“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’” —Jeremiah 29:11
Nearly every morning, Annie (my Golden Retriever) and I go for a walk. I’m fairly certain that our walks are different than some: ours is an adventure in discovery. We stop at every telephone pole and every pillar. Every blowing leaf has to be examined and trash is a gold mine just waiting to be pounced upon (she is still a pup after all). While I walk in straight lines, she is a constant back and forth zig-zag. But, she is growing up.
The things along our walk that used to spook her no longer do. The smell that captivated us yesterday barely gets a sniff today. The dumpster that she would not walk by last week is not even a hesitation this week. The neighbors loud dog barking through the fence is still a concern but no longer stops us cold.
As the Scripture says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer. 29:11).
While the “prospering” part of this verse is comforting, we sometimes gloss over the “not to harm you” part. Just as Annie grows more comfortable with our neighborhood and approaches her trepidations with growing confidence, we may also have to directly face our fears in order to overcome them.
God will require us to face and conquer the small fears and unknowns in life so that we don’t cut-and-run at every little fear.
When we learn to trust God and get past our fears, we often realize there really was nothing to be afraid of after all.
When God asks us to face a fear, remember that He says he is not going to harm us and that He will walk with us. Additionally, 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” We can have confidence in His promises. “Holy confidence” is one of the things in life that makes all things better.
When we live with the confidence that God is going to take care of us, we face life’s tough issues differently!
While learning how to go from “fear” to “confidence” is rarely a straight or easy path, it is a very important one to walk. We have to let God teach us to face our fears in life. Together with Him, we can stand and overcome.
Prayer for the week:
Dear Father, thank you for helping me learn to stand and face my fears rather than run from them. Your learning process is rough at times, but thank you for teaching, guiding, and working with me at a deep and personal level. Please help me to remember Your promises and to move from fearful to fear-conquering. Amen.
Mark Eigsti is senior pastor at Freedom Church of the Nazarene in Lebanon, Missouri, USA.
Written for Coffee Break with Holiness Today.