“My enemies, whom I have never harmed, hunted me down like a bird. They threw me into a pit and dropped stones on me. The water rose over my head, and I cried out, “This is the end!” But I called on your name, Lord, from deep within the pit. You heard me when I cried,“Listen to my pleading! Hear my cry for help!”Yes, you came when I called; you told me, “Do not fear.” Lord, you have come to my defense; you have redeemed my life. You have seen the wrong they have done to me, Lord. Be my judge, and prove me right.” – Lamentations 3:52-59.
People who have never experienced a hurricane have a hard time understanding why anyone would want to. Why would anyone stay in the path of one? The prudent thing would be to point the car in the opposite direction of the storm and drive as fast as traffic will allow. Some people chose to stay during Hurricane Michael because they had to, others stayed trusting the storm would miss them or diminish in intensity before it arrived and others when they tried to leave were told it was too late. Those who stayed experienced the full force of nature. They saw the wind wrap steel around a tree, boats being flung on dry land, roofs ripped off and houses simply crushed inward. They saw how trees can snap like matchsticks. Many of the people who stayed would not stay if another hurricane came. Because they have learned that a category 4 hurricane is something to fear.
Many things can arouse fear within us. It can stem from our own weaknesses or life experiences. It can rise from a lack of control. Regardless of the form it takes fear is universal. We all suffer from fear at one time or another. The question is are we stuck in neutral, or are we moving forward as a result of our fears? While the natural tendency is to stop or turn back when things are going poorly, that is not the answer. We were never meant to fall victim to fear, but to overcome it. God is greater than your fears. Fear robs us of God’s best. And reaching your full potential in Jesus is on the other side of your fears.
David wrote in Psalm 27:1: “The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?
In the book of Lamentations, Jeremiah had been singing the blues. In fact, if you look at the first verse in chapter 3, he says, “I am the one who has seen the afflictions…” Here was Jeremiah’s reaction: “I called on your name, Lord, from deep within the pit … you came when I called; you told me, ‘Do not fear.'” Then he adds, “Lord, you have come to my defense; you have redeemed my life. (Lamentations 3:55, 57-58)
When you face fear remember Lamentations. There is hope to be found even in the middle of despair. We can wait with confidence if we put all our hope in our great God.
- What do you fear and how does it affect the way you live? Does it lead to anger, worry, or anxiety?
- Is there something God has commanded from His Word that you are fearful to do? Why are you fearful? What truth about God gives you courage in the midst of fear?