Do it afraid.
That was my mantra at the end of 2016. I was tired of being held back by my fear of not being enough. Not good enough, dedicated enough, successful enough. Those thoughts ricochet through my mind constantly, but I had had enough. I was going to step out anyways. I was going to do it afraid.
Have you ever read a book that held such a powerful message that it reached into your soul and changed your entire life? That’s what the message in Kelly’s book did for me. It showed me that I didn’t have to do it afraid. I didn’t have to face my fears, but I could keep my focus on Jesus and place my faith in Him. A message she reiterated as a Candid guest here on our blog last week.
When You Face Your Fears
The whole thing reminds me a situation the apostle Peter found himself in, (you are probably familiar with the story). In the middle of the night, the disciples were all on a boat, crossing the sea, and Jesus came to them walking on the water. Peter saw Him, he faced Him, and when Jesus called, Peter walked on the water too. But when he took his eyes off Jesus, when he shifted his focus and faced his fears, that’s when he started to sink.
Peter was already doing it. He was on the water. Jesus had clearly called him, and he had stepped out in faith. But when he shifted his focus from Jesus to his fears, that’s when things went wrong.
Jesus didn’t respond by telling Peter to do it afraid. He didn’t encourage Peter to face his fears and overcome. No, Jesus asked, “Why did you doubt?” Jesus didn’t validate that Peter’s fears were real (they were), He didn’t affirm that what they were doing was impossible (it was), He questioned Peter’s focus.
I shared earlier this month that 1 Thessalonians 5:24 had become my life verse. It says, “The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.” When we remember that, we don’t have to doubt. If Peter had kept his eyes on Jesus, he never would have started to sink because of his fears.
So instead of doing it afraid–instead of facing my fears–I am going to run wholeheartedly after Jesus, and put all my faith in Him. And I would encourage you to do the same. Don’t do it afraid, do it in faith.
Fear vs. Jesus
Did you know that most of us have fears we haven’t even pin-pointed yet? We can’t face them, because we haven’t identified them. And that’s okay. The truth is, we don’t need to focus on our fears at all. When God created the world, He didn’t plan for us to look around and be afraid. That wasn’t His goal. He created us to focus on Him; on His love for us.
“Perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). That’s what God does for us. When we know who He is, and how much He loves us, we don’t have to fear. That doesn’t mean we will never fall short. It doesn’t mean that bad things won’t happen. It means that no matter what life throws our way, God is still on the throne, and He still loves us. God loves us in a way that is unchanging. Even if we stumble into sin, even if we turn our backs on Him, God’s love for us remains.
“For I am sure that neither death nor life,
nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come,
nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
~ Romans 8:38-39
Don’t Face Your Fears, Face Jesus
Thus, instead of facing my fears and saying I can do it afraid, I can face Jesus and trust Him in faith.
- I can trust that even if no one reads my blog, God still loves me.
- I can trust that even when I yell at my kids, God still calls me His own.
- I can trust that even if God doesn’t help us make ends meet, He will still be with us.
- I can trust that no matter what life throws my way or takes away, Jesus remains the same.
Now I don’t know where today finds you, but that truth sinks into my soul and makes all of my fears fade away.
It seems silly to be afraid when I remember just who Jesus is and what He did for me. That doesn’t mean that I don’t stumble. I still get afraid.
I have to admit I am ever so thankful that when we do get distracted and turn toward our fears, Jesus is there to rescue us. When Peter got afraid, when he started to sink, he called out to Jesus, and Jesus was there to lift him back up. That’s what Jesus does for us. He makes it so we never have to be afraid, but He’s also there for us when we fear anyway. But instead of trying to face our fears, we can rest our spirits in the truth that God is faithful, come what may.
Do you struggle with fear?
I would love to hear your thoughts on how to handle fear, or what fears you struggle with in the comments below.