August 5, 2019
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Paula really took some risks. She's a Native American young woman who was in a training program at our office. She was deathly afraid of heights and my wife and I took her out for lunch at a place called the Cliff House Inn. Guess where it is? It hangs out on the side of a mountain. When we went out on the porch to admire the view, Paula asked to go out there with us. We had to hold her hand, but she bravely ventured out and actually spent a few minutes looking out from that very high perch that's suspended over a deep valley. The next day she went with a girlfriend to a theme park, and she purposely went with her on roller coasters that she was afraid of. You know something? It turned out, Paula was not quite as afraid of heights as she used to be.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Facing Your Fears."
Our friend Paula was working on conquered her fears by facing her fears; including some that are much, much bigger. With the help of some caring counselors, she dared to confront some of the issues of a very painful past - issues that she considered too painful and too scary to confront before. And you know what? Some healing began.
Maybe it's time for you to do the same thing - to stop avoiding that thing you've been afraid to face…stop running from it. Like Paula going out on that high deck, there's no way to conquer your fears other than to face them. And it's possible to do that if you'll claim as a promise the words of David in our word for today from the Word of God. They're in Psalm 34:4. It's been an anchor verse in my life.
As you hear what David says, remember that he's writing this while he's hiding in a cave, King Saul's army is pursuing him; they want to kill him on sight if they find him. Talk about fear! Here's the verse that my wife and I have claimed so many times, "I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears." Wow! He wants to do that for you.
Where's the issue you've been afraid to deal with? Like Paula, maybe it's some very painful things in your past, or maybe it's a loss you haven't allowed yourself to grieve, or some area where you've just refused to obey God's direction because of your fear of the unknown. Maybe there's a ticking time bomb in your marriage, or in some of your children, or in your church. It could be you've got a fear of abandonment. But if there is any issue like these that you have been too afraid to face, you know that ignoring it doesn't make it go away. It never has.
In fact, an un-confronted fear just keeps on paralyzing you every time a reminder of it comes up. This is a time for courage, for facing the monster that you've been running from for so long. You begin by believing God, that He can "deliver you from all your fears." Then, by faith, get a buddy (maybe a counselor) to walk out on that deck with you. You'll have to confide in someone. Maybe there's a letter you should write, a call you need to make, a conversation you need to have, a forgiveness you need to grant.
And as you walk courageously into your personal "fear zone," you don't walk alone. God's promise is this in Isaiah 43, "Fear not, for I have redeemed you...you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned...for I am the Lord your God."
With that kind of assurance, with that kind of a God, you can face your fears and you can begin to finally conquer what has conquered you for way too long.