December 21, 2021
God did not give us a spirit that makes us afraid but a spirit of power and love, and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7 NCV).
Friend to Friend
I do not have a green thumb. However, I once planted some flowers in our front yard. Actually, I just kind of stuck them in the ground, quickly prayed over them and hoped for a miracle.
Then a summer storm came through. I ventured outside to check on my flowers and discovered them lying on the ground, beaten to a pulp!
I lived next door to Martha Stewart's twin sister, who had planted the very same flowers which had gone through the very same storm … but were still standing tall and proud, mocking my sad, wilted floral remnants.
"You didn't plant your flowers deeply enough," my neighbor sweetly explained. Evidently, the flowers were not rooted and had been easily extracted by the storm. The same is true when it comes to faith.
Faith flourishes in a heart that is firmly rooted in the Word of God. We all battle fear. Fear constantly tries to elbow faith aside, hoping to derail God's plan and purpose in our lives.
Timothy tells us that the spirit of fear is not from God. Instead, God gives us a spirit of power, love, and self-control when we step out in faith.
"God did not give us a spirit that makes us afraid but a spirit of power and love and self-control" (2 Timothy 1:7 NCV).
Faith is a three-letter word.
Faith says "yes" to peace and "no" to fear.
It may be one tiny step or one puny choice.
It may be a whispered prayer or a desperate cry.
God always honors the choice to walk through fear. Fear trains us to anticipate the worst while faith teaches us to expect the best – even when that "best" looks a lot different than we thought it would.
The choice to walk in power, celebrate the love of God, and practice self-control, overwhelms fear and leaves peace in its place.
In the disciples’ darkest hour, waves crashing around them, trapped on a small fishing boat, They were terrified. Yet, their fear blinded them to the reality of Jesus coming to them in that storm. I love the simple but powerful response of Jesus to their fearful cries when He said, "Have courage! It is I. Do not be afraid."
The message was stunning in its simplicity. When Jesus is with us, we do not have to be afraid. We usually get that part. But what Jesus also said was that His very presence brought courage into the mix – an audacious choice to discount the fearful circumstances simply because He was there. But it is true!
Jesus did not rebuke His disciples in their fear.
He didn't turn away from them because their faith was weak.
I probably would have. After all, the disciples had seen Jesus perform miracles.
Water turned into wine.
Thousands fed with five loaves of bread and two small fish.
Men, women, and children healed.
And still, they were afraid. Still, they doubted. I can relate, can't you?
Jesus "quickly" assured them of His comforting presence and His available power. Yet, Peter was the only one who believed Jesus. How do I know? True faith generates action, which is why Peter hitched up his tunic, climbed out of the boat, and walked to Jesus.
When our faith is deeply rooted in the truth that Jesus is always with us, in every storm, through every trial, we will not end up like wilted, floral remnants. We can weather every storm standing tall and strong and beautiful. What kind of storm are you facing? Don't wait until you understand the storm. Don't rely on your strength. Instead, choose right now to believe and see what God does.
Remember, God sees and hears your cries. He is with you. You are never alone.
Father, please forgive me when I give in to fear instead of stepping out in faith. Help me learn how to capture my thoughts and train them to focus on You. My faith is small, but I now choose to place it in You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Now It's Your Turn
What trial are you facing today?
What step do you need to take to face that trial with faith instead of fear?
More from the Girlfriends
Life is so daily. It is sometimes easy to lose hope. Need help? Check out Mary's new devotion books, Life is So Daily (Volumes 1 and 2). Our prayer is that they will encourage and equip you to face each day with God's power.
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© 2021 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved.
Complete after Sharon looks at my edits.
complete. good fix!