I recently took some time to ask Jesus a personal question about myself. Cognizant of the damage that fear can do, its paralyzing affects and its controlling nature I took some time to see myself in the presence of My Lord Jesus. Knowing that my Lord knows me better than I know myself, I asked Him, “What are some of the areas of fear that you see in my heart?” Along with that question I also asked, “and then Lord, what will you do with the fear, how will you help me to overcome the fear that might be present?”
Inviting the Lord to expose areas of your heart can be challenging as He might show some areas that you don’t want to see. However, I waited for an answer, expecting that Jesus would list at least one or two key areas of concern that gripped my heart or that could negatively influence me. To my surprise there was no comment provided about fear in my heart, just one word seemed to stick out and that was just the word “FEAR” itself. It seemed like the Lord wanted to talk to me about the general concept of fear.
I re-asked the second question, “Lord, what will you do with the fear, how will you help me to overcome the fear that is present?” I waited and then I felt the Lord say, “I will put you through troubles and challenges.” This shocked me, I was asking God to deal with possible fears in my heart and He was saying that I’ll have to go through “troubles and challenges.” This seemed to be one of the very things that would bring more fear into my life, not relieve the fears.
A little puzzled I asked “troubles and challenges how will that help overcome fear”? Immediately I thought of David standing before King Saul. In 1 Samuel 17: 37 David said, “The LORD, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” The struggles with the lion and the bear were actually tools used by God to prevent David from being fearful when he faced Goliath, the giant .
God was encouraging me to see the troubles and challenges that I have gone through, and those that are presently around me, as preparation for greater moments in the days ahead. These were not meant to destroy me but to develop me. These apparent adversaries and struggles were to become marks of victory, insignias which cause me to rally forwards when fear could otherwise overwhelm.
We fail to understand what our God is doing, we complain because of the struggles, and miss the long term growth that is necessary for us. Take a moment to thank God for His loving desire to train and develop us so that we too can become champions for Him. Allow the fears of the future to be overcome by properly responding in the present challenges.
Illustration of “David the Protector” used with permission by Benlin Alexander www.benlinalexander.com