Fear comes in many forms: fear for our health; the health of those we love; the safety of those we love; fear of parenting wrong; fear of death; fear of growing old; fear of losing someone; fear of rejection; fear of confrontation; fear of abandonment; fear of being alone; fear of loss; fear of success; fear of failure; fear of the future; etc. You get the idea, the list could be endless. The question is, what are you afraid of and why?
Maybe something as a child caused the fear. Teasing caused a fear of rejection. You micromanage everything to hold the fear of losing control in check. You’ve watched an older relative grow old and die and you wonder what will happen to you when you get old.
So what can you do about it? Fear can rule you or you can take action while afraid. Courage is the ability to do something in spite of fear.
The Bible talks about fear a lot. I’ve heard there are 365 verses talking about fear, one for each day of the year. However, today, I will focus on one verse, one of my personal favorites, Deuteronomy 31:8:
“It is the Lord who goes before you; he will be with you, he will not fail you or forsake you; do not fear or be dismayed.”
So much truth is in this verse. As I apply this verse to various situations in my life, I learn new nuggets of truth.
What I have learned from the promises in this verse so far are:
The Lord goes before me. He is in the future clearing a path. He is a trailblazer, cutting down all weeds and undergrowth to make a path to walk on tomorrow. He knows the challenges for tomorrow and every other tomorrow afterwards. He clears the way so I can make the best choices.
He will be with me. He is with us in a real and personal way. Even though we may feel alone on our journey, he is always right beside us, right here, and right now. He is always with us.
He will not fail me or forsake me. People let us down because they can’t provide everything we need. Spouses, friends, parents, children, and relatives are all imperfect people who have limitations, just as we do. They all will fail us and forsake us in some way. Whether it is by betrayal, rejection, or death, however, God does not fail us or forsake us. God provides everything we need: love, security and purpose.
Do not fear or be dismayed. Much of life can be frightening. A loved one in the hospital. Death. The cancer diagnosis. Dismay at your child’s behavior. Frightening political climate. Much fear, much dismay. Do not be afraid or dismayed at what happens in the world because God is still God. His character doesn’t change.
God is in the future clearing a path for you. He walks alongside you on the path. He will not wander off and leave you alone. He loves you and wants to spend time with you. You have a companion for the journey, someone loving, trustworthy and loyal. Trust these promises, even while afraid, to gain courage.