Focus or Fear?
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Some of my most frightening moments as a child happened when our family experienced power outages. Darkness would fill our home as my brothers and sisters and I imagined large 10-legged creatures with purple eyes and green hair lurking in the dark. Until my mom or dad lit a candle, we would huddle together, trembling from what we imagined to be in the surrounding darkness. The entrance of that spark of light brought smiles to our wide-eyed, terrified little faces, dispelling imaginary fear.
The goal of our soul’s enemy (Psalm 143:3) is to keep our minds and hearts full of fear, thus preventing us from focusing on promises from our powerful and loving heavenly Father. Most of these fears, whether imaginary or real, constantly lurk in the dark rooms of our minds, threatening the focus of our peace.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow to the giant golden statue built by King Nebuchadnezzar. Instead of fearing, they focused on the power of God:
They declared: “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty” (Daniel 3:16-17 NLT).
The woman who anointed Jesus with the alabaster ointment refused to listen to fear and the accusations of being called sinful. Instead, she focused on Jesus and worshipped at His feet. Jesus declared to those around:
“I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.” (Matthew 26:13)
Peter and John were commanded by the religious leaders in Jerusalem never again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus (Acts 4:18).
Instead of fearing, they declared:
“Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19-20)
Fear becomes powerless in the presence of faith.
Many years have passed, and should a power outage occur, flashes of what could be lurking in the dark still trigger my mind to tremble in fear. However, I have learned to focus on words from Scripture that promise freedom from fear, imaginary or real. The entrance of that light brings a smile, dispelling fear.
The teaching of your word gives light, so even the simple can understand. (Psalm 119:130)
What are you afraid of today? You and I can refuse to accept fear, and instead, focus on the light that Jesus is waiting to shine into that darkness, dispelling any fear:
Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” (John 8:12)
With our God’s help, you and I can overcome fear, imaginary or real.
Heavenly Father, in the fearful dark moments of our lives, help us to focus on the light of Your presence—because it is there that we become fearless! In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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