By: Zach Collins
If you were to poll one hundred Christians and ask them the question:
What one factor holds you back spiritually?
How do you believe those Christians would answer? Peer pressure, maybe. Anxiety, possibly. In my mind, I believe that fear would be the most common answer. I’m not talking about the fear of heights, I’m not talking about the fear of clowns, I’m not talking about weird phobias. I’m talking about fears within our spiritual life. We all have them. Just to list a few:
- The fear of change.
- The fear of the failure.
- The fear of loneliness.
- The fear of ridicule.
You know, those fears. Sometimes, those fears keep us from telling others the good news about Jesus. Sometimes, those fears keep us from living faithfully within Christ. Sometimes, those fears stifle our Christianity and keep the seed of god from growing within our hearts (Luke 8). After all, fear grows were fear thrives. If fear thrives in your heart, then fear will grow within your heart. But, what is the remedy to the sickness of fear within our Faith? Turn to Joshua 1:9.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
This verse is the remedy. In this verse, Joshua writes about fear. Specifically, the manner in which we are to overcome fear. At the beginning of this scripture, Joshua says, “…Be strong and of good courage…” In other words, be strong and courageous. That’s simple enough, right? To be strong means to be rooted in your faith, unmovable within your convictions. It means to slight the opinions of others and stand for God. In other words, stand up for your Faith even if you are the only one standing. I once heard an analogy about a strong Christian. A strong Christian is like a beautiful diamond. They withstand immense pressure and heat from the World, which transforms the Christian into a strong and courageous jewel. A jewel whose usefulness is priceless within the vast Kingdom of God. That is a strong Christian. Are you strong within your Faith? To be compassionate is to be daring or bold for your Faith. It means that if the path of others jeopardizes your Faith, chart your own path. Despite the fact, you might have to walk that path by yourself. I once heard a quote by Mark Twain that said, “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” You cannot run away from fear. It is a continual aspect of our life that will last the entirety of our life. Everybody has fears. Yet, there is one way we can deal with fear. We can learn to resist fear and master those fears. But, that resistance, that mastery, is at it’s strongest when God is on your side. If trust we trust in Him, we will become a courageous Christian. Are you courageous within your Faith? But, my favorite part of this verse is the latter part, “…do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” How comforting is that? If I go to work, God is with me. If I go to school, God is with me. If I go to the grocery store, God is with me. Wherever I go, in this world, God is with me. But, that also means something else. I am never alone. If I stand up for my Faith and I feel like I’m standing alone, I’m really not alone. God is with me, he’ll stand with me. If I chart a path that differs from the path of others and I feel like I’m walking alone, I’m not alone. God is walking with me. You see, that is the remedy. That is how we, as Christians, overcome fear within our Faith; Through our Faith, with God walking beside us through every obstacle of fear within our life. I have one more analogy for you. When most people get scared in the darkness, what do they do? They flip the light switch. This tactic applies two-fold to the point of this article. Sometimes, we’ve got to turn our Christian light on, in this world of darkness, in order to illuminate the path of the righteous. After all, it’s easier to follow the path if we know where we are going.
If I were to poll one hundred Christians and ask them the question:
How do we, as Christians, overcome fear within our Faith?
How do you think those Christians would answer? I hope the answer would be, with God by my side.
Reader’s Verse of Encouragement:
Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Him that strengthens me.” (ESV)