How ever you do the math, it is clear that God has emphasized the importance of trusting Him and letting go of our fears again and again in the precious words He’s given us. The concept of letting go of our fear is really only exceeded in the Bible by God’s references to love. And, of course, “perfect love casts out all fear.”
Absolute faith in God is the absolute lack of fear. In fact, our faith grows in direct measure to how far we’re willing to leap with God as our only safety net. If we don’t feel like we’re really growing with God, we need to ask ourselves, “How fearless is our faith?” Sure, we all have faith that there is a God, that we’ll go to Heaven, that He has a plan for us, that we can wear our Jesus shirts with pride, etc. But, do we have faith that God will take care of us in the moments that bring out our worst fears?
I think about Abraham and Sarah and their only son, Isaac. They were 100 and 90 respectively when Isaac was born. They had waited so long- really more than a lifetime- for a baby and they loved him beyond measure. As the mother of an only child, I can imagine they cherished Isaac above any other thing in their lives and would have, in fact, given their own lives for his. So, when God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac- to kill his own son- I’m thinking a little bit of fear entered into the equation. For me, it would have been fear of losing the thing I held most dear in this world. Fear of knowing I had caused pain for my spouse and all those who loved my child. Fear of walking through unfathomable grief and pain. Fear of being WRONG about what God was asking. But, Abraham had great faith in God and he obediently took Isaac to the place of sacrifice. As Abraham was about to plunge the knife into his child, God spared Isaac’s life and Abraham was richly rewarded for his faith. The story of Abraham’s descendants is one we all belong to, so I am tremendously grateful that he chose faith over fear.
I think about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They refused to dishonor God by worshipping the king’s idol and knew that they were facing death in the fiery furnace. The furnace was so hot that the guards carrying the trio to the incinerator were burned up. Though they had faith that God held them in their hands, I imagine their hearts were pounding like crazy. I don’t even like to go to the mailbox in the summertime here in Las Vegas. Can you picture approaching a blazing fire pit that’s intended to turn you to ashes? And, yet, the three men did not waver and were met by God in the furnace and delivered from their fiery fate. They chose faith over fear.
And how can I not think about Esther? She risked her own life to save her people. She didn’t choose faith over fear right away. But, eventually, she answered God’s call. It was her obedience that forever changed history. She chose faith over fear!
The Bible is full of stories of those who were obedient to God and chose faith over fear. For even the most devout among us, God sometimes has to take us to the edge of life and death to get us to understand that He will not fail us! He has to lead some of us through some of the scariest things imaginable to get us to embrace- at the deepest levels of our hearts and souls- that He is faithful (worthy of our faith).
Right now, there may be something that’s holding you back from going where God has asked you to go. You’re thinking, “If I do this, then (insert worst case scenario here).” God is thinking, “If (insert worst case scenario here) happens, there will be nothing standing between us and I can show you who I Am.”
I pray for you today to really examine the fearlessness of your faith and to ask God to lead you in choosing faith over fear.