Ironically, this sometimes comes out as accusing someone of their fear, while not acknowledging one’s own fears as the motivation for the accusation.
Here is something that I fear right now: I am afraid that many in our church community will become disconnected from HarvestDowntown during this season. This fear keeps me up at night and drives much of my prayer life. But what am I to do with this fear?
“Do not be discouraged or terrified – for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
I will choose not to be debilitated by fear. I will choose not to wallow in my fear. I will choose to not run away from my fear. I will choose not to fight with my brothers or sisters. I will choose to take my fears to my Father in heaven.
The reality is this: Fearful behavior is driven by worship. We worship that which we fear. Therefore, the fears we have need to be brought into submission to Jesus and the truth of Scripture.
For instance, I fear losing my wife and children, but I will not allow that fear to drive me. Instead, I will press into my fear with prayer, gratitude, and servitude. An attitude of gratitude is the key to bringing our fears into submission. For this reason, Paul says, “Don’t be anxious about anything, but present your requests to God with thanksgiving. And when you do this, a peace that surpasses all human understanding will guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus Our Lord.” How can you submit your fears to thanksgiving?
Rather than be concerned about a fear of abandonment or loss, I will choose to be grateful for those that have demonstrated a continued commitment to the church family as their family. I will give thanks upon every remembrance of each one of you.
I want to encourage you. Meaning, I want to instill courage in your hearts. I am not saying that you should not be afraid. I just want you to be courageous in the valley of the shadow of death. Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is the ability to act, love, and live even though all the physical evidence would cause a normal person to either freeze, fight, or flee. Do not be terrified that your rights will be taken away. Do not be terrified of the effects of a virus on you or your family.
Love boldly. Live courageously. Act justly. Be grateful. Fear God. Know peace.