Overcoming Fear & Living In Abundance (Pt. 2)
When you research the things that human beings fear the most, fear of ridicule and failure is always at the top of the list. I also read that most people fear public speaking even more than they fear heights, the dark, spiders, and even (believe it or not) death.
It's not too hard to see how the fear of ridicule and failure, which seems to loom large in most of us, would also influence the way we view things like public speaking, or starting a new venture, or stepping out in faith when the way is uncertain.
I live and breathe within the context of the Church, which (whether fairly or unfairly) has been stereotyped as an institution that resists change and often struggles to move forward into uncharted territory. I've encountered more than my fair share of inertia over the years--churches and church members unwilling to change, or step out in faith. I've also heard things like this on numerous occasions:
"We've never done it that way before."
"We tried that before and it didn't work."
"I'm not comfortable with that."
"That would never work here."
"What's the matter with the way things are?"
All of those statements and questions come from a place of fear. And almost every single one of those church-y statements has a counterpart in our own lives. So many of us live our lives struggling with the unknown, afraid of uncertainty, fearful of failing, being ridiculed... We make decisions based on what is safe and secure, even while we give lip service to the idea that following Christ is an adventure.
If you are struggling with fear, the prophet Isaiah offers this incredible word of hope: "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10.
May you step into the future today with great courage and peace, knowing that your God will be with you and will give you strength and will lift you up. May you leave behind the fear that keeps you immobilized and small, and learn to live a large, abundant life in Jesus. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.