Fear is referenced hundreds of times in the Bible, but in the majority of cases it speaks of fearing the Lord, which brings peace and confidence, not fear of circumstances. 

So, how do we face our fears so we don't live with regrets?  We accept and trust in the perfect love of the Lord.  We ask him for his direction and peace.  We trust him in our situations, and after much prayer we step out in confidence. 

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us (1 John 4:18-19).

Earlier this year I joined a sport I had always wanted to participate in since being introduced to it seven years ago—six-man outrigger canoe racing.  I fell in love with being part of a team, working together to battle fatigue and the elements, and paddling on the open ocean. 

I never really had an outward "fear" of the ocean, but I never challenged it either.  For the most part, I stayed out of it and it didn't bother me. 

What I never expected in the sport were "water changes," which occur in long-distance races (20+ miles) where teams are allowed three replacements who follow along in an escort boat.  To change out paddlers, teammates must dive into the open ocean and tread water until they can jump into the canoe or climb back into the boat.

When I overcame some of my fears (of failure, of being unqualified and of the "unknown") and leapt out of the canoe, I not only triumphed over some of those things that used to hold me back, but also gained the confidence to face other fears in my life—"if I can do this, I can do (almost) anything."

It just takes one small step into one small adventure to start the change.
As Peter stepped out of the boat in faith in the midst of a storm to meet Jesus walking on water (Matthew 14:29), each of us needs to step out in those "fearful" situations if we are going to take advantage of the opportunities we are given.

Scripture reassures us, "No one who trusts God like this—heart and soul—will ever regret it" (Romans 10:11).

Don't allow your fears or doubts to rob you from your heart's desire.  Don't end up like the other disciples, who cowered in the boat and followed the group.  Get up, take a step out and trust God like your life depended upon it and like there is no tomorrow.  You won't be disappointed and you won't regret it.

Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.

— Corrie Ten Boom


Cliff Young is a contributing writer to Sandlot Stories (ARose Books), as well as the monthly column, "He Said-She Said," in Crosswalk.com's Singles Channel.  An architect and former youth worker, he now works with Christian musicians and consults for a number of Christian ministries. Got feedback?  Send your comments and questions to CYdmg@yahoo.com. 

**This article first published on November 4, 2010.