April 2, 2020
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7
Fear is real, but the good thing is, so is God. Fear zeros in on the problem, while faith keeps it in perspective. Now, faith does NOT mean blindly running into danger or ignoring common sense. But it does mean turning to God every time fear begins to creep in. It means choosing courage rather than fear. So, what is courage?
Courage is strength in the face of fear. In other words, to really develop courage, you first have to know fear. The great violinist, Isaac Stern, once observed an incredibly talented nine-year-old violinist. While clearly talented, Stern made the remark that, “You can’t really tell how an artist will be until the teen years, for that is when fear comes in. Then and only then can you see if the person has courage. You can’t learn courage until you know fear.”
Fear can paralyze us. Courage frees us to live life to the fullest.
Jesus epitomized courageous faith as He boldly walked God’s will – even to the cross. However, He knew very well the power fear could have on our lives and often reminded the disciples to cling to faith, not fear. One example of this is found in Matthew chapter 14. The disciples found themselves caught in a terrible storm, fearing for their lives. Suddenly, out of nowhere, they see Jesus walking out to them on the water. “Take courage! It is I. Do not be afraid!” (Matthew 14:27), Jesus said – speaking right into their fear.
The comfort for Jesus followers in this story is this: Finding courage in the face of fear comes through putting our faith in Jesus Christ. Fear and faith do not mix – they’re like oil and water. When faith kicks in, fear moves out. However, when faith disappears, fear rushes in like a tidal wave. The key to finding the courage to overcome fear is faith.
If you’re battling fear right now, take the time to pour out your heart to God in prayer. Then spend time meditating on who God is, what He’s done, and remind yourself of His promises found in Scripture:
God is GOOD – even when people, circumstances, and events are not.
Nahum 1:7, Psalm 107:1, Psalm 31:19, Psalm 34:8, Jeremiah 29:11
God is POWERFUL – bigger than the biggest crisis, threat, or uncertainty.
Psalm 56:3, 2 Samuel 22:33, Matthew 19:26, Luke 6:19, Psalm 147:4-5
God is NEAR – even when He feels far.
Psalm 34:17-18, Psalm 145:18, Hebrews 1:3, Joshua 1:9, Zephaniah 3:17
God is in CONTROL – even when life appears to be spinning out of control.
1 Chronicles 16:11, Psalm 105:4-6, Romans 8:28, Proverbs 16:9, John 14:27