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Fear Not

"The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"1

"It is reported that the [former] newspaper counselor, Ann Landers, received an average of 10,000 letters each month, and nearly all of them from people burdened with problems. She was asked if there was any one problem that predominates throughout the letters she receives, and her reply was the one problem above all others seems to be fear."2

Fear, to one degree or another, is common to all mankind. People are afraid of innumerable things: grasshoppers, bugs of all kind, snakes, spiders, mice, the dark, closeness, intimacy, losing their health, wealth, happiness, friendships, the unknown, ad infinitum. Some people are even afraid of success and unconsciously set themselves up to fail. Others are so afraid of failure, they won't step out or even attempt to fulfill their life's ambition and goals.

The ancient king of Israel, King Saul was so jealous of David that he set out to kill him. David had a right to be afraid and undoubtedly was. But because of his enduring trust in God, he was able to say with confidence, "The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man [King Saul] to do me?" When our trust is in God, we can confidently say the same. I like the words of the unknown poet who said:

     I would rather stumble a thousand times
     Attempting to reach a goal
     Than to sit in a crowd
     In my weather-proof shroud
     A shriveled and self-satisfied soul.
     I would rather be doing and daring
     All of my error-filled days
     Than watching, and waiting, and dying
     Smug in my perfect ways.
     I would rather wonder and blunder
     Stumbling blindly ahead
     Than for safety's sake
     Lest I make a mistake
     Be sure, be safe, be dead.

God has a specific goal and purpose for your life. It's okay to be afraid, just don't allow fear to control you. Commit and trust your life to God every day and he will be with you. Step out in faith to do what you know and/or believe God wants you to do with your life. Donít waste your lifeómake it an investment in eternity.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you that when I commit and trust my life and way to you, your Spirit is with me to guide and direct me in all that I am and do. Help me to discover my God-given life purpose, and give me the courage to step out in faith to become all that you planned for me to be, and to do all that you plan for me to do. And even when I am afraid, I choose to put my trust in you. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. Psalm 118:6 (NIV).
2. The Bible Friend. Cited in Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations by Paul Lee Tan., Rockland, Maryland. © 1979.

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Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.