“But I’m afraid,” my five-year-old son stated as he climbed down from the jungle gym. Fear was his reason to back down and walk away from the small zipline that would absolutely have been a blast. “I bet David was afraid, too, when he faced Goliath,” I replied, reminding him of the Bible story we had read the night before. My son said, “David wasn’t afraid, he was brave.”
I think if we’re honest, we also believe that the opposite of fear is bravery. That when we feel afraid, we must not be courageous enough and therefore, capable enough to do or say the thing in front of us. If we can’t fully understand or control the situation we’re facing, we freeze, hesitate, or turn back. Maybe we are afraid of what other people might think about us, or afraid of disappointing someone. Maybe we are afraid we might fail if we try or remember that last time, it didn’t work out. It’s those fears that paralyze us. We feel stuck before we’ve even gotten started. Like my son on the jungle-gym, we get halfway there and convince ourselves it’s not worth it to keep going. We decide we must not be brave enough to do it.
But actually. fear and courage go hand-in-hand. If something doesn’t scare you, then it doesn’t require bravery. In fact, you are courageous when you face your fear. Like we see from David when he faces a giant (1 Samuel 17), faith in the Lord is at the center of our bravery.
It takes faith to believe that God is in control of every situation, that He is with you through it all, and that He cares deeply for you. When we feel afraid, we have a gentle yet powerful God who equips us to handle the situation at hand. A God who provides wisdom and strength, peace and confidence.
Let God’s Word remind you who God is so that you have the courage to face your fears:
Isaiah 26:3: You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
Psalm 56:3-4: When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?
Psalm 23:4: Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Joshua 1:9: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
John 14:27: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Isaiah 43:1: But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”
2 Timothy 1:7: for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
God,Your Word says that “there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). Thank you that we have been perfectly loved by you and therefore, have nothing to fear. Turn our hearts and minds back to you when we feel afraid. Help us to keep our thoughts fixed on you and your character, rather than all the unknowns that scare us. We love you and we trust you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.