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November 2017 Newsletter

An ongoing series of informational entries

People May Think They Have No Fear When Really They've Never Been Tested. 

by Angela Jackson

November 1, 2017

Is it possible to live a life completely free from fear?

It sure does sound attractive. Wouldn't that be amazing to not ever have to be in a situation where you felt lost, afraid, or hurt?

At first look it seems to be the Eden we've all longed to have. Don't we sing worship songs about not being slaves to fear, about the freedom in Christ, about the power of the Cross that covers all wrongs?

But what if we've had it backward? What if we've been focusing so much on dispelling fear, instead of uncovering the reason we feel fear in the first place?

I've been there. I don't like the uncomfortableness of feeling fearful and devalued due to that feeling. So it's easy for me to deny it and control my world so that I don't ever have to be in place where that fear is exposed.

But I found out that when I try to control my world in order to make me feel good, then I never truly allow my fear to be tested. Thus I seem strong all the time and feel like I got a handle on everything. But in reality, deep down I was trying to cover the fear because I thought if it was discovered, that the shame of the exposure would prove I never was of any worth all along. How could a fear-filled, anxious person be wanted or loved by anyone?

Jesus loves us too much to let us be fear-less. If he never allowed our fear to be tested, then we would never discover that deep down Shame is the king of our lives. That we are driven to hide our faults more than anything else because those things tell us we are not of any value.

But you see, Jesus thinks so differently -- well, to be exact, he knows that we are priceless. The problem is getting us to a place where we believe we are priceless, too.

So in order to really understand love, to be unhinged from our fear, we absolutely have to be tested. And in that testing, we feel the fear and the shame and the wounds in full force. If we're honest, we'd admit that those voices are the ones speaking over our lives and hearts in the harshest of ways.

But that's where the Gospel shows up and shows out! In being tested, in being in situations where we are raw and exposed, we now have the choice to believe the fear and shame lies, or we can accept the truth of God -- that he has made us in his image, that we bear the very reflection of God, that everything he's created has immeasurable, inexplicable worth.

That dark place you're trying to escape from? Well, don't leave too fast because the most glorious of lights sparkle in the most darkest of places.

So don't be afraid to be tested. Don't be afraid to be transparent about your fear. Because that's where God can hold you, prune you, and mold you, grow you, and love you.

And the results are spectacular.