Do you have anything in your life you’d do differently if you could get a do-over?
I think everyone has lots of little things and maybe even a few big things they think . . . if only I had or if only I hadn’t.
Yeah, me too.
Of all the dos and don’ts, I have one big thing I would change if I could go back and start over.
One thing I wish I’d learned years ago. It’s where my faith would crash into life and my faith fell short. And unfortunately, I was a slow learner . . . it took a list of hard life lessons for me to finally get it.
What is my one thing?
Fear is a horrible waste of the precious gift of time.
Allowing “what ifs” to volley back and forth through my mind robbed me of joy, contentment, happiness, and peace.
So, if I could make one change (have one do-over) it would be to…
Enjoy life more by trusting God’s will for me, and rejecting “what if” fear.
Here are just a few examples:
- What if they don’t like me?
- What if I fail?
- What if I can’t have children?
- What if something happens to my husband, my child, my parent?
- What if I get sick?
- What if my love gets sick?
- What if my child fails?
- What if I’m rejected?
- What if, what if, what if..?
Maybe that thing you fear is on my list. Maybe it’s not.
Now before I go any further, I want to remind you that fear is normal. In fact, it’s an important tool God gave us to caution and protect us.
When fear dominates and fear of tomorrow lessens today’s joy or keeps you and me from truly living our God-given calling, then it’s time for a closer look and a faith check.
I looked for a list of the most common things people are afraid of and found…
- The Unknown
I guess my list was pretty typical.
Typical or not, this is important…
Most of the things I feared never happened. A few of the things I feared did.
My fear didn’t influence or change the events of my life! All it changed was the way I lived.
Because I missed being all in.
I failed to be fully engaged and didn’t celebrate and enjoy the present because I was afraid of what might or might not happen tomorrow.
You see, what I know now that I wish I’d believed long ago is…
Fear doubts God’s love.
Whatever God allows, good or bad . . . Everything He allows or withholds comes from His immeasurable love.
He is love. Love is His character and He cannot deny or betray His character.
True, bad things happen. But God has used even the bad things, sometimes more so than the good things to bless my life, grow my faith and draw me closer. I can look back now at the worst events and experiences and praise God for the way He used them for my good and His glory.
With God’s counsel and help, you and I can conquer fear.
The following verses are more than just words . . . they are truth.
We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in His love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 1 John 4:16
But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. I praise God for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? Psalm 56:3–4
There is no fear in love. Perfect love puts fear out of our hearts. People have fear when they are afraid of being punished. The man who is afraid does not have perfect love. We love Him because He loved us first. 1 John 4:18–19
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. Romans 8:38
Here are a few quotes that inspire me, too.
“The presence of fear does not mean you have no faith. Fear visits everyone. But make your fear a visitor and not a resident.” ~Max Lucado
“It is good to remind ourselves that the will of God comes from the heart of God and that we need not be afraid.” ~Warren Wiersbe
“The fear of man strangles us, because we can never please everybody; but the fear of the Lord frees us, because it challenges us to live and serve for an audience of One.” ~ Paul Chappell
“Fear is a self-imposed prison that will keep you from becoming who God intends for you to be. You must move against it with the weapons of faith and [God’s] love.” ~ Rick Warren
I memorize verses and quotes so I have them quickly available when fear tries to take over and ruin my day.
Verses remind me that…
You and I can know with confidence—God is with us in every circumstance.
Whatever He allows, problem or persecution, stress or worrisome thought . . . He is present strengthening, guiding, helping, and holding us in the palm of His hands.
When you and I conquer fear and trust God’s goodness and love we have all we need to live courageously.
Sure, in this world we have troubles and if we had to face them on our own we’d have plenty of reasons to be afraid. But we have the truth of God’s Word and the presence of His Spirit to give us strength and the blessing of His unfailing love to give us courage.
Remember that I commanded you to be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid, because the Lord your God will be with you everywhere you go.” Joshua 1:9
God’s love has the power replace fear with faith-filled courage.
Where God’s love is, there is no fear. God’s perfect love takes away fear. 1 John 4:18
So yes, the one thing I’d do over . . . I would faithfully know and trust God’s love that gives the power to conquer fear!
Because even when you and I don’t understand our circumstances, we can be completely confident that God’s plans and purposes are based on love.
With God’s help, you and I can refuse to waste the gift of right now by asking God to hold us close, remind us of His unfailing love, and give us all we need to conquer fear.
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