“Consider the costs of fear; I created you to rise above it.”
“Get up and prepare for action. Go out and tell them everything I tell you to say. Do not be afraid of them, or I will make you look foolish in front of them.” Jeremiah 1:17
One of the things I remember most about my Dad was his forthright approach to life… he was never afraid to say what needed to be said. I remember how much he was criticized for caring less about feelings and more about making sure we were on the right path and doing what was right. Looking back on how my Dad prepared his children for life has me realizing that he was unknowingly preparing us for how God desires for us to live the lives He’s given to us… fearless!
God isn’t known to mince words when it comes to speaking to His children about unhealthy patterns. His words are full of compassion and love, but they also get the job done when we need a swift kick to jolt us from a bad habit.
While it typically isn’t seen as such, fear can be seen as a bad habit. Research has shown that habits are created through repetition, and fears can be encouraged or destroyed through repeated reinforcement or consistent defeat.
Unfortunately, the effects of bad habits come at a cost. In the case of fear, we lose our sense of empowerment. We may also lose face in front of others, as was the case when God brought to the Israelites’ attention in the first chapter of Jeremiah. If the Israelites gave in to fear, God wouldn’t protect their image in front of their enemies. They would have to face the shame of looking foolish if they didn’t take courage from the strength God offered them. Tough love, but again, God doesn’t waste time getting to the point when He knows action is necessary.
God hates fear when we allow it to diminish our willingness to move forward with Him. We can’t overcome fears by sitting around waiting for those who don’t know God to get the best of us. God has told His people to get up, prepare, and go out. Sometimes, action involves nothing more than choosing to rest in faith; when that’s what God wants from us, that’s all we need to do.
Let us decide to not let fear cost us victory, honor, integrity, and deeper faith. Let us take action against the issues that make us afraid by heeding God’s commands and moving confidently with Him.
Father, as best I can, I understand why You hate fear since I, too, hate fear… it’s debilitating and keeps us from being the best You want for us. If fear has a place, let it be a fear from missing out on a deeper relationship with You that would result from giving in to other fears. Thank you, Father, for being our rock, our courage, our strength… Amen!