Over and over in Scripture, God says “don’t be afraid.” But He’s not being trite, saying “just stop being afraid” and leaving you to figure out how or why. Each time, He offers something empowering. Discover what God wants to give you in exchange for your fear to help you move forward through difficulties, overcome despair and step into His plans with confidence.
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Introduction: The Exchange
When Joshua took over for Moses, he had some big sandals to fill. Not only was he the new leader of the Hebrew nation, but he was also being tasked with a nearly impossible mission— to take possession of a land full of strong, gigantic enemies.
To say he had some fears is an understatement.
But God answered those fears by extending an incredible promise: “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9 NLT).
In exchange for crippling fear, Joshua was going to gain something far stronger—Almighty God was promising to go with him: to have his back, everywhere he went!
Mission accepted and (spoiler alert!) accomplished.
There are plenty of things in this world that can trigger fear: serious illness, financial insecurity, crime in the neighborhood, bullies, persecution, and more.
The list is long.
How do we deal with all of these fearful circumstances? The same way Joshua did. By laying down fear and picking up the hope that comes from God’s promises.
In the Bible, there are over 70 verses that basically say “don’t be afraid” (depending on the version you use.) But God never meant for you to simply turn off fear; you have to exchange it for something else. We can trade in our fear for faith in God’s promises!
What God offers to us in His promises are His Words, in which we can literally trust Him, instead of feeling paralyzed by fear.
Over the next few days, let’s discover what God wants to give you in exchange for your fear. These things can help you move forward through difficulties, overcome despair, and journey in His plan with confidence.
Things to Ponder:
- Have you ever been so scared you couldn’t move?
- What’s your normal reaction when people tell you “don’t be afraid”?
- What is in your life right now that is triggering fear?