By: Gail Armatys
Take courage. Be brave. You can overcome your fear.
Each day you and I are faced with obstacles to knowing and living out our God-designed purpose. Many of these road blocks seem bigger than life and cause us to stop growing, learning, and living. They cause us to fear.
Although fear is not seen as something good, when we participate in it God uses it for our benefit. It is a warning sign to alert us to a need for change. Where there is fear ~ there is always opportunity to take courage and move forward. On the other hand, Satan uses fear to keep us stuck and stop us from enjoying a full, free life in Christ.
There Is No Fear In Love
It is a part of life on earth to feel fear. In fact, you and I live in a world where it seems there is plenty of which to be afraid. But, living in fear is not God’s plan for us. It can’t be. Because God is love, and fear is the absence of love.
There is no fear in love.
But perfect love drives out fear,
because fear has to do with punishment.
The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18
God’s perfect plan is that we walk in love ~ not fear ~ each day. Although we cannot attain perfection, nor avoid instances when we are frightened, we can set our sites on obedience to his call to take courage and overcome our fears.
How? Scripture relates more than one story that calls us to respond in courage rather than fear. In fact, God calls us to be pro-active about overcoming fearful circumstances ~ real or imagined. He calls us to assert ourselves. To do fear’s opposite…to take courage.
3 Steps to Help You Take Courage Each Day
1. Listen for God’s loving direction. In Deuteronomy 31:7 God directs Joshua through Moses to, “Be strong and take courage, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their forefathers to give them…” Joshua listens and receives what is promised.
Is God calling you forward in your faith? Is there a different, more loving way to respond, think or behave? Do your thoughts and actions line up with God’s? Look and listen for God’s loving direction.
2. Be self-disciplined. In order to obey God’s commands you must be self-discipliined…forget yourself and your fears and focus on the Lord and his better way. If Joshua would not have felt fear, I doubt God would have told him to take courage. Yet, Joshua set himself aside, refocused, stepped into God’s will and out of his own.
It’s easy to try to smother our fear in our own comfort and routine. But fear never leaves us until we take action, take courage, and step away from it. Are you self-disciplined or self-focused? Is it time to step out of your comfort zone and walk in God’s ways?
3. Remember God goes before you and is with you.
Take courage. This command requires intentional action ~ finding and getting courage from someone or somewhere else. From whom or where would Joshua and you find and take it?
The answer is in Deuteronomy 31:8. “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you. He will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Courage is found and received from the Lord God himself; from the knowledge, belief that he is with you.
In New Testament terms, as a believer, you are filled with the Spirit of God – the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). Take courage from his indwelling power. What additional strength could you possibly need?
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity,
but of power, love and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7
Father, thank you that you are always with me. I pray to be proactive and take courage knowing your Spirit guides and protects me. Praise you Lord, for you make me brave. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.
- What am I afraid of today?
- What is the worst thing that will happen if I forge ahead?
- Are you willing to be self-disciplined and obey God’s call to take courage?
- Name your first steps toward acts of courage.
Listen to Your HeartSong
You Make Me Brave/Amanda Cook, Bethel