Whenever I am afraid,
I will trust in You.
(Psalm 56:3 NKJV)
I remember my first roller coaster.
It was a warm, summer afternoon at a small, amusement park outside of town.
Among the day campers, families, and tired employees, there it was–
One of the two only rollercoasters in the entire kiddy park. Tracks shaped into small hills, slight turns, and barely-there dips. A train shaped like a friendly, green dragon that glided through it all.
I started to cry.
I was tall enough to ride the coaster, but young enough to be terrified of it.
Moments later, I was sitting next to Dad, strapped in–about to take it head on. Needless to say, I wasn’t ready. When the ride started, I cried so much that the operator stopped it so I could get off.
Years later, roller coasters became one of my favorite thrills. I don’t remember the time I tried a roller coaster for the second time, but at some point I made up my mind to face the fear–again. And as a result, I found something I love to do till this day.
My most precious experiences in life began with feelings of fear. Getting my first summer job. Taking a driver’s test to get my license. Moving out of state for college. Launching a public blog. Becoming a leader in a college ministry. Pursuing a career after college. The list goes on. Although I might have began these situations afraid, they pushed me towards major growth, deepened my relationship with God, helped me discover interests I love, and introduced me to people I would have never met.
Do you stop at the point of fear when an unfamiliar situation arises? Or do you rise to the occasion?
Psalm 56:3 doesn’t deny the existence of fear. Rather, it says when I am afraid, I will put my trust in God.
In other words: When moments of fear arise, I will choose not to be controlled by my fear. Instead, I will choose to see how much bigger God is than my fear.
It’s vital that we learn the difference between conviction and fear. Conviction can be a warning by the Holy Spirit saying, This is not wise. Instead of fear, conviction may lead you into peace that God is pushing you in another direction–even in times you don’t know why or where yet.
On the other hand, fear will control you with intruding thoughts. While making decisions out of fear can make you comfortably reside in your comfort zone, your peace will not last. Fear will pressure you to make impulsive decisions, slide into guilt, return to past pain, and trouble you with the outcome. You will not feel the peace of God with you–even if you feel like you’ve thought of Plan B already.
Fear means, I’ve taken control of the situation. Faith means, I’ve let God take control of the situation.
What are you afraid to do?
If you’re afraid to confront what God is putting on your heart, I want to encourage you to “do it scared.” If you’ve been putting off the next step, the next assignment, the next order of business, the obedience, I encourage you to not wait for fear to subside. Oftentimes, fear won’t leave right away.
However, fear won’t last forever.
Fear is a natural human response, but it can cause us to limit ourselves to the natural world. We serve a supernatural God who works in us–even in our weakness–in the moments when we feel small, unimportant, unloved, and incapable.
But it’s not about you. It’s about the God who can work through you.
Don’t let fear get in the way of your obedience. You’d be surprised of the places, passions, and people you can love when you just listen to God’s gentle nudge.
I ask again, What are you afraid to do?
Seek God’s voice–not the voice of fear. Does it line up with God’s Word–or go against it? Are there warning signs? Are you seeking wise counsel about it?
If God is saying, Yes, then do it–even if you have to do it scared.
Oh that you had paid attention to my commandments!
Then your peace would have been like a river,
and your righteousness like the waves of the sea…
(Isaiah 48:18 ESV)
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