Let It Go Part 3: Fear and Courage
On Sunday 18th March at our morning service, we continued our series 'Let it Go' with the topic Fear and Courage. In this blog you will find a summary of the talk and then some questions and reflections for you to think through on your own or to discuss in your small group.
To listen to this, click here.
Fear is an emotion that we all experience. It can range from a mild feeling of nervousness or apprehension through to a totally paralysing emotion that can affect our day to day life.
Sometimes our fears are borne out of particular experiences that we have been through and these past experiences cause us to be fearful. At other times our fears seem to appear from nowhere.
We fear many things, including, failure, change, rejection and the future, Our fears affect our day to day lives. They can give us sleepless nights; they can change our eating habits and they often occupy our thoughts. They can even hold us back from doing something that we would really love to do.
The Bible contains many accounts of God’s people experiencing fearful situations.
Even Jesus’ closest followers, the disciples, experienced fear on a number of occasions! One experience that they encountered was a terrifying storm whilst they were crossing the Sea of Galilee with Jesus. You can find this account here. (Mark 4 verses 35-41 New Living Translation)
One thing that really captures my attention about this story is that Jesus was with the disciples and they still ended up in a terrifying situation as they were crossing the lake.
God never promises that our lives will be without trouble. He never says if you follow me life is going to be plain sailing. But what he does promise is that He will be with us in the storms. He will never leave those who love him, alone, in the midst of trouble but he does want us to trust him – to have faith.
One of my favourite verses from the Bible when I’m faced with difficult situations and circumstances is from the book of Deuteronomy chapter 31 verse 8 It say this: “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
God is always with us. He is with us even when we can’t see or feel Him.
Jesus chose to calm the storm that evening in Galilee. If He can calm the storms of the sea, He can calm the storms of our lives as well. Sometimes though, our storms don’t seem to be going away even when we ask God to take them away. They seem to be never ending!
If this sounds like you then remember God is with you in your storm. Even though at the moment it may feel like he is asleep (like Jesus was in the boat). He will not leave you. You need to pray – to trust God. Have faith in Him. And get through the storm together.
Whatever the storms are that we are facing in our lives we have to choose to let go of our fears and have faith. We need to admit what we are fearful of and ask God to help us face our fears. We need to have complete faith and confidence in God.
Having faith is also about demonstrating that we trust God through our actions -following Him no matter what. This not easy and is something that Jesus’ disciples struggled with over and over again. In fact it was only once the Holy Spirit came down upon the disciples after Jesus had returned to heaven that they found that they were without fear! God had sent help - help that we also have as followers of Jesus, today!
We will all go through times in our lives when we are fearful but it is what we do in these times that is important. Let’s let go of our fears and have faith – trusting that God is with us throughout our lives as we step out courageously.
Questions and Reflections (for you to think about on your own or to discuss in your Life Group)
1. Think for a moment of a time when you have been fearful recently – what was it that you were afraid of? Why?
2. If you are going through a storm in your life at the moment where is God in your storm?
3. How are you doing with your faith?
4. When a storm comes your way what do you do?
5. How can we help each other as we journey through our storms?
6. What would our lives be like if we refused to let fear define our lives and instead let our faith define our actions?