Fear. What is it? Why do we have it? Why does it hold us back? How do we overcome it? I’m sure these are all things you’ve thought about or asked about fear.
Fear according to Merriam-Webster dictionary is 1: an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger 2: anxious concern 3: reason for alarm
You see there is usually a strong emotion, anxious concert or reason to be scared. This is what causes our fear. And it holds us back because we allow it to. Let’s take a look at someone who dealt with it and overcame it.
10Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai, 11 “All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.”
12 When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”
– Esther 4: 10-16 NIV
Esther was faced with a huge decision. Either she say nothing and everyone she loves will die or she talks to the king and face the possibility of death for herself. Aren’t these impossible choices? How do you choose between these two choices? Can you imagine the fear that she must have been dealing with? I imagine that she’s trembling, sweating and having a case of the butterflies. She’s probably feeling sick over this decision. Imagine that kind of fear.
But how did she respond in the end?
…if I perish, I perish. – Esther 4:16b NIV
She decided that she had to push through her fear. How could she possibly be doing that? I’m sure the only reason was her confidence in God. And, her confidence in Him was well founded. When she spoke to the king on behalf of her people, the king spared her people, and instead had no mercy on the man that was threatening her people. Wow! Isn’t this a picture of God? We often have this fear of how we’re going to do something or say something, sure we won’t be heard, but instead He assures us and takes care of us.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
– Isaiah 41:10 NIV
You see, He says He is with us, so there is no need to fear. Though everything around us may look bleak, we can have courage and strength, because He will hold us up. He won’t leave us.
We can push forward, we can be brave in the midst of our fear, because He says so.
Let me share about a huge fear I’ve dealt with my entire life. Fear of pubic speaking. I hate speaking in front of people and I hate being seen in front of people. I’m a behind-the-scenes-kinda-girl. Every time I was presented with the opportunity to speak in public, my answer was always no way.
Then about a year ago, God showed me that He was going to use me in my ministry to speak in public to women. I was not on board with this decision. It’s taken a long time to come around. I even had friends and my husband telling me years ago that I would one day speak in front of women, and I told them that I would never do that. Ha, does God love to make us eat our words, huh?
In one month, I will be speaking to women in a workshop about infertility and how to embrace our journey. I will be speaking to about 50 women. Do you know what? I’m terrified! But you know what? I’m also very excited! It makes a huge difference when it’s regarding something I’m passionate about. I’m going to be pushing through my fear, and be speaking to these women, and I’ll be praying for God to use me in a mighty way in these women’s lives.
And you know what’s even crazier? I’m speaking a week later hosting my own event where I’ll be teaching women about God’s perfect timing. And a week after that I’m speaking on stage to 150 people sharing my testimony. If you would have told me that I would be doing this two years ago, I would have said you were crazy!
But this I know, He said: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you where you go.” – Joshua 1:9 NIV I can be strong and courageous because He will be with me. And He is with you in the midst of your fear.
So let it go, and hold onto Him alone.