“What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” Psalms 56:3
A few years back, I started the practice of asking God to give me a word for each new year. Just one word that would be the theme for everything I do in the coming 12 months. I wanted to live my life on purpose. I wanted meaning in the things I was doing with my life.
You know, we serve such a wonderful God. He is so faithful to hear the things we ask, and He often gives us the desires of our heart. God has helped me with finding a new theme each year to implement into my life. I have loved seeing what He plants into my heart every January.
At the beginning of 2018, I asked God to give me a new word. I was so excited to hear what He had to say, until He actually gave me the word: FEARLESS. That was not what I wanted to hear!
Couldn’t it have been Joy? Or Fun? Or Adventure? Why Fearless? I was instantly uncomfortable and I knew that this was indeed what God wanted me to work on this year because of my anxiety around the whole idea. You know, more often than not, God’s will makes us uncomfortable. Being right in God’s will often means getting outside your comfort zone. After all, nothing grows there.
Fear is defined as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.” Whenever something gives you an unpleasant emotion, it’s probably because you have some kind of fear of that particular situation! And because it is unpleasant, it is much easier to let fear fester than it is to dig down deep and figure out how to conquer it. Thus, a whole lot of us live in fear every single day.
I used to think that if I were to ever do the things I was afraid of, that meant I’d have to get to a place where I felt no fear. Want to know a secret? That’s totally wrong! I learned that the people who accomplish their biggest goals and dreams and become world changers are not immune to fear. But they do all have one thing in common: they’ve learned to do it scared.
-So you’re scared to witness to your friend? Do it scared.
-Scared to take the step of faith God placed on your heart? Do it scared.
-Are you afraid of reaching for your dreams? Do it scared.
I’ve been learning to conquer my fears. I love Psalms 56:3 because it tells me exactly what to do when I’m afraid: trust in God! Any time I experience fear I can go to the Father. Isn’t that awesome? He has enough courage for me to borrow some!
2 Timothy 1:7 says “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
I have learned to recognize fear for what it is. If I have a spirit of fear come over me, it is not of God. It says so right there in 2 Timothy. God doesn’t give the spirit of fear. There is an enemy, however, who would love nothing more than to steal your faith, kill your dreams, and destroy your attitude towards God altogether. If it’s fear you’re experiencing, remember who gave you that fear and also remember how we can overcome it:
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
So when a mountain stands before you and your first thought is “this is likely to cause me pain!” resist the fear. Embrace the unknown. And know that God is bigger! He wants to take you through the scary places so that you can grow. So do it scared!