“When you feel afraid, remember Jesus – then keep going.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 16, 2021
For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:13
My husband and I recently hosted a family in our home with a grade-school age daughter who was just learning to ski. As we started out on the slopes one morning, she quickly became discouraged after falling several times. My husband, who is a pro skier, took her aside for a few hours and taught her how to stop, turn, and control her speed. The difference at the end of the day was amazing!
Later that night at dinner, she said in no uncertain terms that she wouldn’t try anything more difficult the following day. We all chimed in to explain to her that she came so far that day, and that each new level she ascends to in skiing will require a fresh determination and new courage, that she must look fear in the face and decide she’ll do it any way even though she’s afraid, or she’ll never improve and reach her goal to be a better skier—and she won’t enjoy skiing more.
In our lives, there is good fear and bad fear. Good fear is the kind that protects us. It’s the kind that keeps you from walking down a dark alley at night and it’s based in wisdom. Bad fear will paralyze you and keep you from the good that God has for you. Bad fear keeps you from becoming who God has called you to be.
Some followers of Christ believe that if you fear, you must be out of God’s will, that if you are supposed to do this or that, that you will always experience perfect peace. This is not so.
When Nehemiah went to King Artaxerxes to ask for permission to rebuild the broken-down wall of Jerusalem, he said, “I was very much afraid” (Nehemiah 2:2) but he pressed through his fear to reach his goals.
Moses was afraid when God told him to leave his profession of shepherding to confront Pharaoh to release the Israelites (Exodus 4:1). But he did it anyway.
When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, he experienced agony. In his book, The Overcoming Life, Jimmy Evans says, “The English word agony comes from the Greek word agonia and means two things. First, it means great fear or maximum emotional stress. Second, it means a contest or wrestling match—a fight for victory. . . in Gethsemane, Jesus experienced more fear than any other human being has ever experienced.”
Christ knew full well what it means to be afraid. Be he did not allow this to make him run or turn away. Instead, He pressed through to do His Father’s will.
When you feel resistance in life because you are standing before a task, a person, a problem, or a ski mountain that looks too big to conquer and you feel afraid, remember Jesus—then keep going. He will be there to strengthen and help you. He’s been there and He understands.
In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Lord, thank you that you are always with me and that you will never leave me. During those times when I am afraid, you will help me.
Are you facing fear now? Talk with the Lord about it. If you are called to press through your fear to overcome it, decide with the Lord’s help that you will not be held back.
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