The second best news about fear

(This post is the second in a series on letting Jesus turn our fear from liability to asset. To read the first, click here.)DSCN3431

What’s the thing you most dislike about feeling afraid? Is it the way your heart beats fast and your mouth turns dry? The struggle to slow your thoughts? The way fear makes you pull away from people you want to be close to?

For some of us, the feeling that we’re disappointing God is one of the biggest burdens fear lays on us. We’re afraid that we’re failing as a disciple because of our fear. We worry that fear is sin. But fear is not sin; fear is an emotion. Fear may arise from sin (if we steal the cookies from the cookie jar we may rightly fear our mother’s anger) and fear may lead to sin (causing us run away from God, to distrust Him, to disobey Him), but it doesn’t necessarily do either. Fear can be helpful and protective. (Think how quickly you move when you spot that car racing toward you!)

Fear isn’t sin. Neither is fear necessarily the opposite of faith. In fact, people who struggle with fear can become people of great faith precisely because they are constantly aware of their desperate need for God.

And that brings us to the second thing we need to know to turn fear from a liability to an asset: Our fear doesn’t disappoint God.

I feel like I need to write that again. Bigger. It’s such good news.

Our fear doesn’t disappoint God.

Our fear doesn’t disappoint God.

It’s a bit like our physical bodies. Those parts that we keep carefully covered, that we’re shy to talk about, those deep, dark places, can be the places of greatest intimacy, the places where we find ourselves most deeply loved. It’s the same with our hearts. We might be ashamed of our anxiety or insecurity or anger or whatever else we’d rather hide. But Jesus isn’t ashamed of those parts of us. He isn’t surprised by them or turned off by them. Those places of emptiness and failure and longing are the very places that offer the greatest potential for intimacy. Jesus just wants us to open those places to Him so He can love us to wholeness in those deepest and most intimate of places.

Be encouraged: Feeling fear doesn’t mean you’re failing as a lover of God.

 

What questions does this raise for you? How does this make you want to pray?

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This Wednesday. . . an opportunity for those in the Halifax area to explore together how to experience Jesus in our struggle with fear. Click here for more information and to register.

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Related posts:

How do you hear God’s “Don’t be Afraid”?

How to turn fear into an asset

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