Be brave – that is what this year has brought for me so far. It seems to me to be what God has for me. I have gone to a theme park and gone on a ride. In a few weeks I will be going on a plane with my friends, but not my family – no one to hold my hand. I have also attended the movie theatre for the first time in 20years. You might think these are things that all of us should be able to do. But when, like me, you have suffered from anxiety these things and many others can be a big deal.
Let’s remind ourselves of the verse in the Bible in 2 Timothy 1:7 which states that God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, of love and a sound mind. This was written to a young pastor Timothy as encouragement to keep going with the call God had on his life, even through the tough times. God is saying the same to all of us today. Don’t fear!
The opposite of fear is faith. We need to trust God in all circumstances and not allow fear to have a place in our lives. We need to have a “be brave” moment. This can be hard. Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves to breathe and to remember that God is with us and no circumstance is too big if we put our hands in God’s hands.
The next part of that verse says that God has given us power. Power to do what – power to overcome anything that comes against us or anything new we must face in our daily lives. When we are weak, God makes us strong. Strong enough, with Him, to cope with anything that comes our way. The joy of the Lord is our strength. As we continue to praise God, God’s power within us rises up and we are then strong enough to conquer all enemies. I love what Isaiah 54:17 states -no weapon formed against me shall prosper -why -because I am righteous because of God and my position of strength comes from Him.
God has also given us His love. Perfect love casts out all fear. When we know without a doubt that God loves us, all fear goes. Fear comes because we think we won’t be able to come through what is happening to us. The root cause of fear is death – death to our dreams, death to our work, death to our families. Worry leads to fear. We need to remind ourselves that God is in control and His love in us covers all fear.
Anxiety and fear also leads us to irrational thoughts but God has given us a sound mind. One that can think rationally and clearly. One, like James says where we can ask for wisdom and God will give it to us. How do we get this sound mind? By renewing our mind to the Word of God. Read your Bible, see what it says and do it. Live each day asking ourselves what Jesus would do in this or that circumstance.
So this year determine in your heart that you are going to do one brave thing. That can look different for you and me. Maybe God has been prompting you to talk to your neighbour, make a new friend, write a blog or a song or do something new in Church. Whatever it is, I want to encourage you that you can do it! Take God’s hand and try – and together we will share with each other what those brave things were. Have a great week and keep living the life God intended for you!