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Don’t Be Afraid: The Fear of Fear

March 22, 2012

"Christ in Gethsemane" by Michael O'Brien

Couarge:

The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.

So often we equate faith with some sort of unattainable perfection. If I were faithful enough, I would not be afraid. If I were faithful enough, I would not doubt.

Yet, the only thing, really, that is asked of my faith is this: be like Jesus.

 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

Luke 22:42-44

In anguish, God With Us begged for another path. In faith, He accepted the path He was on. Not fearless. Still courageous.

In faith, I am afforded the freedom to fear, yet still accept the path I’m on.

Be like Jesus.

I don’t think courage  enables a person to face difficulty, danger, or pain without fear. Rather, I think courage enables us to face difficulty, danger, or pain despite fear.

In faith, I’m afforded the freedom to doubt, yet still believe.

Now Thomas (also known as Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

John 20: 24_27

You need proof Thomas? Here’s your proof.

He didn’t chastise, he didn’t scold. He afforded him the freedom to doubt and offered answers instead of censure.

My father always told me: The only thing to fear is fear itself. I think it’s really that the only thing to fear is not having the courage to face fear.

When the diagnosis comes back positive.

When the phone rings, and it’s not good news.

When life happens, as it always has and always will..

Be like Jesus. 

In faith, bring your fears to Abba. Pour out your heart, as Jesus did.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:7

I don’t think Jesus stopped fearing at that moment in the garden. Faith doesn’t drown out our fears – faith gives us the courage to face them.

God never promises to remove us from our struggles. He does promise, however, to change the way we look at them.

Max Lucado

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