When the ball drops and the clock hits 12:00 a.m., there are many ideas running through people’s minds. You see engagements, kisses, and babies being born all over television. After you go to bed after all the festivities, what is the next thing you think about? You guessed it. Resolutions! “I am going to read this many books. I am going to save this much money. I am going to do this or that.” You have such enthusiasm with what you want to to do. It is numerically proven that gym memberships dramatically increase this month but then people do not follow through. Why does this happen? Why don’t people follow through with their commitments? In three to four months, those who got a gym membership could dramatically have changed their health but they didn’t follow through. There are many reasons that come to my mind but one, in particular, stands out to me. Some people are afraid of the change. Complacency and fear are two major factors that play into this. Even though that person with the new membership wants so terribly bad to lose weight and get fit, the are comfortable with their position in life or they fear that change will not be like they had planned it out.
I admit a lot of the times, that situation I just wrote about is me. I fall into the fear category. I do not like change at all. I like things to be constant and predictable because I want to have control over the situation, but in reality, that is not the case. I fear the unknown. It is one of my biggest fears in life, but God tells me that this is not te mindset I should have. Deuteronomy 31:6 says that we need to “be strong and courageous” and to “not fear or dread in them” because God “will never leave us or forsake us”.
The three words of this article’s title will forever ring in my head because God spoke these words to me. I was on a mission trip to Costa Rica working at a church in the southern most part of Costa Rica (basically in Panama). It was amazing to see how God was working even when there was a severe lack of resources. When I hear do not be afraid, I think back to my childhood when I had an extreme hatred and fear of bees. I always thought they were going to hurt me, but thinking back now, the hurt would have been temporary, but God changed my view of those words completely.
It was our last night in Costa Rica and we were having a joint prayer service (which my first reaction to a prayer service is a quiet, dark room where I stay inside my own head) with the church we were serving at when they started just shouting their prayers to God. 30 Costa Ricans shouting their prayers to God was completely overwhelming and broke me down. God was moving. Every member of that church went around and said a prayer over all of us (College students). As the prayer time was ending, I noticed a guy across the circle and we made eye contact but I thought nothing of it, and then he walked over to me, hugged me, and said: “Do not be afraid”. I had no idea who this guy was. I didn’t know his name. He didn’t know mine but God laid it on his heart to share those three words with me. God used that man to completely change my life.
Now I want to share some ways we (me, included) can be strong, courageous and confident in Christ.
- Do not be afraid because God is constant and true.
Hebrews 13:8 ESV
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
- Do not be afraid of others. Psalm 56:11 “in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?“
- Do not be afraid because God will guard our hearts.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
- Do not be afraid of the future.
- -Jeremiah 29:11 ESVFor I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.– Proverbs 16:3 ESV Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.–Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Do not be afraid, but stand strong, be courageous and trust that God will complete his work.