I hate fear. I don’t like when it sneaks in under the disguise of “post-Christmas blues” or “winter blahs” and sets up a command post in my heart. I despise when it sends its tentacles deep into my soul and prevents me from being the person I was created to be. I loathe the thoughts it brings to my mind. I detest its darkness.
Fear. Does it keep you awake at night worrying about your financial future? Your student loans? The kids’ college? The mortgage? Taxes? Car repairs? Dental bills? Being alone? Infidelity? Unemployment? Irrelevance? Broken relationships? Growing old? Alzheimer’s? Death? Does worry define you?
Fear. Does it paralyze you? Does it inhibit your productivity? Prevent you from enjoying life? Hold you back? Keep you from stepping out and doing the wonderful and unique thing you believe in your heart you were meant to do? Does panic deaden you?
Fear. Does it keep you from serving God? From speaking out on His behalf? From teaching? From leading that small group? From praying in public? From going to church? Does apprehension inhibit you?
Is there a way to exorcise the fear that destroys lives, dreams, and hopes? Can anything wipe away fear? Is it possible to live fearlessly? Has anyone? Can anyone?
How did the men and women of old live fearlessly? What was it that enabled them to stare down evil? Where did they get the courage to stand for God? What propelled them to walk in faith until they walked in God’s presence?
Moses – stood before Pharaoh and led the Israelites for 40 years through the desert. Unafraid? How?
“He persevered because he saw him who is invisible.” – Hebrews 11:27
Isaiah – stood before kings and spoke God’s truth. Tradition tells us he was martyred – sawed in half. Unafraid. How?
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne;” – Isaiah 6:1
Peter – led thousands to faith, stood firm and died by crucifixion. Unafraid. How?
“For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” – 1 Peter 1:16
Paul – withstood beatings, stoning, shipwrecks, poverty, cold, riots and many other devastating circumstances, eventually dying by the sword. Unafraid. How?
“Saul [Paul] on his journey had seen the Lord and the Lord had spoken to him…” – Acts 9:27
Each of these heroes of the faith persevered because they saw Jesus. Have you seen Jesus? Are you looking for Him? Do you need a new, fresh, bigger vision of Jesus? You can see Him! As you read the pages of God’s Word, the Bible, you will see the Living Word: Jesus.
When the darkness is overwhelming, there is a choice: allow the darkness to swallow you, or turn your eyes toward Jesus. He is the light of the world.
“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” – John 1:4-5
When worry denies you comfort, there is a choice: fret over tomorrow’s troubles or trust Jesus to provide all that you need.
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” – Matthew 6:26, 33
When the panic that paralyzes you has you in its grip, there is a choice: surrender to anxiety or seek Jesus who is the One who calms your heart in the midst of the storm.
“Don’t be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:4-6
Christianity is not about blind faith. Our faith is based on facts and eyewitnesses to the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is the antidote to fear. Jesus is the power that enables you to live powerfully. As you begin this New Year, will you choose to live in the faith that is grounded in Jesus to overcome fear in your life?