"Fear not (there is nothing to fear), for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties."
Fear is a foe usually embracing us with its long talons that promise to clutch and scratch until our soul is released with great restriction.
But fear is the one we should embrace instead, allowing us insight to a new frightening beginning that will unfold with confidence as it unravels.
What does Scripture actually mean when it says, "Fear not.... am with you... I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties"? It is stating that God will make us stronger and stronger as we grow through all these nuances in life that produce fear. Best of all, it also means that over time, we will become less affected by these difficulties and challenges we face. Think of it like exercise. When you first begin, you get extremely sore. But, as you press onward you build muscle and strength. That said, we must go through the pain to get the gain.
Think about this in your own life. Are there situations you now handle well that would have previously made you feel overly fearful and anxious? Of course there are. But, as you have been walking with God, He has been strengthening you and hardening you to these difficulties. In the same way, I can assure you and encourage you that some of the things bothering you right now will not affect you the same way in five years.
And we wouldn't want God to remove all these challenges. If he did, we'd never grow and over come the obstacles. He allows diversity in our lives because he is trying to reveal something that needs to be strengthened or changed in us.
Sometimes He shows us what we are afraid because He wants to deliver us from that fear and strengthen us for things that will come in the future. In those times, we need to say, "Thank You, God, for allowing me to see that fear in my life. It reveals an area that needs to be dealt with in me." Once that area of fear is dealt with, then the enemy will have a hard time bothering you - and succeeding - in that area again. This is one way God hardens us to difficulties and teaches us not to be afraid.
This Week's Meditation:
Teach me to face fear with zest
Help me to realize that fear is a stepping stone.
Teach me to trust that you are challenging me for a reason.
Remind me that you are with me every step of the way.
Meditate on this for several minutes a day. Allow various thoughts to come into your mind. And realize God has you in his arms always