Category: Fear


Taking a Leap of Faith
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth
“I can do everything through him (Jesus) who gives me strength,” (Philippians 4:13 NIV).

Friend to Friend
Several years ago, on a trip to Kauai, my husband and our friends, Larry and Cynthia Price, decided to go on a zip line through the jungle. After being jostled and tossed like ragdolls in the back of a retired army jeep, we finally made it to the top of the mountain from which we were going to zip down—risking life and limb I might add.

I hopped out of the jeep and eyed the cable suspended high above the valley below. After watching Cynthia fly through the trees, I climbed up onto a wooden platform and surrendered to Jack, a jovial, burly Hawaiian, who strapped me into a harness and placed a helmet on my head. With a simple click of a metal buckle, he attached my harnessed body onto a seemingly flimsy steel cable. As I stood on the edge of the platform eyeing the disappearing earth below my feet, I had a choice. I could say, “no thanks” and ask to be released from the cable, or I could jump.

I chose to jump. My body flew over the treetops and the stunningly beautiful gorge. I was Tarzan’s Jane and this was my jungle. Airborne. Exhilarating. Risky.

Jacob was with us that day. He was a stranger among our little band of adventurers. Jacob was alone. No friends. No spouse. No family.

“Jacob, what brings you up to this mountain today?” I asked.

“I’m afraid of heights,” he answered.

I then noticed the thin line of perspiration beading over his upper lip. The slight tremble in his voice. The mechanical one-foot-in-front-of-the-other halted gait up the hill.

“You’re afraid of heights?” I asked. “Then why are you here?”

“I’m going to conquer it today,” he determinedly answered.

I was struck. We were here to have fun. He was here for a totally different reason. When Jacob stood on that platform, I prayed for my new friend. For Jacob this was not just a joy ride…or just maybe it was.

I’m not saying that God told Jacob to go to the top of a mountain, attach his body to a flimsy cable, and fly over the gorge at the risk of life and limb. But I am saying that obedience often requires a leap of faith. Too often we say yes to God, but live the no because of fear. We stand at the precipice of belief and a decision has to be made. Am I going to trust God or not? Am I going to attach my heart to the cable of His love and take a leap of faith, or am I going to freeze in fear because I don’t trust that He has my best interest in mind? Am I going to settle for safety and miss the thrill of seeing God work through me?

As we live and move and have our being in Jesus, God will take us to some amazing places. And there will always be a choice. Will we jump headlong into the adventurous journey of His perfect plan, or will we hang back for lack of faith? Jacob stood on the platform, took a deep breath, and jumped. He flew over the treetops, careened over the river, and landed safely on the other side of his greatest fear.

We clapped and cheered. Jacob took a bow. God smiled.

In Him we live and move and have our being…and sometimes we soar.

Let’s Pray
Lord, sometimes I’m just flat out afraid. Afraid I’ll fail. Afraid I’ll be rejected. Afraid I won’t be good enough. Lord, forgive me for all those “I’s.” Forgive me for focusing on my weaknesses rather than Your strength. Today, I’m believing that I can do all things that You call me to do because I know that You will give me the strength I need.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

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October 25, 2012
Overcoming the Fear of Rejection
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us,” – (Romans 8:37 NIV).

Friend to Friend
I can still remember when God first gave me a glimpse of what my future held. Writing, speaking, radio ministry, mentoring. A host of insecurities rose to the surface and the fear of rejection wrapped its fingers around my skinny neck. But God assured me I was not alone, and He was perfectly capable of doing everything He promised. I only needed to be obedient and say “yes” to Him.

We have only to flip through the pages of the Bible to see that overcoming the fear of rejection is a thread that runs through the record of history.

  • Noah overcame the fear of rejection when he obeyed God and built an Ark on dry land.
  • Abram overcame the fear of rejection when he left his homeland with no clear direction as to where he would go.
  • Jacob overcame the fear of rejection when he returned to his homeland and his brother whom he had deceived.
  • Joseph overcame the fear of rejection when he refused Potiphar’s wife’s sexual advances.
  • Moses overcame the fear of rejection when he went before the Pharaoh and demanded the Israelites’ release.
  • Joshua overcame the fear of rejection when he told the army their orders were to march around Jericho in silence for seven days.
  • Ruth, the Moabite, overcame her fear of rejection when she gleaned wheat in the field of a Jew.
  • Samuel overcame the fear of rejection when the people decided they wanted a King rather than God to be their ruler.
  • David overcame the fear of rejection when he offered to slay Goliath.
  • Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego overcame the fear of rejection when they refused to bow and worship King Nebuchadnezzar.
  • Esther overcame the fear of rejection when she went before the king to plead for the lives of her people.
  • Each and every one of the prophets overcame the fear of rejection as they delivered God’s message of judgment to the people.

When we turn the final page of the Old Testament and look into the New Testament, we see the same pattern of courage. Jesus, his disciples, Paul, and the expanding body of believers all faced and overcame the fear of rejection. Paul’s attitude was “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks! “If God is for us, who can be against us? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?  It is God who justifies” (Romans 8:31, 33).

And then the ultimate rejection occurred when our Lord and Savior hung on the Roman cross. “He was despised and rejected by men” (Isaiah 53:3). But Jesus overcame the fear of rejection and the result was his glorification. He knew crucifixion was imminent. Just before He was arrested Jesus prayed with His disciples: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you,” (John 17:1).  He didn’t mention His rejection and death on the cross that was ahead of Him. He prayed that God would be glorified. That was foremost in His mind and on His heart. Likewise, I believe that we overcome the fear of rejection when glorifying God is foremost on our minds and in our hearts.

The apostle Paul faced rejection at every turn. In his letter to the Thessalonians he wrote:

“We had previously suffered and been insulted in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in spite of strong opposition. For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts,” (1 Thessalonians 2:2-4).

Whether it is sharing the gospel or the scars of our past, there will be some who do not accept us. We certainly are not above the prophets in the Old Testament or the disciples in the New.  Not everyone liked what they had to say, but they pressed through the fear and walked in faith.  It is because of them we have the gospel at our very finger tips!

Let’s Pray
Dear LORD, thank You that I am more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus. Help me not to give up when times get tough, but to persevere with endurance. I know that not everyone will like me or what I have to say about You, but I pray for the courage and the power of the Holy Spirit to speak when You lead and to keep quiet when You lead. Help me know the difference.
In Jesus’ Name
Amen.

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