Experiencing fear and faith
Any time we attempt something for the first time, something we’ve failed at before, or something we think is too big for us, we’ll probably experience both fear and faith. They go together. One will win out over the other, but they never go away. Because Israel had no idea what challenges awaited them or what life would be like in the Promised Land, God told them, ‘Be strong and of good courage…for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.’ And that’s His promise to us too. Just like the Israelites, we can be unsure of what’s ahead. And the unknown can be scary. We want to be in control and know what’s going to happen, but we have to put our trust in God. He goes before us, and goes with us. We’ll never have to face anything alone. ‘The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged’ (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV). But it’s not just the fear of the unknown, we can also be stopped by a fear of failing. The idea of failing can make us too afraid to step out in faith and try. Yet when we look back, we realise that most times failure doesn’t do permanent damage at all; we actually grow through it. And, like Paul, we can say: ‘I can do all this through him who gives me strength’ (Philippians 4:13 NIV). So let’s confront our fears, step out in faith, and believe God for success.
Read Deuteronomy 31:8 out loud. But every time it says ‘you’, replace it with ‘me’.