Fear is the enemy of hope and the opposite of faith. When confronted with decision points in our life, we will generally side with one or the other. We will either choose to cautiously back away in fear or boldly charge forward in faith. Fear can be a good thing; it can keep us from touching a hot stove or falling off a cliff. Faith can be misplaced at times, as in expecting to sprout wings on your way down the side of the aforementioned cliff! But for the purposes of our discussion, I am talking about the fear that paralyzes you from moving forward or taking a chance you know you should take. The faith I want to discuss is the God-given strength to face down your uncertainty and doubt and move forward down the path He is leading you.
On the track “Fear” (from his album, ‘Explore Dream Discover’), Daron Earlewine calls fear the most insidious four letter word. It’s the most damaging curse word of all. Fear will keep you from living the life for which you were created. It will cause you to hide your talents from the world so that no one will see; it will keep you up at night just thinking of facing the new day without the courage to change. Fear will rob you of opportunities to serve and love others, and it will make you pass up opportunities to tell someone about Jesus. Certainly this is not the life of power and freedom we see exhibited in Jesus Christ. We were not meant to live as timid beings on this earth. Yet fear can be so paralyzing that we cannot imagine ever rising up from beneath it. We know we shouldn’t feel this way and determine to overcome it, only to find ourselves frozen again.
Fortunately, faith is the cure for the common fear. As the agents of God’s mission we have been called and empowered to boldly go into all the earth serving others, reflecting God’s love and telling them the good news of Jesus Christ. This power is available free of charge to all who follow Christ; it’s part of the package, a bonus if you will. Not only do we have the privilege of serving the King of the universe, not only do we get to spend eternity basking in His presence, but we receive the power to overcome fear as well! Faith is an action verb, not a passive one. As we read in James 2:20, faith without action is useless. If you are like me, you’ve spent far too long convinced that faith was passive, just something you believed. Faith is so much more than a simple belief; that is just the seed.
As our faith grows we will find it becomes progressively more active; the more active our faith, the less confining our fear. Similar to the effects of compound interest on money, little steps of faith each day snowball into a dynamic and rich faith that laughs in the face of fear. One who has fully devoted their life to Christ – and has a life that actually reflects that commitment – knows no fear. When you come to the realization that the worst thing that could happen to you in this world results in giving you everything you’ve ever wanted in the presence of Jesus, fear becomes irrelevant.
Are you living a life of fear or faith? Fear stops you from walking in the way of Jesus; faith propels you toward Him. Fear limits your effectiveness in the Kingdom of God; faith magnifies and multiplies your gifts as you employ them in the service of others. Fear is of the devil and should find no place in the heart of a disciple; faith is a gift from God and should permeate every inch of our being. We were created to do good works for Christ (Ephesians 2:10), and to accomplish that purpose we must boldly move forward regardless of the risk. Jesus did not flinch when the road before Him became difficult and dangerous. Instead, He trampled fear beneath His feet and pressed on because of His faith in the Father. We are called to do the same. Release your fear and take bold steps of faith; plant your feet firmly in the footsteps of Jesus. Place your faith in the one who knows no fear.