Posted: May 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

I recently read this tweet:

There are two ways to respond to fear – to seek to be safer or to seek to be braver. #catdallas @garyhaugen

And it made me think of how we as believers confront fear or situations that some may consider unsafe.

Being afraid isn’t always a bad thing except when it is.  Being afraid sometimes makes sense except when it doesn’t. Being afraid can be a safety mechanism but can as well be a prison.  Fear can prevent us from falling into a pit of destruction but can as well keep us from climbing a mountain of victory.

Sometimes we are afraid and don’t know why and sometimes we open the door of our hearts where fear can get a strong hold.  And it is not easily persuaded to let loose it tenacious hold.   In Haiti, we warn new missionaries about what we call the “creep.” This refers to fear that slowly creeps on you and then gets in you and  you in it  as you allow the fears of others to become your fears as well.

I admit that I struggle to understand how we can be called or led to a place and still allow fear to hold sway over our thoughts, words, and actions.  Reading Paul’s words to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:7 we realize that it isn’t God who has given to us this fear that we are feeling or living with.  Okay, but the truth is that there are times when we have fear and its just not going away easily.

7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

It is in these times that the word of God has an answer for us. It isn’t to try not to be afraid or to deny fear but rather to consciously choose to be more God focused and less focused on that which is causing fear, anxiety, or worry.

May we allow the words of Philippians 4:6,7 to penetrate so deep that God’s peace guards our hearts and minds holding back fear from having its way.

6-7Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

I like the words of Ambrose Redmoon,

 Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear

For the believer that which is more important is God’s call on our lives.  This call may lead us to places that we would not choose, and to challenges that we would rather not face, and to battles that we would rather not fight. And so let’s choose to be braver  trusting  that wherever God leads and we follow, we go not alone knowing that:

“The LORD is His name, and He is a warrior!” Exodus 15:3

John McHoul

  1. Terri Urban says:

    So true John. You said it so well. Thank you. I’m going to send this to several other people as we prepare for a mission trip to Tanzania. Terri Urban

  2. Paul Beltis says:

    Thank you John! As I struggle with a MAJOR life decision to change my work focus from corporate life to missions, this could not have been more on-point or timely. Thank you for the reminder & pointer to Him & His call. You really are wicked amazing for a Weymouth guy. 🙂

  3. […] SAFER or BRAVER « Heartline Haiti Blog May we allow the words of Philippians 4:6,7 to penetrate so deep that God’s peace guards our hearts and minds holding back fear from having its way. […]

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