This week I was sharing with a few close friends that while I’ve been praying and dreaming about going to Africa for years (and now have an incredible opportunity to do so), I am battling some fears about going there.
Two friends exhorted me to not have fear, one even telling me not to go to Africa if I had fear. My response to this was that I felt some fear before the last two trips I made (the Bahamas and Canada), and I have done many things in my life feeling afraid, in order to do the things God has called me to do. Sometimes, you have to do it afraid, as Joyce Meyer writes about in her book Do it Afraid!: Obeying God in the Face of Fear.
Is fear the opposite of faith?
Jesus often rebuked his disciples for fear, because fear is closely associated with unbelief. And it is faith that pleases God, not unbelief. (Hebrews 11:6)
The topic of fear is in the Bible, in all the various forms of fear, approximately 314 times.
God doesn’t want us afraid. He wants us to trust in and lean on Him.
But sometimes, being the weak clay, very human vessels that we are, we will feel afraid.
Even Abraham, known as the father of faith and the friend of God, was afraid and deceived king Abimelech that Sarah was his sister instead of his wife, so he wouldn’t be killed. (Genesis 20)
King David was a mighty warrior, but the Psalms are filled with his writings that include passages of God delivering him from his enemies and his fears. (Psalm 18, Psalm 23, Psalm 27, and Psalm 34 to name a few).
Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane for God to deliver him – but asked that God’s will would be be done, not His. (Luke 22: 42, Matthew 26:38)
If you feel afraid, you’re in good company. 🙂
God understands that sometimes we will feel afraid to do things He wants us to do (like me going to Africa!), but He wants us to step out and obey – even as Peter did, getting out of the boat and walking on the water of raging waves toward Jesus. (Matthew 14: 22-23) God promises He’ll be with us even through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23). He promises that He will never leave us or forsake us.(Hebrews 13:5)
Today my precious friend Ruth Christian sent me a private message on Facebook, sharing a song that she felt I needed to hear. When I listened to it, tears just poured down my face. God wants to deliver us from our fears and set our feet upon the Rock of Christ. I hope this song ministers to you as it did me.
If you feel a nudge from God about supporting me and Ray to go to Africa, you can donate online by clicking here.