Tag Archives: scared

Don’t Be Afraid

  
One message that God repeats over and over in the Bible is, “Fear not. Don’t be afraid.” Fear shows a lack of faith in God as your protector, your provider, and your deliverer. Each of us deal with fear in our lives because none of us know the future. It’s easy to be afraid of the unknown, but God rarely calls us to do something easy.

The Bible doesn’t give a formula for overcoming fear. As you’ll see in the scriptures below, it is usually an imperative statement to stop being afraid. For me, trusting God is how I let go of fear. Trust doesn’t change my situation, it just changes my perspective on how it will turn out. When we feel like things are left in our hands, fear creeps in because we are incapable. When we trust God to handle it, we don’t have to worry about how it will turn out because God will have His way.

I hope these verses encourage you to let go of fear and embrace your trust in God.

1. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9 NLT

2. The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in GOD protects you from that.

Proverbs 29:25 MSG

3. For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”

Isaiah 41:13 ESV

4. Do not be afraid—I am with you! I am your God—let nothing terrify you! I will make you strong and help you; I will protect you and save you.

Isaiah 41:10 GNT

5. Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.”

Isaiah 35:4 NLT

6. You will not be afraid when you go to bed, and you will sleep soundly through the night. You will not have to worry about sudden disasters, such as come on the wicked like a storm. The Lord will keep you safe. He will not let you fall into a trap.

Proverbs 3:24-26 GNT

7. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 1:8 ESV

8. Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you.

Deuteronomy 3:22 NIV

9. See, God has come to save me. I will trust in him and not be afraid. The LORD GOD is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.

Isaiah 12:2 NLT

10. Israel, the Lord who created you says, “Do not be afraid—I will save you. I have called you by name—you are mine. When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you; your troubles will not overwhelm you. When you pass through fire, you will not be burned; the hard trials that come will not hurt you.”

Isaiah 43:1-2 GNT

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Tethered by Faith

A few years ago, some friends and I were in Dallas when we decided to visit an amusement park. This park had things like bungee jumps instead of roller coasters. There was one that took you up in a crane and dropped you several stories into a net. I was dared to do it because we were all scared of that one. Not being someone who backs down from a date, I paid the money, put on the harness and got in the cage. As the crane got higher, I started second guessing my decision.

We got as high as the crane would go and the guy running it asked if I was ready. I got to the door of the cage, my harness was strapped to a wire to keep me from falling and he said, “Just lean out of the cage and the wire will hold you. You won’t fall until I release you.” Even though I knew that wire would hold me, it was hard to get out of that cage. I had to fall out backwards with my face to the sky. I struggled with how to do it. I thought about laying on the floor and rolling out. I even told him to push me out.

I finally succumbed to my fear and decided to trust the wire. I fell backwards out of the cage and sure enough the wire held me. Now I was dangling upside down with no turning back. I thought I was afraid before. Now I was terrified. I was no longer in control. As I spun around I could see Dallas, the highways, houses and more. The guy in the crane said, “Look at me.” I looked up at him and he said, “You can do this. I’m going to count to three and then release you to fall into the net.” I begged for mercy!

He said, “One.” I said, “Hey, let’s talk about this for a minute. Can’t we work something out?” He smiled and said, “Two.” That’s the last thing I heard because he pulled the cord and released me. I was free falling for about 10 stories now. At one point I remember telling myself, “Breathe!” I took in a deep breathe and then I hit the net. My adrenaline was pumping, my friends were cheering and I had a huge smile on my face. I did it.

In my life right now, I’m in that cage tethered to it. God is asking me to fall backwards out of the cage. It’s just as scary now as it was then. I’ve tried bargaining with Him like I did with the guy in Dallas. He smiles and says, “Trust me. I’ll hold you and keep you from falling.” While I struggle with what the best way out of the cage is, I ask, “Can’t you just push me?” Patient as ever, God says, “Faith is not me pushing you out, but you getting out willfully and trusting that I’ll catch you.”

It’s a struggle any of us who walk in faith deal with. We become more secure in the tools He uses than in Him. We are harnessed with the breastplate of righteousness and are tethered by faith yet we are afraid to trust Him to hold us when we step out. When we do step out and we’re dangling, He has us facing upward to remind us to look at Him. If our eyes are on the world spinning below us, we’ll be terrified. If our eyes are on Him, we’ll find peace even if we’re dangling out of the cage and can’t see the net.

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Action vs Inaction

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I mentioned a couple of days ago that my uncle and I built a swing set for my son. What I didn’t tell you was that we did it without instructions. I downloaded the picture you see above here thinking there were instructions involved. This turned out to be a material and cut list. There were no instructions included. We were able to take that picture and create what you see just below this sentence.

20130605-074402.jpg

Walking in faith is a lot like that. God gives us a picture of where He’s taking us, but doesn’t provide the step by step instructions on how to get there. It’s hard to know where to begin, what’s next and how to make it happen. We feel overwhelmed. When I looked at that drawing of what could be, I got excited. When I looked at my driveway full of cut lumber with no instructions, I got worried.

When I look at the plan God has for me, the big picture, I get excited. When it comes down to taking the next step in the process, I get nervous. I start to wonder, “Is this really the next step? What if I mess up? How do I know this will work?” Question after question fills my mind until I question myself out of the next move. Fear of messing up or taking the wrong step paralyzes me.

My uncle and I must have gone back to the initial drawing a hundred times. I’d ask, “What do think is next? What cuts of lumber go there? How many of those do we have?” He’d say, “Just grab it and let’s go. If it’s not right, we’ll unscrew it and try something else.” When God says, “Move”, our fear of inaction should be greater than our fear of incorrect action. God is more than capable of correcting our wrong actions.

When we fail to move or fail to act, we aren’t just holding ourselves up, we are holding someone else up. My son was watching us through the window the whole time. He was anticipating and hoping to play on his new swing set, but he needed us to do our part first. The same thing happens in faith. Someone else, who you may never meet, is praying for God to answer them. God is asking you to act on their behalf even though you don’t know it.

What you do in faith isn’t just for you. There’s a ripple effect going on and your action is their answer. Someone else’s action is your answer to prayer. God could do all of it on His own, but He chooses to allow us to participate with Him in faith. He chooses to use you and me to accomplish His will. It’s a big job when you think about it. It can be scary. Your mind tells you that you don’t want to mess things up for God or someone else. But God can’t use your inaction. He can only do something with your action.

What is the next step in what He’s asked you to do? What excuses have you been using to keep from doing it? What can you do today to start acting in faith and moving towards that complete picture of what He’s shown you? Don’t be scared and don’t be upset if your next step is small. It’s a series of small steps that create the greatest works of faith.

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Faith’s Roller Coaster

When I was a kid, my parents took us to Six Flags Astroworld often. I always remember the anticipation of getting to ride the Texas Cyclone. My dad, who understood physics, always had us ride in the back seat. The ride would pull out of the station, my heart would start to beat faster. The ride pulled to the left and started the ascent up the first hill. Click, click, click. The smile on my face was so big my cheeks hurt. Click, click click. It went up so slowly that it seemed like forever to get to the top. Click, click, click.

All of a sudden I could hear the screams from the front car as they reached the top. Click, click, click. As I saw the hill approaching I would raise my hands. The suspense would kill me. I knew the rush that was about to come from going over the top. Click. I took a deep breath. Click. And suddenly, we were off on a set of twists and turns, peaks and valleys. The joy of getting thrown around side to side was too much. I was both laughing and scared at the same time as my stomach would come up to my throat.

I’m there in my life right now. I’m on my way to Haiti today to help build an orphanage. For the past six months the anticipation was much like waiting to go over the top. One month to go. Click, click, click. Passports ready. Click, click, click. Doing fundraisers to help raise the money needed. Click, click, click. Final check lists done. Click. Bags packed. Click. Arriving at the airport. Click. It’s time to take a deep breath and hang on for the ride.

I’m excited and nervous at the same time. I know God has something good in store, but there are so many unknowns. I can worry and scream about what’s coming or I can smile, throw my hands up and prepare for the ride. When I got in the car, I gave up my right to control what happens. It’s in control of going where the tracks lead. When I gave my heart to Christ, the same thing happened. I gave up control. My life is heading where His tracks lead.

I’m not sure why I get so nervous about the future. Jesus said in Matthew 6:34, “So don’t worry or be anxious about tomorrow.” He’s got the future, your future under control. There’s no sense in worrying about it. Just like on the roller coaster, you can’t always see what’s next. You may be able to see the mountains and valleys and turns coming, but what’s right in front of you is often a mystery. That’s the beauty of a roller coaster. That’s the beauty of life.

You aren’t in control. God is. Let Him worry about tomorrow. Give it over to Him. Smile. Throw
your hands up. Scream. Enjoy the ride. It will end before you know it. When you give up your life to God and allow Him to control it, you gave up the rights to a boring life. You just got on the Texas Cyclone! Your stomach might be in your throat some days. You might be out of breath on others. But when the train pulls in the station, you’ll be glad you got on the ride and want to do it again.

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Faith’s Roller Coaster

When I was a kid, my parents took us to Six Flags Astroworld often. I always remember the anticipation of getting to ride the Texas Cyclone. My dad, who understood physics, always had us ride in the back seat. The ride would pull out of the station, my heart would start to beat faster. The ride pulled to the left and started the ascent up the first hill. Click, click, click. The smile on my face was so big my cheeks hurt. Click, click click. It went up so slowly that it seemed like forever to get to the top. Click, click, click.

All of a sudden I could hear the screams from the front car as they reached the top. Click, click, click. As I saw the hill approaching I would raise my hands. The suspense would kill me. I knew the rush that was about to come from going over the top. Click. I took a deep breath. Click. And suddenly, we were off on a set of twists and turns, peaks and valleys. The joy of getting thrown around side to side was too much. I was both laughing and scared at the same time as my stomach would come up to my throat.

I’m there in my life right now. I’m on my way to Haiti today to help build an orphanage. For the past six months the anticipation was much like waiting to go over the top. One month to go. Click, click, click. Passports ready. Click, click, click. Doing fundraisers to help raise the money needed. Click, click, click. Final check lists done. Click. Bags packed. Click. Arriving at the airport. Click. It’s time to take a deep breath and hang on for the ride.

I’m excited and nervous at the same time. I know God has something good in store, but there are so many unknowns. I can worry and scream about what’s coming or I can smile, throw my hands up and prepare for the ride. When I got in the car, I gave up my right to control what happens. It’s in control of going where the tracks lead. When I gave my heart to Christ, the same thing happened. I gave up control. My life is heading where His tracks lead.

I’m not sure why I get so nervous about the future. Jesus said in Matthew 6:34, “So don’t worry or be anxious about tomorrow.” He’s got the future, your future under control. There’s no sense in worrying about it. Just like on the roller coaster, you can’t always see what’s next. You may be able to see the mountains and valleys and turns coming, but what’s right in front of you is often a mystery. That’s the beauty of a roller coaster. That’s the beauty of life.

You aren’t in control. God is. Let Him worry about tomorrow. Give it over to Him. Smile. Throw
your hands up. Scream. Enjoy the ride. It will end before you know it. When you give up your life to God and allow Him to control it, you gave up the rights to a boring life. You just got on the Texas Cyclone! Your stomach might be in your throat some days. You might be out of breath on others. But when the train pulls in the station, you’ll be glad you got on the ride and want to do it again.

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