Monday, November 19, 2012

Inspiration Sunday: The Fear Factor

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Doing the right thing can be hard. Like really hard.  Sometimes even little things just seem so impossible.

Why?

It almost always boils down to wanting to 'blend in' or be accepted by others. Who wants to be an outcast? Who wants someone to be angry with them? People are mean, and we try to avoid ruffling any feathers.  It's a survival instinct.  It's natural to feel nervous about sticking out.  It's normal to feel afraid to be different.  And sometimes, although we want to do it, we just somehow can't.

But fear cannot exist with faith.  Fear of what man may do shows a lack of faith in what God can do.  And although God sees the heart and makes up where we lack, it is our duty to serve Him to our full ability.  It is our purpose to continually improve ourselves so that we may be examples of God.

We've all had an experience where we made a lesser choice out of the fear of being mocked, ridiculed, left out, or hated.  These choices are especially difficult when those opposing them are beloved friends or family members.

We can find the strength to do God's will.  He will never leave us, and will be patient with us as we struggle to find the faith necessary to be obedient despite all odds.  Through prayer, He will reveal to us the testimony needed to know that we are making the right choice.  Through scripture study, we will gain confidence from the experience of those who have gone before.  Through preparation, we can anticipate what our choice will be when a given opportunity presents itself.

When I think of my own trials and the struggle that I have to follow through with certain decisions, they seem so minute in comparison with scriptural examples.  Esther risked her life to save her people, and I am too afraid of getting funny looks from strangers?  Daniel knew he'd be put in a den of lions, and I am afraid of what my friends might think?  Surely my Goliaths look more like mustard seeds.  But even faith the size of a mustard seed can change the world! 

Just because the decisions you face seem small, they are not insignificant.  Obedience to God, in the small things as well as the large things, increases our faith and is a witness of God to others - even to those whom we assume are far beyond our reach.  Trust in God.  Trust His commandments, trust the direction that He is leading you. (even if everyone else thinks you're crazy!) All these things will work together for your good and will build you up to become better and to be more than you ever anticipated.  God knows what is best.  His ways are higher than your ways and His paths are higher than your paths - but your paths become His paths as you follow Him.
 
"In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me."
-Psalm 56:11



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