Ron was a joy to all who knew him. He was developmentally disabled, but still had dreams and goals like we all do. He lived on a senior campus in the assisted living, but wanted to live independently so he could bake and cook. The president approved the move with the services Ron would need to be successful.
I took Ron to show him the apartment the night before he would move in. He was like a kid at Christmas. He wanted to move in that night, but I reminded him the services weren’t set up until the next day.
I came in at 6 the next morning. We were supposed to meet at 7, but I knew Ron would be ready early. As 7 came and went I went up to his room. The nurse said he refused to get up. When I talked to Ron, he said his brother-in-law called the night before, and told him he was incapable of living on his own. Although his brother-in-law had good intentions, Ron ended up afraid of living alone. Fear kept him from getting to his goal of living independently and baking. His fear kept him from living up to his potential.
“God is our refuge and strength, an everlasting help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
God’s promise is not that we won’t have fear. His promise is that He is our strength. There is no situation we will ever face that is out of God’s control, so the best place to be is right with Him as He leads us.
Being a Christian doesn’t mean we won’t face trials. We will. Following Jesus is not a promise of safety, ask the disciples. They could have chosen to live in fear and not grow God’s kingdom. Instead, they knew Who was in control and chose to lean on Him. Where would the world be if the disciples had chosen fear?
Paul is the perfect example of choosing faith over fear. When he accepted Christ, he could have been afraid of the new Christians he had persecuted. But he chose faith and won them over with his devotion to Jesus. His conversion enraged the Jewish elite, who were even more determined to kill him. Yet Paul didn’t waver. He knew that his purpose was not about him, but about telling everyone who would listen about Jesus as savior.
“Faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17
Paul understood that hearing God through His Word and obeying were the key to knowing Him better. And the better he knows God and obeys God the easier it is to choose faith over fear. Fear itself is not a sin. It can be healthy in the right context. But when we make fear bigger than our faith it steals our joy. It robs us of living the life God called us to.
Are you letting fear keep you from living your best life, from living the life God has purposed for you? What will you do to grab faith and never let go?