Don’t Give In to Fear!

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true…think on these things” Philippians 4:8

Recently, I’ve been reading a book on Joshua called “Joshua: Mighty Warrior and Man of Faith.” If you’re familiar with Keller, he also wrote the famous book called “A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23.” Although I can’t make a blanket endorsement of all his works, I’ve enjoyed the unique insights that he offers in both of these books.


As he was recounting one of the many times that Israel rebelled against God in the wilderness, Keller distilled this disturbing cycle of disobedience into four descending steps:

1) Facts

2) Fear

3) Fantasy of Foreboding (constant dwelling on “what if’s”)

4) Failure

It’s simple to see how Israel got typically themselves in a mess when you look at the four steps. They saw the facts (“There’s no water.”), they immediately began to fear (“What are we going to do?”), they let those thoughts run away (“We’re going to die.”), and inevitably they failed by murmuring against the Lord. Of course, this never ended well…

Certainly there’s no changing the facts of life, yet there’s nothing that says we need to continue to travel down the path that leads to failure. Instead of dwelling on the facts of the difficulty of the situation we find ourselves in, we must turn our thoughts to the fact that God is greater than any situation we find ourselves in. Dwelling on THIS fact allows us to stop going down the path of fear, the fantasy of foreboding, and failure.

As you deal with the myriad of issues that come with being a special needs family or a special needs family supporter, there are many fears that can creep up in your mind. 

  • “Am I prepared for what’s ahead?” 
  • “Will my child ever be able to [fill in the blank]?”
  • “Can I even teach this child about Jesus?”
  • “How are we ever going to make it?”

Notice, all these fears are questions. They typically aren’t based on facts, or at the very least, they’re based on a few threads of truth. Instead of dwelling on these thoughts, which inevitably leads to spiritual failure, dwell on the Lord. He IS enough! 1 Thessalonians 5:24 puts it this way, “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” If God has brought a situation to your life, He will give you EVERYTHING you need to succeed, particularly if you look at success in light of Joshua 1:8.

Special needs father or mother, don’t be afraid. Junior church teacher, don’t quit. Focus on the truth of Who God is. Don’t allow your fear to take over. Anchor yourself to the Word daily. Yield to the Spirit. Remember the command of Philippians 4:6, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Bring your fears to God and lay them at His feet (and don’t try to pick them up again!).

-AR

Jeremiah or Jonah?

𝘐 𝘸𝘳𝘰𝘵𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘤𝘩𝘶𝘳𝘤𝘩 𝘣𝘶𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘯 𝘺𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘥𝘢𝘺. 𝘈𝘴 𝘢 𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘎𝘰𝘥, 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘢 𝘑𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘪𝘢𝘩 𝘰𝘳 𝘢 𝘑𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘩?


Over the past few weeks, I have been going through the prophets in my Bible reading. As I have gone through these books, I was struck by the differences between Jeremiah and Jonah. Both were prophets called by the Lord, yet they had two different ways of navigating their callings. Consider:


• Jeremiah was a courageous prophet, but Jonah was a cowardly prophet.
• Jeremiah was a crying prophet who wept over Israel’s sinful condition, but Jonah was a “crybaby” prophet who wept due to a situation of his own creation.
• Jeremiah was a prophet who had hope in the face of God’s judgment of Israel, but Jonah was a prophet who was bitter in the face of God’s mercy to Nineveh.
• Jeremiah was a prophet who had a repentant heart, but Jonah was a prophet who had a resistant heart.


The difference is pretty stark when you think about it! Jeremiah was greatly used of God in his generation, but Jonah’s life serves as a warning for us to consider.


Are you closer to Jeremiah or Jonah?