Well, we've come to the end of this series. If I'm honest, it's been a hard month of working through fears. How fitting for a month of also working on a series called Faith > Fear.
If there's one thing that I'm learning, it's that we will never be fearless. There will always be something in our lives that causes fear or anxiety. It could creep up in the least likely of time, or it could be a reoccurring struggle with particular triggers.
In this life, I am never going to be completely fearless, but I serve and love a God that is fearless.
I'm learning that when you know God, when you sit at His feet and allow Him to embrace you with His all consuming love, there's no room for fear.
His perfect love casts out fear.
Sure, I will experience fear in this life, and it often tries to consume me, but I serve a God far greater than my fears, far greater than my "anythings".
I was actually reading a book called Anything by Jennie Allen a few weeks ago. Funny enough, I think reading that book prompted this series, but Jennie Allen honestly and candidly shares about praying the word "anything" to God. Anything is scary.
We've looked at so many different things that trigger fear this past month, so many anythings. God wants to be Lord over our anythings, over any and every fear we might have.
If God's big enough to calm storms, close the mouths of lions, resurrect His One and only Son, and give us eternal life in Jesus, He's big enough to overcome the fears and the anythings in our lives.
So what are your anythings, the things that trigger fear or doubt? Are you willing to give them up to God and live a life of faith greater than fear?
It's scary. I'm right there with you, but it will bring so much life. Let's live a life of faith in the God of the universe, a God so much greater than anything.
Links to encourage you on this journey
When You Fear the Future
I think I might have already shared this one, but it is too good not to share again.
Because Every Brave Soul Has Faced Fear
The title says it all.
What Really Happens When We Look Fear in the Face
Great little post about what really conquers fear.
The Joy of Fearing God
I just discovered a whole bunch of articles on (in)courage, and this is another one.
The Fear That Frees
A devo from She Reads Truth from 1 Peter.
Fear is something that I've been working through with the Lord for a long time. Seeing old posts that I've written reminds me of how the Lord has grown me, but also how much He is still doing in my heart in the area of fear.
On this throwback Thursday, I thought I would share another post that I wrote a little less than a year ago. It's call The Opposite of Fear.
It's kind of fun that God used the same passage (1 John 4) that motivated parts of this series in my life a year ago as well. Take a read!
What if I walk away? That's a question I've asked myself and others have asked me when it comes to their relationship with the Lord. What if I walk away from my faith?
It's a question asked out of fear, fear that something will happen or come along that impacts our faith in a major way or that our hearts will change.
I've had seasons where I've come face to face with this fear, and I've had wise counselors remind me that the same God that pursue me and won me is the same God that continues to pursue me and continues to win me. He is a jealous God, and He's not willing to willing to let what belongs to Him go.
Even when we are faithless, He is faithful (2 Timothy 2:13).
John Piper recently release an encourage Look At The Book, which is a video series where he shows in depth Bible study of specific passages. In a recent LATB, he took a look at 1 Peter 7 in a video called Why Your Faith Will Not Fail.
If you've ever feared walking away or that your faith isn't strong enough, this is an encouraging video for you.
Death. What brings about more fear that the fear of death? Death is the one thing none of us can escape in this life. Death and taxes.
I saw far more death than the average child growing up. By the time I was nine, all of my grandparents passed away as well as other relatives. As a nine year old, I was well acquainted with the atmosphere of retirement homes as well as funeral homes.
Seeing death at a young age, does something to you. For me, it made me fearful of death. I would look up into my mother's eyes at night as she would tuck me into bed, and I would cry. Lovingly she would ask me why I was crying, and I would respond, "Will you die too?"
I was fearful of death, and I allowed that fear to dictate my life. It also led to a lot of soul searching as a kid. I often spent time thinking about the meaning of life and what happens to us after we die.
My fear and asking these questions led me right to Jesus when I was a freshman in college. There were other factors that led me to the Lord in college, but I remember the night that I accepted Christ as my Savior. It was like a huge weight was lifted. I no longer had to fear death. Christ set me free from my sins and from fear of death, through faith in Him as my Savior.
I'm reminded of this every time I read the passage of Scripture about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.
What makes Christianity and following Jesus so different from other religions in the world is the resurrection. Jesus brought people back from death to life. He himself was resurrected. He brings people back from spiritual death to spiritual life in this world, and He offers eternal life after death to those that believe in Him.
I love being reminded of this in John 11: 1-44.
Lazarus was dead. Dead, dead. He was in the grave for four days. That's a foul smell right there.
And Jesus brought him back from the grave, but before he performs this miracle, Jesus makes a bold claim to Lazarus' sister, Martha:
I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.
And then he brings Lazarus back from the dead, showing his power and the truth in his words.
Because of Jesus, we don't have to fear death. Jesus is the resurrection and the life, and though we will die in this life, if we believe in him, we will live.
I don't know about you, but that is a hope greater than my fear of death.
What about you? Do you fear death, or do you question what will happen to you when you die? If so, read the book of John and consider what it has to say about Jesus and life after death.
But for those of you who believe in Christ, death in this life only leads to eternal life with the lover of our souls. Now that's a faith far greater than our fear of death.
For this last Scripture Sunday in the series, I thought I would share a long passage of Scripture that has been impacting me lately in the area of choosing faith over fear. It's John 11: 1-44, and it's about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Take a read.
You can read the passage in full here.
We'll take a look at it more tomorrow.
This post is part of a 31 day series called Faith > Fear. You can read all the posts in the series here.
Links to encourage or inspire as we move along in this series.
The Only FOMO to Fear
Going back to the fear of mission out.
The only fear that is a good fear.
The Reality of Battling Fear
A lot of great nuggets.
When People Are Big and God is Small
A great book that attacks the heart of fearing man.
This post is part of a 31 day series called Faith>Fear. You can read all of the posts in the series here.
With a conference this weekend, I'm not going to have a whole lot of time to write today, but I thought I would share this great post from Desiring God.
It's called Don't Coddle Your Fears. I was challenged by it, and I hope it helps encourage all of us on this journey as well.
You can read the article here.
Tomorrow, the ministry that I work for will be having our annual Fall Conference. In anticipation and excitement, I thought I would share the talks from Fall Conference my freshman year. And the them is so fitting: Fearless.
Below are links to the three main session talks. I've been encouraged by them and stirred up towards choosing faith in Christ over fear, and I hope they encourage you as well.
This post is part of a 31 day series called Faith > Fear. You can read all of the posts here.
Do you ever have those moments where you're doing something and it brings you back to a time when you were doing the same thing? That happened to me the other night while I was trying to fall asleep.
I was just laying in my bed, and it brought me back to my trip to Poland over a year ago. My team had just arrived in Poland after 30 some hours of travel. We were tired and hungry, and the first thing we did once we got into Poland was travel to our hotel, eat traditional Polish sandwiches and some chocolate, shower and go to bed.
While I was laying in bed in my own home, it brought me back to laying on a couch-turned-bed in Poland. It was my first official night thousands of miles away from Pennsylvania. While I was excited for the six weeks ahead, I was also terrified. I remember laying on that bed with a few tears streaming down my cheeks as I pondered the unknown and sought comfort in God.
My thoughts: What have I done? I'm thousands of miles away from home. I don't really know a single person here, and I'm here for the next six weeks.
Something joyful and exciting brought me anxiety and fear.
Thinking about it a year later in the comfort of my own home made me chuckle. What was I thinking? Why was I so terrified? I was only going to be there for six weeks, so why didn't I take in the joy of being abroad that first night?
Well, I was fearful of the unknown.
I'm finding that fear of the unknown often robs me of experiencing joy and contentment in the midst of new and exciting seasons. Not only that, but when I'm fearful of the unknown, I'm not trusting God, who promises in His Word that He is before us.
Looking back, I didn't have to be afraid of the unknown during my time in Poland. God had my trip perfectly planned out, and it was one of the best experiences of my life, getting to see God at work amongst the nations.
In fact, I think what I learned the most from my time overseas is that God is always with me. He's with me in foreign nations, in foreign stores, and in all future events and times. Having faith in that truth is what enabled me to trust Him in the midst of unknowns in Poland. Having faith in that truth is what enables me to trust Him in the midst of unknowns now. God is with us and before us, and His Word promises that and we see it many times in Scripture. But the passage of Scripture that always encourages me when I'm fearful of the unknown is Deuteronomy 31:1-7
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.
Moses tells this to Joshua when Joshua succeeds Moses. Joshua is the one that will be leading the Israelites into the Promised Land, and there are a lot of unknowns ahead, but Moses encourages Joshua that the Lord will be with him.
This encourages me when I'm faced with unknowns. When I don't know, God does know, and He goes before me. And if you're facing an unknown, God goes before you as well, and you can trust that He is already there.
This post is part of a 31 day series called Faith > Fear. You can read all the posts in the series here.
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She Laughs Without Fear