Sometime ago I read an article in my local paper about “faking courage” which brought to mind an area in my life where I lacked courage most of the time, and that is, I am afraid of the dark. I don’t like it. Period.

The Lord knows I wish I wasn’t, and yet, I am. I can go way back to childhood memories and pinpoint specific occurrences: such as scary stories about the bogeyman, etc. All of which cultivated a deep fear of what could be in the dark that could hurt me.

One of the statements the writer made in the article was:
“To this day, I’m uncomfortable in basements and dislike sitting with my back to windows at night.”

I can so relate to that. In fact I could add a whole bunch of other things to that list. She goes on to say: “I know people whose fear of bridges or heights has stopped them from traveling. Several close relatives were so terrified of cats they got goosebumps if they saw one. And what fears are more daunting than those of failure or success, which keeps us silent and immobile in the face of opportunity or change…everything we do out of our comfort zone is scary.”

All of this brings my thoughts back to the myriad conversations I’ve had with my friend-boss, over the years about stepping out of my “comfort zones”. Personally, I like my comfort zones. Why? Well, because they’re comfortable. And yet as true as it is, I am not okay with settling for less than I was created for because:
“He whom the Son sets free is free indeed.”

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of POWER and of LOVE and of a SOUND mind.”

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”

If, in fact, I am free, then I must require more of myself. I can and must choose to get up and walk in power with the sound mind the LORD has given me and walk forward doing life in LOVE instead of fear.

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you.
Yes, I will help you.
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

I could tell you untold stories of my failures to walk in faith. But this Victory Call is not about all that I sometimes permit to overwhelm. It’s about Him and the fact that IN moments of great fear and distress, His perfect love casts that fear out.

In Psalm 56:11 the psalmist writes, “In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

This is an awesome testimony to the power of trusting in God. Regardless of what happens, the psalmist will trust in God because he knows and understands the power of God. The key to overcoming fear is total and complete trust in God. Trusting God is a refusal to give in to fear. It is a turning to God even in the darkest times and trusting Him to make things right. This trust comes from knowing God and knowing that He is good. As Job said when he was experiencing some of the most difficult trials recorded in the Bible, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15 NKJV).

Stephanie Dale

Stephanie D. Paul serves as part of the Addiction Recovery Team at America’s Keswick as Director of Women of Character. She has been married for over 30 years to Sesky Paul who is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy. They have two grown children.
Her single focus in ministry at Keswick is to image Christ in grace and truth to wounded and hurting women, encouraging them to make Jesus the truest Lover of their soul and the One in whom all hope lies.

1 Bobbi Seidel: Second Thoughts “Faking Courage..” Observer Reporter 1/27/2011
2 ibid

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