In light of the recent attacks against Paris and the people of France, we have seen fear escalate not only across peoples of this nation, but across the nations of the world. Fear is a powerful weapon and unless boldly confronted, in time, it will surely consume us.
Absolutely nothing good resides in fear. Fear inevitably paralyzes and destroys. Sadly, many people never fulfill the call on their lives, not because of lack of skill or ability, but because of fear. Many try to take steps forward, but, regrettably, fear stops and hinders them. Many fears challenge us…fear of terrorism, fear of disease, fear of flying, fear of being alone, fear of being different, fear of failure, fear of what others may say or think, and the list continues from there. Fear empties our lives and burdens us with worry and apprehension.
According to 1 John 4:18 fear brings torment. Enjoying life and being tormented at the same time by no means bears fruit for a fulfilling life. How can we truly engage in the life we’ve been given while nibbling on a diet of fear. For most of us, fear of others, and what they think or believe about us, is the most common and debilitating fear. Many times we hesitate to share the truth of the gospel with others for fear of what they may say or think. Often times we hesitate to draw boundaries or to say “no” to things we know might offend others, even if we feel a nudge from the Spirit to share.Twice in his farewell address to the elders at Ephesus, Paul says, “I did not shrink back” or “I have not hesitated” (Acts 20:20,27). Paul was bold about communicating truth. He repeated this phrase twice because he knew that the people would continually be tempted to shrink back from dealing with issues that needed to be addressed. Whether it’s sharing the hard parts of Scripture or confronting hard relational issues, we must not shrink back.
Frequently, we don’t dare let others see us get “too” excited about Christ or evangelism, because often times we’re afraid of being singled out or being criticized as a “holy roller” a “Jesus freak”, or other names we deem offensive. How often has fear of criticism paralyzed us from speaking truth, taking risks, and breaking from the crowd, especially when we know the Lord is encouraging us to do so.
I love this quote from Teddy Roosevelt:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. “
May we be people who enter the “arena” every day of our lives.
May we never shrink back in fear.
May we never fear failure even if we stumble and fall.
May we speak the truth boldly and risk all for the benefit of Christ.
May our cause always be for you Lord, for your glory, for your kingdom…We give our lives.
Scriptures for Prayer:
Isaiah 35:4 Say to those who are fearful-hearted, “Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance,
With the recompense of God; He will come and save you.”
Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you,Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:13 For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, “Fear not, I will help you.