Hey there! This is part two in our Unstoppable series. You can read part one here, where we shared the first of five statements we must affirm to fully participate in the work and will of God:
# 1: I am brave enough to tell the truth about who I really am.
Today, I want to share statement number two:
Jacob, father of the 12 tribes of Israel, had one particularly precious thing in his life: his son, Joseph. His firstborn child from his beloved Rachel, Joseph’s birth was especially significant to him. The colorful robe he made for him showed the world, including all of his other children, who the favored child was. It also hinted at his intent to give Joseph all or a large portion of his inheritance.
Joseph’s dreams of rulership and authority and his own family bowing down to him piqued his father’s interest. Jacob was taken aback by Joseph’s dreams, but also a bit intrigued by them, shown in Genesis 37:11 when he “kept the saying in mind.” Perhaps there was a sense of hope and expectation about what Joseph would turn out to be.
So imagine the depth of Jacob’s heartache when his other sons returned from the field and the only sign of Joseph was his bloodied robe.
Jacob “mourned for his son for many days” (Genesis 37:34). His children tried to console him, “but he refused to be comforted” (Genesis 37:35).
His most cherished and valued possession was gone. And there was no sign of his return.
Some time later, when Jacob sent his sons to Egypt in search of food during a famine, he “did not send Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, with his brothers, for he feared that harm might happen to him” (Genesis 42:4).
Based on his past experience with Joseph, Jacob’s mindset was so colored with fear that he worried something terrible might also happen to Benjamin, his youngest son.
Just Plain Scared
Life can be a scary thing. Between health scares, financial difficulties, and rampant acts of aggression and violence in our society, it seems like danger and disaster lurk around every corner. Sometimes just the mere possibility of an unfortunate circumstance is enough to send us into a tailspin, with our thoughts fixated on the worst, most devastating ending.
Fear signifies a wavering of hope. It is more than a feeling of concern. It is a preoccupation with an unfavorable outcome that can be debilitating to your daily life.
Ultimately, fear is an uncertainty that God’s character can be trusted. Left unchecked, it will distance you from the plans and purposes God has for your life and distract you from what He has called you to do.
Instead of allowing our hearts to be overcome with fear, God invites us to put our hope and trust in Him.
But if we’re honest, sometimes the last thing we want to do is hope. At times, based on prior experience, we’re convinced that all our hope will do is disappoint us. We’re like Jacob. The sting of past hopes gone wrong leaves us afraid of what the future will bring. We think:
God, I’ve hoped in you before and things didn’t work out the way I thought they would. I feel like I’ve gotten the hope kicked out of me. I want to trust you, but I’m afraid. I’m afraid to give up control. I’m afraid to hope.
When feelings of fear threaten to overcome you, remember that God has given us a hope that never disappoints. Romans 5:3 says, “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame.”
When this life is over and we see Jesus, we will not be disappointed. When we are with Him, able to grow and develop without the presence of sin and our joy is made complete in His presence, there’ll be no doubt that everything we endured was all worth it. And if we’ve put our hope in Jesus for eternity, we can also hope in Him for today.
Warnings against fear are given more than 300 times in various forms in the Bible, such as fear not, do not be afraid and be fearless.
God did not give a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. – II Timothy 1:7
Right in the midst of your fear, I believe this is what God wants you to know:
Daughter, I know life is messy and I know your path has been rocky, but I have given you the tools to be victorious and fear is not one of them. I’ve given you power, strength, and the ability to align your mind with Mine through my Word.
You might feel fear but you don’t have to live in fear. You don’t have to dwell there. It’s not your permanent address.
Your enemy and your adversary, the devil, wants you to be so crippled, debilitated and distracted by your fear that you don’t see, hear, or perceive the activity of God and you miss it. He cunningly uses fear to intimidate us and get us to talk ourselves out of God’s best for our lives.
When we walk in fear, we get on board with Satan’s agenda for our lives instead of God’s.
But through God’s Spirit, we don’t have to fall prey to the enemy’s schemes. You have power to overcome your fear! Through Christ, you have the power to:
- Replace fear with radical obedience. Obedience is not the absence of fear; it is the refusal to let fear rule over you.
- Exchange anxious thoughts for a Philippians 4:8 state of mind. You can reign in your thoughts to focus on whatever is true, pure, and lovely, not the worst case scenarios and disastrous outcomes our imaginations tend to create.
- Renounce the doubt that leaves you stagnant and move forward confidently in the direction of the voice of the Lord.
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. – Psalm 42:11
What’s holding you back? Now is the time to hope, believe, and trust in your Father like never before!