The questions… “What makes you afraid?”  or “Of what are you afraid?” do not seem to hold the same intensity and emotion as this grammatically incorrect question…

“What are you afraid of?”

What are you afraid of? - Devotional Thoughts

What are you afraid of?

Maybe it’s surgery, or loss of a job, or loss of a home, or illness, or accident, or…

Most of us, if we’re honest, we struggle with some sort of fear.  I know I do.

I have a friend who is anxious about an upcoming court date.  Knowing that the judge can rule in her favor or not is almost debilitating.  She’s asked me to pray for her and I do… but aside from praying all of us feel helpless.  And so we struggle and wrestle with all the possibilities… the “what ifs.”

This morning, I was going through some of my collected quotes, this one from C.S. Lewis stopped me in my “tracks.”

Remember, though we struggle against things because we are afraid of them,
it is often the other way round—we get afraid because we struggle.
Are you struggling, resisting? Don’t you think Our Lord says to you
‘Peace, child, peace. Relax. Let go. Underneath are the everlasting arms.
Let go, I will catch you. Do you trust me so little?’
from The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume III

As I read it, one phrase, in particular, jumped right out at me…

We get afraid because we struggle. 

What are you afraid of? - We get afraid because we struggle. C.S. Lewis quote

It made me think about some of the things I’m personally dealing with.

Recently I had an “ah-ha” moment.  I realized that if I dwell on my situation, if I wrestle with the whys, if I allow myself to have a pity party, my situation seems almost unbearable. But, if I choose to wear the mind of Christ, if I choose to have a heart of gratitude and seek the joy that only the Joy-Giver can give… I do pretty well.

I had become not only fearful, but despairing because I chose to struggle.

This was a profound statement for me:

 Remember, though we struggle against things because we are afraid of them,
it is often the other way round—we get afraid because we struggle.

It reminded me of a scripture verse that I need to keep before myself…

What a you afraid of? - Jesus: Don't get lost in despair... from John 14:1

 

Jesus: Don’t get lost in despair; believe in God, and keep on believing in Me.

John 14:1 (The Voice)

Those words of Jesus are pretty direct aren’t they?

When we pray and ask God for guidance… his word, the Bible is filled with direction for our lives.

Sometimes I hear people say, “Well, there are some pretty interesting stories in the Bible, but there isn’t anything there that applies to my life today.”

What are you struggling with?  What are you afraid of? What keeps you awake at night? What causes your heart to beat quickly? What is it you’re trying to numb?

Jesus knows our fears… actually he has taken on every one.

In John 16:33, Jesus tell the disciples and us...

I have told you these things so that you will be whole and at peace.
In this world, you will be plagued with times of trouble,
but you need not fear;

I have triumphed over this corrupt world order.

It’s because he has triumphed over this corrupt world order, that he tells us,

Don’t get lost in despair!

I can tell you what despair does for you… and it’s not good.  It’s made me sick… very sick.

What are you afraid of?

So what do you do when you start going down the road of despair?

Believe in God, and keep on believing in Jesus.

Whenever we’re in tough situations we think we need to DO something to change our circumstances. Most often, what we do is start struggling and wrestling in our minds which lead us down the road of despair.  I’m not suggesting there are no positive actions that we can take… but here we’re talking about what goes on in our minds.  Our minds are the battleground of the enemy and there is nothing more that he would like than to completely paralyze you.

Jesus was clear and direct.  When trouble comes our way and it will…

Believe in God, and keep on believing in Me.

What are you afraid of? Believe in God, and keep on believing in Me. - Jesus

To believe in God is to acknowledge that he IS God.  It’s to recognize and dwell on who he is and his character.

God is loving, all-knowing, all-powerful, holy, mighty, faithful… and that’s just for starters.

And keep believing in Jesus.  

Do you wonder why Jesus said to believe in God and keep believing in him?

We all have this need to “do.”  Jesus knew that and so he has given us something to do that is good for us.

If we keep believing in him, we will trust that he is our healer, that he is our redeemer, that he is our restorer, that he has the power to raise the dead.  By believing… our hope is renewed… we can trust more fully and completely, and one day we’ll see everything turn out for our good and his glory.   He knows that believing is seeing.  When we keep believing we’ll start to see things through his eyes and not our own.  We’ll receive wisdom and clarity and peace and hope.  And all that is so much better than living in despair, isn’t it.

I don’t know what your struggle is today… but I pray that you found hope and even better, are encouraged to believe in our ultimate Hope… Jesus.

 

What are you afraid of? - JoyDay!

It’s JoyDay!

 

Every week we gather for JoyDay! and count… just seven things we’re thankful for from the week before.

The discipline of counting the good and the not-so-good things… weekly or daily results in joy.  Let’s make this the springboard for a day overflowing with gratitude and a heart filled with joy.

I’ll start!

God, I’m so grateful for…

  1. your peace that passes understanding.
  2. good driving weather when everyone had to go out of town.
  3. being sought after and accepted by a media agency.
  4. my kind and loving husband.
  5. great light for a photo shoot in the midst of gray days.
  6. friends that pray.
  7. a “possibility” that would make it worth this very very long wait.*

It’s your turn to count!
Tap your list in the share your extraordinary thoughts space below… and watch your Joy meter soar!

*A position just opened up which my husband applied for this week… it’s one that he is perfectly suited for and in an area where we would love to live and serve.  Will you please pray with us as we trust God to move on our behalf.  Thank you so much!!

Thanks for stopping by today!
May your day overflow with hope and joy!

Diane

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Comments

  1. Thank you for this post. It is what I needed to hear right now.

  2. Mary Barber says:

    I am thankful for you inspirational thoughts. Keep up the good work!

  3. Thank you for sharing this inspirational joy day with us! Perfect timing.
    I pray that your husband will get that job and that all the waiting has paid off.
    Blessings to you.

    • Thanks for your prayers, Shirlene. It means a lot.
      Hope your daughter and son-in-law are feeling better about their blessing today. [[hugs]]

      • Thank you Diane! My daughter told me yesterday that her husband seems a little more at ease as of yesterday morning. I do hope they will find this to be a blessing and not stressful. There certainly are enough stress that will follow once questions start from my little one George. You see, we adopted him from this daughter at a time in her life that was not good at all. She had a 16 mo old at home when G was born and they were living a life away from God. We have not told G as of yet.
        God is GOOD All the time, All the time God is GOOD!

        • Yes… God is good all the time!!
          I have a good friend who didn’t discover that her older “sister” was really her mom until she had completed college. They are all wonderful people and serving in ministry. God has a way of redeeming things for us. And we will trust that he will do the same in your family.

          • UPDATE: My son in law is now accepting that he is going to be a dad ! He is even picking names already. Her due date is attentively set for Sept 21. Once the ultrasound is done we should have a more accurate date. Thank you for your prayers!!!

          • Praise God!!! I’ll be trusting with you that this is a transformative time for their little family. 🙂

  4. Kaal Huggins says:

    Diane, I have just read your post. As always, you challenge and encourage me to carry on and have hope. I have been reading an Extraordinary Day for such a long time and have followed you as the struggles and uncertainly of life have been before you. “Well done, good and faithful servant”–My prayer for your husband and you, is to keep trusting– what interesting plans God has for you both! Your life of service and your faith are known in the heart of God..Waiting stinks!!!
    …but look where your faith has brought you! Sending you both Joyful thoughts this day. Sincerely, Kaal

  5. Diane,I am praying with you about this job for your husband.MY pastor spoke on ,PRAYING in faith this morning and I know God’s plan is worth waiting for.I’m thankful for his word,his provision,his love,speaking words of encouragement to me when I need them,no emergencies with James last week,son’s we can call on when we need them and knowing He is on my side even when I feel so alone. I’m excited to hear when your husband starts his job.

    • Betty… I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your prayers and your expectant spirit and positive expectation. I love your closing sentence. You know I’ll be announcing it to the world when it happens. I rejoice with you that James had a good week. May you sense God’s overwhelming presence and grace this week.

  6. Debbi Saunders says:

    Oh Diane, what a beautiful and timely post! I am in agreement with all these wonderful women! And I thank you from the bottom of my heart <3 for your Faithful prayers on my behalf. I am so grateful to God for his unconditional Love and for comforting messages of hope through Godly Friends and there prayers on my behalf as I face one of the greatest challenges in my life, the possibility of losing my Home of 34 years. But I am going to stop struggling and offer up my situation to God! And stand on His promises believing that He will be as a judge for the Widow and He will restore my Home to me from the ungodly, corrupt Bank, Attorneys and Judges! I know that with God all things are possible for those who believe.

    • Debbi… we “soul sisters” need to stick together. 😉
      Standing with you as you trust God to do amazingly more than we can ask or imagine.
      [[hugs]]

  7. Dear Diane,
    Lovely devotional today! I always enjoy your posts, whatever direction they take. We are multi-faceted people, with an amazing ability to involve ourselves in numerous activities, relationships & projects. You touch on many of the same ones I have in my life. Keep up the great work! Still praying for God to provide His best for you & your hubby!
    1. Thankful my hubby is recuperating nicely from total knee replacement.
    2. Thankful he is conscientious about doing therapy at home, as well as the clinic.
    3. Grateful that my son & his family are almost ready to move into their completely renovated fixer upper.
    4. So grateful for excellent physicians & medical facilities in our area.
    5. So blessed that our new pastor is staring off by reaffirming our church’s original mission.
    6. Giving thanks for healthy foods, even in the frozen section, while I’m struggling with my right hand.
    7. Extremely thankful to God for a harmonious relationship w/ daughters & sons-in-law who live in our same town. So many years we were missionaries (still are) who lived in faraway So Amer, so removed from both families.

    • Carolyn, it’s always so lovely to hear from you. 🙂 Thank you for your kind and always so encouraging words. [[hugs]]
      Rejoicing with you for all the good things you’ve been blessed with, thanks to the loving kindness of our amazing God. 🙂 And so glad that you are now living close to family. I am sure they are so blessed to have you in their daily lives.
      Carolyn… I am so grateful for your prayers for us. I’m looking forward to seeing how God brings this special blessing to pass.
      May your week overflow with JOY!!

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