God gave you fear as a gift to get your attention, and to instinctively protect you when the rest of your body and mind isn’t quick enough to process danger. Fear is a helpful immediate reaction or reflex, but a harmful ongoing response or way of operating.
So instead of living in fear, learn to lead your fears.
Remember going to the amusement park and you see a ride that looks fun but it also seems scary? So you wait back while your friends go on the ride. They have a blast and come running back to you, “Let’s go. Come with us!”
You’re still scared but you follow them, go on the ride and it’s awesome! You’re enjoying freedom from fear because your friends led you instead of fear leading you. With their help, you led your fears.
We all need other people to show us the way. This is what the apostle Paul did for other Christians. He writes, “You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 1:6).
It wasn’t just the behavior of Paul and the apostles as good people or successful leaders but the beliefs they taught. These Christians believed in their God-given message.
And the message of Paul and the apostles was founded on Jesus Christ, and his death and resurrection as Savior and Lord.
Do you see what happened here? Paul and the apostles had suffered persecution and these Christians were now suffering it, too. But wait, what are these Christians feeling? Joy!
The fear of severe suffering isn’t leading them. They are leading their fear. With the help of Paul and the apostles.
Find a mentor now. Connect with someone who can show you the way, open up God’s Word, teach the message of Scripture, and serve as an agent of the Holy Spirit. It might make your life more difficult, but it will make your life more fulfilling, free from fear, and joyful!
PRAYER: God, as you gave Paul and the apostles to other Christians, you give Christian models and mentors to me. Direct me to those who can help me lead my fears. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: How did the modeling and mentoring of Paul make a difference for these Christians? Read 1 Thessalonians 1. Say a prayer of thanks, rejoicing in those who have modeled and mentored you.