How often have we heard Jesus tells his followers, “Do not be afraid,” “Do not fear, only believe” or “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” After his resurrection he told his disciples, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”
Isn’t it a shame that many Christians do not take Jesus’ words seriously?
Lisa Jimenez tells us, “Most people spend their energy running from, or denying their fears. They waste this precious energy in denial. They react with excuses, anxiety, sabotage, and self-defeating behaviors. Don’t let this happen to you! When you expose your true fears, you break their control over you. Have the courage to face your fears and free yourself to get on with all you were meant to do, have, and be.”
Then she added, “Which fear has the most control over you and your behaviors today? Is it the fear of rejection? Fear of failure? Fear of making decisions? Fear of commitment and responsibility? Fear of loss? Fear of success? Or is it a combination of these fears? Take some time to evaluate your behaviors and find the messages of fear in them.”
Katherine Paterson tells us, “To fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another.”
Fear can overtake our lives and that does not have to happen.
Fear can also be paralyzing. Fear can lead to hate, or resentment, resulting in guilt, depression, a sense of moral and spiritual inadequacy and ultimately an impaired sense of well-being. This can effect our physical, mental or spiritual well-being or maybe all three.
Brendan Francis gives us hope when he says, “Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them.”
The Roosevelts were experts in addressing fear. We are all familiar with President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous saying, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” He also told us, “The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.”
His wife, Eleanor, was on the same page when she said, “I gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which I must stop and look fear in the face. I say to myself, I’ve lived through this and can take the next thing that comes along.”
True spiritual and emotional growth begins with faith. We believe that God is with us. As Paul put it, “If God is for us, who can be against us.” (Romans 8:31) Once we are convinced and believe that God walks with us in life, then we can face anything. Faith leads to love. When we become loving persons, we experience the joy, peace, well-being enabling us to face anything in life.
It all starts with faith in God’s presence.
I would like to close with a short, edited meditation from an anonymous author:
“I was regretting the past and fearing the future when my Lord spoke to me: ‘My name is I Am.’ He paused and then continued, ‘When you live in the past with its mistakes and regrets, it is difficult. I am not there. My name is not I WAS. When you live in the future, with its problems and fears, it can be overwhelming. I am not there. My name is not I WILL BE.
‘When you live in the present moment, it is not hard. I am here. My name is I AM.'”
May ‘”I Am” always be a part of your life.