Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fear & Faith

My husband is a born and raised Arkansan, from a tiny farm town set in the middle of the Ozark Mountains. I, on the other hand, am a born and raised city girl from the suburbs East of Dallas, Texas. Since our first year of marriage, my husband and I alternate holidays between our two families; Thanksgiving at one family’s home and Christmas that same year will be at the other. 

This year Christmas was spent on the farm in the Ozarks. One day during our stay, my husband decided he would go for a little hike up to the top of the bluffs behind the house. If you knew my sweet husband, you would know that he has a fear of heights but he insisted on reliving some childhood memories by going to the top and I was not going to crush his spirit. Shortly after he made it to the top, Eric sent me a text message with a picture of the view from where he was. It was absolutely beautiful! Then, once we exchanged a couple text messages, he realized and admitted that going up was a bit easier and much less intimidating than the idea of going down.

Have you ever thought this way in regards to your faith? I know I have, probably since the beginning of my faith journey. When you are encouraged and motivated, you feel unstoppable and your faith grows stronger with every accomplished step. Then, as soon as your initial goal is achieved, you sometimes get side-tracked. Another mountain or obstacle shows up and you immediately get intimidated. Have you ever experienced this? (Surely I’m not the only one!)

The more I experience this as an adult, the quicker God seems to remind me (or maybe I just listen a little more now) that fear has no place in our faith. I was recently reminded of the beautiful verses in 1 John 4 about the comparison between God’s love and our love. The one that echoes the loudest for me is verse 18. Here is what it says:

18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

It is a sobering reminder that we are made in the image of God, which is the picture of PERFECT LOVE, so we are completely capable of driving out fear with our faith & love. Just as faith is our shield in the armor of God, love can be a tool to bolster the faith we have.

Where does your faith need to be bolstered? Are you willing to push through the intimidation to accomplish the things you once feared? Be reminded of that perfect love that drives out fear and you will find encouragement and motivation you need to grow in your faith.

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