“For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, then vanisheth away.” (James 4:14b)
Your life isn’t effluvia, bear with me. I want to lay a groundwork for things bearing a transitory nature. Like fear and hopelessness and depression. It helps to be humble to begin with in looking at things like this. Because if you see your own life from a standpoint of humility and gratitude, you (I, whoever) will be well on your way to seeing your hangups in the same light.
“Fury is not in me: who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together. Or let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me.” (Isaiah 27:4-5)
Did you know that the fear you see and face is absolutely nothing before God? Akin to an exhalation of bad breath, the moment of which is gone almost as soon as it comes. These are our fears and insecurities in light of God’s strength. Now, don’t get me wrong. The emotional aches and pains of years past take their toll and certainly are real. We can’t reach out if all we’ve encountered is snapping jaws and unkind words and looks and manipulation. But God isn’t beset with such things. He sees us in light of Him. This is why He asks that we take hold of His strength.
“…in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10b)
“…for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10b)
Notice the tone of the above two verses. Paul and then Ezra (the scribe, who wrote Nehemiah) show us up in light of God’s commanding presence and power. Beautifully does it render our helpless state and “Our Father who art in Heaven” so willing to help us. Take a hold of God’s strength and step through the things your afraid of. What are you afraid of? I could list a few things. I also would assume they’re on the same spectrum as most other people’s. Through invalidation and disappointment, the unwillingness to step out into the greater things God’s calling me to do. Effluvia. Nothing. That’s what it is. Nothing and less-than-nothing to the one who conquered death.
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy Him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Hebrews 2:14-15)
You may not be called to die. But some fear is only conquered by the active and conscious step in its direction. Whereas Jesus was called to give everything up in order to satisfy the sacrificial model, we only need follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives. And this doesn’t mean we can’t ask for a new perspective on what’s keeping us back. God’ll show you. Just ask Him.
“Deliver me not over to the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty. I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:12)
God is happy. God is joyful. It’s His joy that is our strength