“Have I not commanded you be strong and courageous,” God encouraged Joshua. “Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged. For I the Lord am with you wherever you may go,” (Joshua 1:9).
Friend to Friend
How do you react to fear of the unknown when it comes to stepping out in faith or living bold? Everyone has his or her own unique way.
Some respond to fear by retreating to the safety of cul-de-sac Christianity, which is actually one of the most dangerous places of all. Dale Carnegie once said, “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
You will not become more courageous and learn to live boldly by avoiding your fears. Courage based on the faithfulness and love of God is strengthened with every step of faith, no matter how small. Write the letter. Start the conversation. Sign up to volunteer. Create the blog. Make the donation. Mend a relationship. Each step of obedience creates momentum that breaks through the stronghold of fear.
The woman who lives life to the fullest is generally the one who is willing to do and to dare. Allow God to infuse you with an enthusiasm and gusto that gives fear the boot right out the door, with you following close behind.
As you consider what might happen if you step out in faith, you must also consider what will happen if you play it safe and don’t. When we live bold, we experience God’s blessings. When we don’t, we won’t.
The fact is, we all experience fear at one time or another. We fear things we can’t control, and fear things we can. We fear terrorist attacks and breast cancer. We fear losing a child and the death of a spouse. We fear financial loss and relational ruin. We fear being alone and being lonely.
Some researchers say there are more than 366 verses in the Bible that encourage us to not be afraid. I’m not sure if that number is correct, but I do know it is a continuous thread weaving a tapestry of truth throughout the Scriptures. Why is that? God knew we would struggle with it!
“Have I not commanded you be strong and courageous,” God encouraged Joshua. “Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged. For I the Lord am with you wherever you may go” (Josh. 1:9).
God encouraged the Israelites:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
And when you pass through the rivers,
They will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
You will not be burned;
The flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior (Isaiah 43:1b-3a).
Your fear is fueled by your focus. Your faith is fueled by your focus. What are you focusing on today? What thoughts are fueling your tank?
I taught that Bible study all those years ago, and you know what, after a while my knees stopped shaking. I don’t want to die with gas still in the tank. I want to live bold—for God to use me until I’m all used up. But in order to do that, I must put the fear of failure, of embarrassment, of humiliation, or intimidation aside and take a step of faith.
How about you? Are you ready to take that step with me?
Dear Lord, sometimes I am afraid to move forward in what I know You are calling me to do. Give me the courage and the confidence to allow faith to fuel my focus.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
The Psalms are a storehouse of verses encouraging us to respond to all of life’s situations and difficulties through bold believing, tenacious trust, and courageous faith—verses that embolden believers to take action despite the trembling knees. One example is Psalm 56. David had been seized by the Philistines in Gath and had started to feel afraid. So rather than give into his unsettling fear, he changed his focus to His unchanging God.
Write this verse on a note card or sticky note and place it on your bathroom mirror, car dashboard or refrigerator door.
When I am afraid,
I will trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
In God I trust; I will not be afraid.
What can mortal man do to me?
(Psalm 56:3–4, repeated in similar words in verses 10–11.)
Notice David did not ignore his fear. Rather he spoke to his fear, and the truth of God’s faithfulness shooed it away.
We can follow David’s example and profess with him: “When I am afraid of ___________, I will trust in God.” Leave a comment and let’s share what you put in that blank.
More from the Girlfriends
Today’s devotion was taken from my book, Take Hold of the Faith you Long For: Let Go, Move Forward, Live Bold. And if there is anything we need to let go of in order to move forward it’s shame and condemnation. A mediocre, mundane faith is not what you were made for! In Take Hold of the Faith You Long For, I reveal the most common reasons we get stuck in our Christian faith, living less than what we had hoped. I show you how to break free of all that holds you back, move forward with all that God promises, and live the adventurous faith of bold believing. It’s time to TAKE HOLD of all that Jesus has already taken hold of for you and placed in you! Click on the book cover to download a sample chapter and view a quick video. And if you’re looking for a new study for your women’s group or individual study, Take Hold includes a Bible Study guide in the back.
© 2020 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.