I was asked to give the devotional at our Women’s Fellowship meeting this past Saturday, and although I had three weeks to prepare, I couldn’t find a devotional out there online that worked. Most of them that I read were far too preachy, way too judge-y, and basically… well… they sounded nothing like me. The worst thing I could do was sit in front of those lovely ladies (and our guest speaker, Pastor Mark) and read something that preaches a message of expectation that we all become perfect June Cleaver clones that live the type of sinless Christian life you only see in Hallmark Christmas movies. That’s not me. So I came back to my own blog (because I certainly write enough) and read through past posts to see if anything might work. I settled on this post from 2013 and, after modifying it heavily, created my very first devotional, which I’m sharing below.
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Faith? Or Fear?
Everywhere in the news today, there are stories of strong, faithful people. They stare down their murderers. They fight their captors. They work to make a difference, despite gut-wrenching stories and insurmountable odds. When everything turns terrible for them, they stand tall and proud, their chin lifted toward the heavens, and they talk about how this, too, shall pass.
And then there’s me.
An unexpected bill comes in that I can’t possibly pay? I don’t take a deep breath and say a quiet prayer to place my worry in the Lord’s hands. I panic. That promotion I really hoped for at work slips through my fingers? My first reaction isn’t to realize that all of it is part of God’s plan for me. Instead, I shut down (and get a big ‘ol chip on my shoulder). I get bad news from the doctor? I get on the internet, self-diagnose, and then I freak out.
As you can see, I don’t always do a very good job of living by faith. Oh, I may tell others to have some faith when things are keeping them down, but do I follow my own advice? Rarely! For a long time now, I’ve let fear rule my reactions, not faith.
The fact is, none of us like worrying. None of us like that feeling of not being able to breathe, of our hearts bouncing around in our chest like basketballs. None of us like feeling that we’re totally alone when the chips are down. The beautiful fact is, though, that we aren’t alone. Each of us is on a walk with the Lord. When we feel like we’re standing at the end of a long dark tunnel that we have to traverse alone, we need to remember that we don’t. The Bible is full of God’s promises and there are plenty of verses that remind us that our worrying and fears are baseless because God is with us!
Joshua 1:9 – “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
John 14:1 – “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”
Being a believer in Christ isn’t always easy. I’m learning, however, that I make it harder on myself than I have to whenever I choose fear over faith. I’ve accepted where I am on my Christian walk (which feels just about ten yards beyond the starting line) and realize I have a long way to go. I’m trying to make strides by truly trusting in God. Trust equates to faith, and faith feels so much better than fear.