July 10, 2012
Have you noticed lately, how easily people share their shortcomings? Until 20 years ago, people were reluctant to share their struggles. But perhaps because of the poor economy or famous people admitting their failures, people now readily confess suffering from all types of physical, material, and emotional problems. It doesn’t take much prodding to learn they have no job, experience financial struggles, have a bad temper, or that they are self-centered. People will even tell you they are “not that smart.”
While we readily admit dysfunctional behaviors, we are usually reluctant to share the core issue leading to the dysfunction. One of those core issues is that we are cowards. People don’t like to let on that they are afraid of anything. Of all our human frailties, cowardice seems by far the least popular. Yet we all struggle with feelings of inadequacy and insecurity. Consequently, we all experience small and large fears regularly: fear of rejection, other’s opinions, losing control, discomfort, pain, incompetence. The list is endless.
Fear gets in the way of so many things in our lives. But this is not how God wants us to live. Fear shows doubt regarding God’s sovereignty, His love for us, and His power over our problems. We have to remember His answer for our biggest concern: we were headed for eternal damnation because of our sin until Jesus died for us. God has an answer for every predicament, need, struggle … even anticipated suffering.
Pray for and develop courage from God, the only true and lasting source of real and triumphant courage. Then you will free yourself from the fears that keep you from God’s peace and joy. You see, God’s word speaks clearly to us about the need to be brave, to “fear not.” This message is contained in virtually every book of the Holy Bible. When we really put on the full armor and actually use it, bravery is an automatic outcome.
What concerns you? What are your worries and true fears? Why? What do you need to believe differently about yourself, and especially about God, for your fear to go away? Problems usually result from distorted views about what is painful, how much pain you can handle, and the power, promises, and peace God provides when you are in pain.
Today, identify some of your vulnerabilities and fears. Take God’s promises seriously and see how that affects your vulnerable spots. Again, you need to choose many times a day between God’s protection or the world’s. Your decision will either keep you captive to fear and the world … or set you free. So choose well.
Dear Father God, on the outside I am tough, but on the inside I am so stricken with fear. I am such a coward. God, please give me courage. I need courage in all aspects of my life. I need courage to do good and to resist all forms of evil. I need courage to follow Your commandments and to overcome my fears, both rational and irrational. Give me the courage I need, Lord, to win the struggle against neuroses and anxieties. I need Your courage to overcome my addictions and to persevere though the storms in my life. Give me courage, Lord, to give witness to Your truth and to do great things in Your name. Father, I pray that all in the Stepping Stones community gain Your courage and lose their fear. Remove their fear, Father, and give them Your peace … the peace that surpasses all human understanding. I pray in the name of my rock and refuge, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” John 6:20
After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” Genesis 15:1
Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken. Micah 4:4
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.” Revelation 1:17