Upcoming on my "The Bad, & The Ugly: Fears & Failures" Devotional Blog Series:
** Fear is a gateway to self-doubt **
- Peter's Doubt
- Jesus Calms Our Fears
- Jonah and The Whale
- What Can We Learn From Jonah
- Light Conquers Darkness
Back in March, I was struggling to understand where my faith stood and what I was going through in my life. I was in search of answers - spiritual answers. At the end of February, I decided to go to my home church to search for the missing piece of the puzzle, per se. I did not expect the message to a) connect to a devotional I had been writing about fears and doubts or b) really understand why I had been brought back to my home church on that first Sunday in March.
Especially seeing how I had been attending my second church with my college and career group for 6 months, I didn't expect how the message would hit me. Just like when I had attended church at my second one for the first time back in August 2019, I knew I was supposed to hear that message.
My home church Pastor preached about Wisdom From The Water, the story about how Peter doubted Jesus and how Jesus calmed the waters. I share below how this message hit home for me: I was facing my own storm right then and there.
If you are going through a storm right now while reading this, I hope you know that it does get better. I am not saying everything is perfect now, but, I did finally find some answers over those next few weeks.
Immediately Jesus reached out His hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?
Fear creates self-doubt. In Matthew 14, Peter is told by Jesus to come to Him, but that involves stepping out of the boat onto the water. Jesus is a few feet away casually standing on the sea like He is waiting on the sand. At first, Peter is full of trust and confidence in Jesus’ commandment. Then, he notices the terrifying elements around him, he is suddenly full of extreme fear.
As you can see, the world illuminates fear and doubt, yet Jesus can calm all with just reaching out his hand (vs. 31). Our fears and doubts are nothing compared to the overwhelming peace Jesus can give us.
Jesus responded to them, "Do you believe? Look: An hour is coming, and has come when each of you will be scattered to his own home, and you will leave Me alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world." - John 16:31-33
Peace be still because Jesus carries you through life no matter where you go. He's got you. He will always reach out His hand for you. The storms of life are no match for His calming presence.
We all go through storms. It is okay to not understand the meaning. I'm going through a storm and I'm working through it while leaning on Jesus for guidance, Not giving up! The light/calm is coming. - March 1, 2020, Me.
"Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil." - Ephesians 6:10-11
By putting on the "full armor of God" we are taking a stand against fear. Fear can't control us because God will always be for us. We just have to believe. Have faith like you are standing in the middle of a raging storm on top of the crashing waves. Even though they may waiver for a second, don't let them stay there. Why? Because Jesus can calm those fears and doubts that the Devil whispers in our ears as he tries to get us to fall. Keep pushing through and looking towards Jesus.
My Story Tie-in
My fear creates so much self-doubt within me whether it is with my writing or driving, I struggle majorly with this topic. May 17, 2014, I hydroplaned and flipped my car three times on a rainy afternoon. Since that terrible and scary day, I have been battling driving anxiety. I already didn’t enjoy driving, but that wreck made my fear and self-doubt ten million times worse. Almost six years later, I still struggle to drive in the rain. I have gotten better, but the anxiety is very real and intense when I start to panic and doubt my abilities.
Sometimes I still question why God saved me that day - walking away barely harmed even though my car was totaled. I can’t tell you the last six years have been easy because they haven’t. I can tell you that even though I ran away from God due to multiple reasons, running back home was the best decision I have ever made. I feel stronger even when anxiety tries to cripple me and make me feel defeated.
My God is bigger than any fear!
How many times have you let fear take your eyes off Jesus?
What steps can you take to remain focused on Jesus even in the storms of life?
Ask Jesus to help you remain focused on Him and guide you in the ways you should go.
Far too many times. I have run away from my faith before because when something goes wrong in my life all I would see is the negative. I knew where I needed to go, but like with anything, I was stubborn. When I finally came back, I started to pray more when fear crept in. For example, when I get scared while driving in the rain (especially) I say aloud, 'God, please help me through this." I may be shaking, but I know I'll get through it because God is looking out for me.
Pray. Write down my fears and not let them have control over me.
Jesus, fear has crept back into the tension in my arm, I need help fighting it off. I can't do this alone. But you can do this through me. I know it gets better, I know better days are coming. I am just in the middle of the storm right now.
Help us face the storms in our lives with the courage and knowledge that you are guiding us! Help us be more thankful through the hard times that are preparing us for what’s to come. Give us strength and wisdom during the fearful moments. Thank you for everything. Guide us to face our fears because with you we can do it!
I ask that you help our world, your world. Your people need you, more than ever. I come to you asking for the healing of our nation. I know we may not deserve it, but we still and always will need you.
I ask you to put your hands over all the mental health struggles in the world right now. I believe it is at an all-time. Help us know that better days are coming and that our struggles aren't who we are. That we are worthy of love even when our anxiety tells us we aren't. That we aren't alone, even when our depression makes us feel otherwise.
I pray for my friends (near and far) that they have healed over whatever battle they may be facing. That they know that you are there. That they are prayed for and loved.
I love you.
“Walking On Water” by Needtobreathe
The wind is strong, the water is deep
My heart is heavy and my mind won't sleep
Oh can you heal, my fear it breathes
Listen to the Fears & Failure Devotional Playlist: Here.
Scriptures: Matthew 14:22-33; Mark 4: 35-41; Ephesians 6:10-11; John 16:31-33.
Scriptures about Expecting Storms to Come in Our Lives from my church Pastor:
John 16:33; Acts 14:22; 1 Peter 4:12, 5:8; 2 Timonthy 2:3.