“Sometimes fear does not subside and one must choose to do it afraid.”
I would like to say that my faith is so strong that I am never afraid, but that would be a lie. Some circumstances in life have caught me off guard and I permitted fear to hinder my faith. Panic and stress are excellent at ushering in feelings and chaos. The death of my mother, a recent job loss, and my prodigal son are all examples when I have succumbed to fear. Even mature Christians suffer from moments of weakness that result in fear.
The most repeated advice throughout the Old and the New Testaments is, Do not be afraid! Altogether some form of Do not be afraid is repeated 365 times throughout Scripture! God knows His children are susceptible to fear and encourages us constantly to set our fearfulness aside. This means that when we are afraid we must still move forward.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, was fearful when the angel Gabriel announced she would give birth to the Savior of the world. There were many reasons for her to be scared but she did not refuse the honor bestowed. Instead, she declared, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” She moved forward in her betrothal and pregnancy, even with fear in her heart.
“But when she saw him she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.’” Luke 1:29-31 (NKJV)
Matthew 14 recounts the time when the disciples were sitting in a boat buffeted by strong winds. The weather alone caused trepidation, but then they saw Jesus walking on water the Bible states that they were terrified.
“When the disciples saw Him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear.” Matthew 14:16 (NKJV)
Although Peter was petrified, he decided to trust Jesus and step out of the boat. In a fearful state, he moved forward into the impossible and experienced a miracle. His faith carried him on top of the water to a place he never thought he could go.
Moses knew Joshua was taking on a lot as the new leader of Israel. His successor was appointed to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. In spite of his fears, Joshua moves forward in order to take hold of God’s promise.
“ Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, ‘Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the LORD swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance.’” Deuteronomy 31:7 (NKJV)
Finally, consider Queen Ester. She faced her fear of death in order to save her people. If she had not walked (uninvited) into the inner courts of the king, she would not have carried out God’s plan to save the Jews from total annihilation.
“All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that any man or woman who goes into the inner court to the king, who has not been called, he has but one law: put all to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter, that he may live. Yet I myself have not been called to go in to the king these thirty days.” Esther 4:11
There will be times when we must face our fears and move forward. Faith, even the size of a mustard seed, will move mountains. When trials hit and adversity knocks on the door, look up. Always look up! Faith will carry you, whether fear is present or not.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)