“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-9
Fear. Fear is my thorn. Fear has kept me from going to meetings above the 5 floor in a building because of elevators. Fear has kept me from nice vacations because of flying. Fear has kept me in my home because of panic attacks. Fear kept me from being with my mom the last few days of her life because of the unkown. I have let fear dominate, and in many situations completely control my life. I have asked God to take away the fear completely more times than I can count but it never goes away. It’s the very quiet voice in the corner of my mind saying, “you can’t do this, remember you’re afraid.” And everytime I give in to that fear, that defeated feeling that I can’t do something, I turn my focus from God and put it on myself.
I’m flying next week for a business trip. Here are the points of fear for me that I have had to wrestle with: flying, the elevator in the hotel, leaving others in charge of my daughter. In the past, I would simply have made up some excuse to not go and then I wouldn’t have to deal with the fear only the disappointment in myself that I let fear control me again and I can handle that much easier. Let me rephrase that…I USED to be able to handle that much easier but not anymore. When I gave me entire life and heart to Christ in November of 2011, I declared to myself and everyone around me that Christ was my all-in-all. I had some challenging steps to take to get rid of baggage that needed to go, but this was relatively easy because I was on the ground and not facing a fear. Next week I’m facing multiple fears and in the process, I’m testing my faith in God.
I’m not testing God, God’s able to immeasurably more than my small mind can ask or even imagine (Eph 3:20). I’m testing me! Am I able to trust God not only with my daily life in my home town but also in the air, in the elevator and 2000 miles away from my daughter? Am I able to trust that everything and anything that happens is for my good and will bring glory to God? Am I able to trust that God’s plan really is the best plan for my life and really does mean hope and prosperity? Yes. Yes. Yes!
I’m not asking God to take away the fear of next week, I’m asking God to come with me in all situations and remind me that His grace is sufficient no matter what happens (2 Cor 12:7-9). I’m asking Him to show me that He will supply all my needs (Philippians 4:19). I’m asking Him to remind me that He’s going with me and all I need to do is follow (Deut 31:6). I’m asking Him to remind me that His plan is good (Jer 29:11) Oh, I could go on and on about what I’m asking Him and how He has already given the answer in scripture but I think you get the jist. I’m not focusing on the fear I may have over next week. I’m focusing on the Confidence I have next week which is through Christ.
What areas are you struggling with today? Where are you stopped in life because of something unexplainable yet very, very real. Give it to God. Right now, put that issue in your hands, lift your hands to God and say, “Here it is Lord, I can’t live with this any longer if I want to be close to you so take it.” Realize that the issue may still exist in your life but that you do not need to be controlled by it because God will supply ALL your needs!! Find scripture to help you in challenging times. If you saw my bible, you would see lots and lots of tabs sticking out of it marking verses I need to have quick access to in order to put my complete faith in God. I am reliant on God’s word to get me through every single day. It’s truly like oxygen for me, not to sound cliche. Without God’s word I’m lost, I can’t hear from Him, I can’t get His peace and comfort. I encourage you to get in the Word. Let it become just another part of your being just like your hands, feet, and every other little tiny part of you that is necessary to get you from point A to point B.
Live in God’s love, grace, peace and mercy. If I can pray for you please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need help finding scripture to rely on for your challenges, let me know and I’ll certainly try to help. Most of all, give your cares to God and rest on the fact that His grace IS sufficient!!