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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Crews

Stepping out of Fear

Last week we took our daughter on a special birthday trip. We left her brothers with grandparents, and we were able to give her all of our attention. It was so fun and special. At one point though, while we were in the pool, we wanted her to practice swimming. 

She’s been around water enough that we know she can in fact swim; however, every time we asked her to practice, she just flailed her arms and screamed. Not just a little scream, but a big, dramatic scream that made onlookers probably think we were terrible parents. Believe me when I say, she can swim. However, when we were in Florida this past January, she took in some water, and ever since then, she’s been scared. Because of the traumatic experience, in her mind, she believes she cannot swim. But we knew if she could overcome her fear, she’d be happier and honestly safer around water. 

So often we are the same. We get scared and talk ourselves out of trying it or doing something we know we’re called to. Why? Because in our heads it’s scary. It’s scary to think about what others may say. It’s scary to think about how we may be judged. And believe me when I say it’s scary to think about failing or being rejected. 

Scripture instructs us to “Not fear,” 365 times. That’s a reminder for each day of the year. I have several favorites of these verses but Isaiah 41:13 is one of my top favorites. It reads, “For I, Yahweh your God, hold your right hand and say to you: Do not fear, I will help you." This image brings me so much peace.

Another one of my favorite passages is Hebrews 11: Heroes of Faith. This chapter recounts the numerous men and women who walked by faith and not by fear. If you have time, I encourage you to read the entire chapter, but if not, here’s a snippet:

“Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him. 

By faith Noah, after he was warned about what was not yet seen and motivated by godly fear, built an ark to deliver his family. By faith he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. 

By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went out to a place he was going to receive as an inheritance. He went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he stayed as a foreigner in the land of promise, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, coheirs of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:6-10). 

It’s a passage that is rich with examples of people stepping out in faith and away from fear. Noah could have let fear stop him from building an ark. People likely criticized him and judged his actions. It would be really crazy to see someone build an ark and proclaim a massive flood is coming, right? However, because he didn’t let the fear of others’ judgment stop him, he saved his family. 

Abraham had no clue where he was going; however, he walked obediently. I like comfort, and I like our home and being close to friends and family. I'm sure Abraham had his own comforts he enjoyed too. Despite the fear he likely felt stepping away from everything he knew – his comfort – and into the unknown, he did it anyway. 

What is God calling you to do? 

Where is God calling you to step out?

Where do you feel the most frozen in fear?

For every fear we have, God has words to help combat it. Paul instructed us that, "All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, [and] for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). Even when we doubt, we can find stories similar to ours in Scripture to help teach and guide us.

Thankfully for us, friend, God isn’t silent. He’s given us His Word and The Holy Spirit to help us as well. Whatever you are fearing, remember that God sees you. He is personally invested in you, and He wants you to step out in faith and away from fear. Just like our daughter with her swimming dramatics, she is safer walking confidently in and around a pool. Similarly, despite the emotions we face that make us feel unsure or scared, we are safer knowing that God does have good plans for us and in turn stepping into them confidently.  

"For I know the plans I have for you' -- this is the Lord's declaration -- 'plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future" (Jeremiah 29:11).

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