What would you do if you had no fear? What would your life be like if you had no fear? What would you attempt for God if you knew you couldn’t fail? What would you plan to do if you were convinced that God would resource you? What would your approach be to setbacks and challenges if you were empowered by God’s faithfulness? ~Graham Cooke
But now thus says the Lord, He who created you, O Jacob, He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in My eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you. I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by My name, whom I created for My glory, whom I formed and made.” ~from Isaiah 43
Oh beloved, it is true. There is a place for fear. But it is not in this world. We are getting it dreadfully backwards when we have no dread of the Almighty and are scared to death of the littlest things in this life.
Lest any of you brothers reading this think that i am writing from some place where i do not have an understanding of what is going on in life, may i present a few details? i have been in a near plane crash in Costa Rica, followed by some bad guys in Palestinian Territory (really), stopped and questioned by a radical Muslim on a trash mountain outside of Jakarta, and survived a knife attack in the Philippines. And each time, G_d was there with me in ways that go beyond words.
Yeah, the life of an international worker can be a little exciting.
But, beyond this, i have had truckloads of the opportunity to be afraid of the more daily things. Like…
What people think of me
Where my next paycheck or meal is going to come from
How my health is working out
Being misunderstood by my spouse
Dealing with waves of chronic pain
Loss of relationship with children
Being disliked by coworkers and students
Being misunderstood (sometimes purposely) by those who could not believe what G_d was and is doing in my life.
There’s more… Each of us could come up with a long list of thing about which we could be afraid. And nearly all of them seem reasonable. But, they are not. Can we be honest with ourselves? Fear is nothing other than a lack of faith. Fear is my damnable pride getting in the way of truth. Fear is an excuse to avoid the unavoidable truth of the Gospel.
Read the passage beloved. The cure for fear is not just believing real hard in some self-powered attempt at faith. No, the cure for fear is to rest in the one thing that draws us towards real and abiding strength. Love is the cure.
But, can we see what kind of Love this is? The Love of G_d is not some sort of warm fuzzy feeling (though this fool of a writer is sure that He has those for us too). No, the Love of G_d has traded away influence and interest in nations to get ahold of us. The Love of G_d is a lifesaving, firewalking, river-fording, and all-consuming Love! We a precious to the very One who defines value itself. We are honored by the One who is more honorable than 10,000 princes of the purest royal houses.
Can we see it? Love like this grows something powerful within us. Love like this steels the heart and calms the nerves. Love like this drives out fear. And this is exactly what the only One we should fear intends. For as we look to Him and become dreadfully aware of our fallenness in light of His dreadful perfection – we see the one thing we never thought we would see: Acceptance in His Son, and Love beyond our wildest dreams in His eyes. Forever.
So, is fear dogging you lately? Maybe you could take it from an old guy like me out in the field. Fear is a liar. It was one of the best things i ever let go of. And when it wants to poke its head up in my life, i pray for the grace to look away from the foul thing, and just look into His eyes. When i do, when i look into those eyes – the fear is gone – replaced by the strength of His Love.
Tonight is your night. Time to believe you are Loved.
Written by Makala Doulos: Makala is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.
Daily Quote: “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.” ~Karol Józef Wojtyła
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. ~Romans 8:28-30