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.Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
What things frighten you the most? For some people, their fears come from simple things like bugs or snakes. For others, events from their past cause them to fret as they worry about them happening again. No matter the cause, we all have something that frightens us.
For years, my biggest fear came from flying. Once, when I was a teenager, our flight dropped thousands of feet in an instant and thus began this fear. But, I loved to travel, so I kept flying but usually with white knuckles. My fears became worse when turbulence hit and one particular incident sent me in search of ways to put Joshua 1:9 into practice.
My Story of Fear
I walked out onto the sun-drenched tarmac and spotted a small prop plane for an airline called Flamingo Air ready for us to board. Turbulence on small planes can be so much worse. I gulped down the fear rising in my throat. “Please Lord, don’t make me go through with this flight.” I prayed. I wish I could tell you this flight was the best one ever. Turbulence caused drops, pitches and a sick feeling in my stomach. Panic gripped my heart, and I felt paralyzed by the fear. Something needed to change.
When I finally tired of feeling afraid, I tried something different. I prayed for an entire week before my next trip, asking God to change me and help me trust Him more when on a plane. Notice that I did not ask to take the turbulence away. I asked Him to change me. Slowly, I felt a transformation. With perseverance, I released my doubt to God. Now, I can fly without fear in the pit of my stomach. Praise the Lord!
Joshua 1:9 asks us to be strong and courageous when we face fear because God is always with us. I flew across Kenya on a mission trip, and even though God did not smooth out my ride, He remained with me during the trip. When you face fear, God is with you. Turn to Him and give Him your fears. As Christians, I think we sometimes expect never to experience any fears. Instead, I believe God will use our fears to draw us closer to Him.
Pray about our Fears
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for staying close to me, no matter my circumstances. Please give me strength when fears surround me. Let me feel your presence and comfort me as I bring my fears to you in prayer. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Reflect on our Fears
What fears cause you to feel discouraged?