Don’t give into your fears
Next time you're afraid of taking a bold step for God, remember this.
I am not sure about you, but I hate feeling fearful.
And yet, I have struggled with the emotion for so long.
Before I open my eyes in the morning, fear is there nagging me in my mind, doubting what I am and calling into question what I could be.
If fear has ever held you back, you are not alone. Even the most confident people feel and have felt fear, including some heroes from the Bible.
Peter was afraid, but Jesus still chose him
Jesus' disciple Peter gave into fear a number of times:
- When Jesus asked Peter to walk on the water, he fell into the sea because of his fear and lack of trust (Matthew 14:29-31)
- Peter attempted to stop Jesus dying because he feared what may happen if Jesus left his side (Matthew 16:22)
- Fearing what may happen to him; Peter even denied Jesus after Jesus was arrested (Luke 22:54-62)
In short, Peter like many of us was a man of immense fear and trepidation. However, despite Peter's fear, Jesus says to Peter: "I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18)
Peter, a fearful man who even denied Jesus because he was scared, was entrusted with building the early Christian church!
Peter's life is a lesson for us all because, despite his fear, Jesus chose him to do vital work. Peter was pivotal in building the church and continuing Jesus ministry after he ascended to heaven.
God will use us, despite our fears
God knows that despite our faults and our fears, we all have something awesome to offer and he has a plan to use us for his glory.
To God, our fear is a small barrier that he can break down. It doesn't matter how many times he has to break it, he will keep doing it because he loves us passionately.
It's perhaps illustrated best in the opening chapter of the book of Joshua.
Moses was dead and his former assistant Joshua was charged with his nation’s most significant responsibility. He was to lead his people into battle against their enemies so they could finally enter the Promised Land. Joshua was surely terrified and full of fear, and God understood that. But God didn't condemn him for any fear he might have had. Instead, he was soft, encouraging and full of assurance as he gave Joshua the courage to lead.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. – Joshua 1:9
Like Joshua, we all face our fears. Especially when it comes to trusting God's commands and obeying him with every step of our lives.
So next time the voice of fear whispers in your ear, remember you are not alone and God is beside you.
Remember that Biblical heroes felt fear too, but that fear didn't stop them doing amazing things. Fear can be worrisome, crippling, and embarrassing but it isn't truthful. Fear wants to hold us back, but it cannot hold us down if we look to God and remember that he who calls us is good, loving, and worthy of our trust.