How Can You Laugh without Fear of the Future? - Encouragement for Today - September 4, 2017
September 4, 2017
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” Proverbs 31:25 (NLT)
“Dad, I’m scared!”
My son’s voice echoed through the clouds, bouncing off the treetops all the way to the pit of my soul. I wanted to save him or help him or reassure him everything would be okay. But all I could do was watch.
Minutes before, I’d marched away with several of my young children for a bathroom break while my husband, Luke, and our older kids shuffled down the sidewalk with smiles stretched across their faces.
We’d stumbled upon a new ropes course at our local zoo, and since it was near a birthday, what better way to celebrate than to dangle in the air four stories high. Right?
When the little kids and I returned, we stood and watched the scene unfold.
Everyone strapped on their safety gear: harnesses, helmets and ropes. Then, with eager confidence, a few of our boys darted off ahead of their dad. They navigated the course pretty well. But the higher they climbed, the harder it became, and before he knew it, my son Jonah found himself higher than he could manage on his own.
He clenched the ropes and choked back tears as he cried out, “Dad, I’m scared!”
In today’s key verse we meet a woman whom the Bible says “is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future” (Proverbs 31:25). I think we each long to be described like this, but I doubt we’d choose these words to define ourselves.
Instead we wonder, how can she possibly laugh without fear of the future? When threats swirl around us, is it realistic to think this is possible?
I believe it is. More than that, I believe God wants all His daughters to live clothed with strength and dignity and laugh without fear of the future.
A few verses later, we find a clue into this woman’s freedom. Proverbs 31:30 describes her not only as a woman who laughs without fear of the future, but also as “a woman who fears the LORD.” (NIV)
To laugh without fear of the future, we must replace fear of the future with fear of the Lord.
When my son found himself frozen in fear he took two very brave and wise steps. First, he cried out to his father, then he listened for his daddy’s voice.
“Jonah, I’m right here,” his dad said. “I see you, and I’m going to help you.
“You need to let go of the rope with your right hand, then reach forward and grab the other rope.”
And Jonah did.
“Great job, son, you’re doing great. Now with your right foot, step onto the platform in front of you.”
And Jonah did.
Dad continued these gentle, patient, step-by-step instructions until Jonah safely reached the landing. With each step Jonah’s heart grew braver as he heard his father’s voice and trusted his choices.
The funny thing is, Jonah never actually saw Luke, who stood behind him the entire time. And yet, Jonah knew exactly whom he was following. He knew the voice wasn’t a ropes course instructor or one of his brothers. He knew it was his father’s voice, and that made it easy to trust him.
To laugh without fear of the future, we have to know God’s voice and trust His choices.
We have to cry out to God when we’re scared and follow wherever He leads. To do that, we have to know, beyond any doubt, the sound of our heavenly Father’s voice.
Do you know your Father’s voice? When I’m not sure, or need to know God’s voice more personally, I read His Word. The more time I spend with God, the more familiar His voice becomes, and the braver my heart grows.
Dear God, You sent Your Son Jesus to be the sacrifice for my sins so I might have access to an intimate, personal relationship with You. I want to know Your voice and follow You with childlike faith. Today, as I draw near to You, help me recognize Your voice. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (ESV)
Hebrews 4:16, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (NIV)
Are you the woman you want to be? Proverbs 31 Ministries is partnering with Chrystal Evans Hurst as we read her newly released book, She’s Still There: Rescuing the Girl in You, as our next FREE Online Bible Study. Recognize the woman you were meant to be as you set out on a journey to find direction, purpose and true satisfaction. You can sign up for the study (which starts this week!) here.
Stop by Katy McCown’s blog today to receive a free gift of “15 Scriptures to Help You Fight Fear and Anxiety.”
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
When you’re afraid, where do you turn? Do you try to ignore or avoid it, or do you lean on yourself?
Search God’s Word for biblical truth to help you combat feelings of fear the next time they arise.
© 2017 by Katy McCown. All rights reserved.