Fear Is An Invitation: How God Calls Us Even When We’re Afraid
Does God call us to things where we might experience fear?
Believe it or not, God created the ability for us to experience a full spectrum of emotions – including fear! But just because we have the ability to fear does not mean that God desires us to live in fear.
While God doesn’t desire us to be afraid, the reality of living in a broken world is that we will experience fear. There are numerous references in the Bible where God tells us not to be afraid, but he never says that we won’t encounter fear. But when we encounter fear, God’s Word says that we have him as our Heavenly Father to find comfort.
So does God call us to specific assignments that might surface fear in our hearts?
But it’s in the midst of our fear that we have an invitation to draw closer to Jesus. We have an invitation to trust in him. We have an invitation to rely on our Heavenly Father. We have an invitation to ask God to move mountains that we cannot move on our own. We have an invitation to find confidence in Christ. A confidence that comes from trusting who God is and what he has called us to, regardless of our circumstances. But just because we have confidence in Christ doesn’t mean we won’t experience fear.
Confidence in Christ is not the absence of fear.
Confidence in Christ results from trusting who God says he is and what he is calling us to do. Confidence in Christ produces when we seek his strength in the middle of our weakness, and it’s a fruit of finding courage in God’s Word when faced with unknown circumstances.
Consider these stories of people in the Bible who likely faced fear when God called them to do something but chose to step out in faith anyway.
- God called Moses to lead his people out of slavery under the rule of Pharaoh in Egypt.
- After the death of Moses, God called on Joshua to lead the Israelites across the Jordan River and take possession of the promised land.
- God called Nehemiah, who was an exiled Jew living under the rule of King Artaxerxes in Babylon, to ask the king for permission to leave his position as his cupbearer to rebuild the walls of exiled Jerusalem.
- God called Esther, another exiled Jew, to face potential death by entering the throne room of King Ahasuerus without being summoned to save the Israelites from annihilation.
- In the book of Judges, God called Gideon to slim down his Israelite army of 32,000 to 300 men to fight against the Midianites, who were ruling over Isreal.
- Jesus called Peter to step out of his boat and walk on water during a storm.
- And God the Father called Jesus to sacrifice his life by dying on the cross to save humanity.
All of these people in the Bible faced fear when God called them to something – Jesus being the ultimate example. But even though they experienced fear, they chose to find confidence in the one who called them. Likewise, when we encounter fear, we can choose to focus on our fear or focus on the one who called us.
When God calls us to action and fear arises, let it be an invitation for us to rely more deeply on him. Let it be an invitation to trust God’s sovereignty over all things. Let it be an invitation to live in the shadow of his wings (Ps. 17:8), rather than living in the shadow of fear. Let fear be an invitation to trust God as our Heavenly Father because he promises never to leave or forsake us (Deut. 31:8).