What Do You Fear Most?

When do you feel fear? Most of us can easily come up with a list of items in the general category of fright: cockroaches, snakes, clowns, heights, needles. I have one dear friend who grimaces at the sight of a belly button. We have a beloved coworker who is so easily startled that we keep a record of how many days it has been since her last piercing shriek.

If I sit with the question longer, deeper and quieter concerns I seldom speak out loud or write on paper begin to surface—fears that keep me awake into the early morning, or that I’ve learned to keep buried as I go throughout my day. I know I’m not alone in this. Some fears are driven by present circumstances and needs. Others are rooted in the wounds of my past, pain I’ve caused myself and others or from trauma at the hands of another. Then there are my insecurities and doubts about the world, myself, and my relationships. The longer I reflect, the more I recognize how much I truly am afraid of.

Yet the Bible repeatedly tells us, in stories and straightforward commands: “Do not fear.” Frankly, this command can feel impossible, or even foolish, given the realities of the world we live in. But as we discovered while creating this reading plan, these scriptures are not a command to grit our teeth, muster up internal resolve, and get over our long lists. Each command also provides the means of obedience, the real solution to not only enduring but overcoming fear: the consistent character of our faithful, ever present God. 

Instead of condemning our imperfection, Scripture provides encouragement for all sorts of circumstances because God knows we will face fearful situations. Instead of being ruled by fear, we are offered another path. We can live in the security and confidence of who God is, what He has done for us, who we are in Him, and what we are promised in Jesus. Our God remains the same, no matter what may come our way. 

As you look to your life, take inventory of your own relationship with fear. As you keep reading each day, you’ll see the reasons why this command is possible to obey, and how our very real God is present in every circumstance. My prayer for you, for all of us, is that we would arrive at the end of these three weeks celebrating the freedom found in this simple, repeated command: Do not fear.

Jessica Lamb

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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