Below is a devotional I get twice daily on my smart phone. It’s a wonderful site that provides specific bible verses and a brief related story that brings the two together. It also provides a trivia quest and a bible humor/joke. I can not say that all humor hits my funny bone. I have included the entry from today and I will share some personal notes at the end.
“The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Psalm 118:6 (NIV)
“With the Lord on my side I do not fear. What can mortals do to me?” Psalm 118:6 (NRSV)
“Fear, it leads to worry and obsession. It causes us to overreact or become paralyzed with inaction. When you feel the anxiety rising up in your throat and constant reminders abound to keep your broken record of thoughts swirling around, fear not. For the Lord is with you. If you seek Him, He will provide peace, comfort, and understanding. When the fear begins to rise up, conquer it! Do not let fear reign over you. The Lord is more powerful than fear.” http://jctrois.com
I can completely relate to this story. I have experienced a lot of fear during my life so far and continue to struggle at times. I can, with all honesty and sincerity tell you that the closer my relationship is to God, the less fearful I am. I know that most of my fears are results of me making assumptions about people and things, and sometimes a direct result of my confidence tank being empty. The closer I am to God, the more I want to seek His Will and not my own; when this happens there’s little room for fear to enter into my life and cause confusion and doubts. I have learned that confidence has to come from within; other people or things cannot give you confidence to be fearless. God is the only true source of clarity, strength, confidence and empowerment to conquer fear.
Our fears can be the result of our life experiences, situations and people we come into contact with. Just as we cannot do anything to receive salvation and eternal life in Heaven with God, our Creator and Savior; we are saved because God loves us and the price of our salvation was and is the life, death and resurrection of the Son of God. Jesus came to earth to be born for the sole purpose of sacrificing himself for the atonement for our sins, Jesus, the sinless took upon himself the sins of the entire world, faced pain and torment beyond anything our cruel minds could conjure up; Jesus withstood the pain of His Father looking away as He took upon sin, our sins, as God cannot look at sin as written in Isaiah 59:1-2 (NIV) “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NRSV) “No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.”
My personal battles with fear cross a wide range from individuals, to friendships, professional position, and even to my faith community. I would also like to reiterate that overcoming fear is internal; the external reasons whether just or not they have no power above God’s power. Fear to those of us that feel it, it is very real to us . I wish I could tell you the process of facing fears is an easy one. Truth is fears are learned over a long period of time and reinforced through our relationships, our jobs and through our environment, plus our social positions. Trusting God is your key to facing your fears, the first step is knowing and believing in Jesus Christ as your Lord & Savior. The closer our relationship with God, our faith received clarity to the Will of God in our lives. I still have fears, I can recognize them seeping into my life and because of that awareness I can remind myself of a great acronym a friend gave me and I hope it brings you confidence as it does for me:
F = False
E = Evidence
A = Appearing
R = Real
In closing, just as our faith needs to grow daily through the nourishment we receive from studying the Scriptures, so must our strength, confidence and understanding be sharpened by our interactions with others by followings God’s Word.
2 Timothy 2:15 (NRSV)
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth.”
Triumphant Song of Confidence Of David.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
Psalm 27:1 (NRSV)
~Blessings and Peace~