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Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Acts 16:25 (NLT)

There are several places in the gospels where Jesus says to those he was with “Why were you afraid?” If we step back from the situation we can understand why he was asking the question. What’s a little breeze on a wave-infested lake to the one who created both of them? But looking at it again, the disciples were, after all, completely human and their finite minds couldn’t see beyond the darkness (both literally and figuratively).

Fear can raise its head in a variety of places and for a variety of reasons. We fear for our safety as storms approach because we are uncertain of the outcome. We fear the consequences of choices we make. We fear the phone call from the doctor with the test results. We fear the divorce because even in a bad marriage the thought of being alone isn’t pleasant.

While we don’t ever really need to be afraid when God is with us, a certain amount of fear isn’t a bad thing. Especially if that fear motivates us to action. For example, do you think Moses was really as calm as Charlton Heston portrayed him as he saw the Egyptian army bearing down with nothing but theRed Seaat his back? Was David’s adrenalin flow at zero as he let go of the stone will getting a birds eye view of the point of Goliath’s spear? Or when he sat in the cave and suddenly realized Saul was blocking his escape?

What about the small group who were praying for Peter as he sat waiting execution? Sure, he was sleeping soundly, but what about the group pouring their hearts out to God? James had already been killed. The Jews were spewing threats on a daily basis. Now Peter was in prison and just hours from execution…if he hadn’t already been killed.

Fear can make us angry. Fear can put a desire in our hearts for revenge. Fear can make us want to give up completely and sink into a hole of depression or aggression.

Fear can also be a very good thing in our lives. Fear is healthy when it moves us towards God and causes us to realize that the obstacle(s) in our lives can’t be conquered without him.  The things that make us afraid don’t faze God in the least. He knew they were coming and he not only knows the outcome, he controls the outcome.

What are you afraid of today? Natural disaster? Financial ruin? Health issues? The fear of being alone? The fear of failure? Your Heavenly Father understands your fear. He may choose to have you endure the worst. He may choose to deliver you miraculously from the jaws of disaster. He will ALWAYS be there to see you through what lay ahead. He loves you and will never, ever leave you alone to walk the treacherous path before you. Trust him in the fearful times. Allow the things that you fear to become stepping stones to intense faith and courage.

PRAYER: Father God, I thank you for the promise in scripture that as a Christ-follower I can call you daddy because, “Daddy, right now I’m scared”. I realize the things that I’m scared of may be of my own doing. I praise you for the fact that regardless of the reason for the obstacles I’m facing you will walk by my side. Help me feel your presence as I press on to victory over my fear. In Jesus name, Amen.

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September 2011
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