Weather Report From Heaven: Sunny and bright, with an abundance of light and lots of singing and rejoicing.
Bible Verse of the Day: Psalm 34:4 ” I sought the Lord and He answered me; he delivered me from all of my fears.
Let’s face it, we all live with fear. Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they can barely function. Fear literally overwhelms their life and keeps them from being able to reach for the dreams that they have deep in their hearts. What do people tend to fear the most? The list is long and different for each one of us. We certainly have lots to be afraid of in this broken world. Crime, illness, loss of possessions, unemployment, betrayal, addictions, and a world that seems to be coming undone on a daily basis are just a few of things that we could be fearful of. According to research, the #1 thing that people fear is public speaking, followed closely by the fear of death. I always found this strange as I would have thought for sure that the fear of death would be #1 and by a wide margin. After thinking and reading about this for a long time, what this means to me is that at their core, what people fear most are failure, embarrassment or rejection, and this is manifested in the fear of public speaking. They feel like they will be vulnerable to failure if they get up in front of a group of people and make a fool of themselves. This is something that I can relate to as I have done it many times. But what I have found over time has actually helped me overcome my fear of public speaking. The cure for the fear of failure is failure. The cure for the fear of rejection is rejection. The cure for the fear of embarrassment is being embarrassed. I believe that what happens during these learning processes of overcoming our fears is that we build up an immunity of sorts, a tolerance, when we find out the things that we fear the most actually happen and we are still here. What’s the old saying? What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I think that is a practical way to think about overcoming our fears.
It takes courage to risk something or to leave ourselves open to criticism, but that is how we grow in our lives. Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the ability to control our fears from preventing us from doing what needs to be done. Athletes are still nervous or fearful before big sporting events, but the best have learned to channel their nerves into a positive energy rather than a debilitating one. I remember reading about Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player that ever lived, and he said that getting cut from his high school basketball team is what drove him to overcome his fear of failure. He never wanted to fail again in basketball so he worked extremely hard to make sure this never happened again. He took a negative event and used it as a motivating factor in his life. We can do the same thing. It is really a matter of what we focus on. If we focus on ourselves, and our limitations, we become fearful. If we focus on our goals, we become motivated. If we focus on Jesus, we gain both confidence and strength. 2nd Corinthians 4:4-5 says ” such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.” In the bible, Jesus promises many things for those who accept Him for who He is, the Son of God, that should help us reduce the fear of death. To most people the thought of death is painful and scary. But to the believers, death is simply a transition from life on earth to a better life with our Savior in His eternal home. In 1 John 5:11 God promises us eternal life through His Son “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” Jesus also promises that He will be with us in heaven in John 14:2-3 “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back to take you to be with me so that you may also be where I am.”
Our heavenly bodies will be free of the pain and sickness that we experience here on earth and having seen the glories He has provided for us, we will joyfully and continually exalt Him day and night. Without the promises of the Lord, death is the most terrifying thing imaginable. Our soul will spend eternity somewhere, of that we are sure. Heaven and Hell are real places.The consequences of our decision regarding who God is and what He sent His Son to do for us, to reconcile us of all of our sins, is THE MOST IMPORTANT DECISION OF OUR LIVES. God promises a glorious eternal home for those who trust and confide in His Son. On the other hand, He promises eternal darkness and separation to those whose prideful condition keeps them from accepting His grace offering. I feel no fear around death because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that as it says in John 14:6 Jesus is the ” way, the truth and the life, and that no one comes to the Father except through Him.” It took me until I accepted Christ as my savior for that fear of death to go away and to be replaced by a more peaceful and serene viewpoint on the transition that takes place with our souls at that moment. There is no way I COULD HAVE REACHED THAT CONCLUSION ON MY OWN. It was but for the grace of God that He led me there. I pray for the souls who have not yet reached this conclusion. The stakes couldn’t be higher and the fear must be unbearable. To think of spending eternity in darkness, with all questions and no answers and no ability to communicate to the outside world is frightening, but that is what God says awaits those who reject His Son. I pray for their fears to be released through knowing Christ so that they can be free to chase those dreams buried deep in their hearts. That is where transcendent peace truly lies. That is where we find our destiny. We can’t let fear rob us of our dreams. We must trust in God and allow His power to remove all those things that shackle us, and hold us in bondage. By switching our focus from the here and now, to our eternal home in Heaven, we can control our fears and chase all of our dreams. Let’s start anew today.
Prayer: Father God, infuse us with your strength and power that allows us to fearlessly chase our dreams. We need your help in overcoming our fears. May the promises found in your word be our guiding light. In Jesus’ mighty name I pray. Amen!