Week 1 – February 18, 2018 

Without a doubt fear lives inside of all of us.  There have been many situations in my life where I have let personal fears, or at least the perception of fear, control my thoughts and decisions.  Sometimes the fear and worry is associated with current events in my life, like my job.  More often, my fears and worries are about something that is so far in the future that I cannot picture what the outcome will be.  As it turns out, every time I have these fears, worries, and doubts build up inside me, it is because the outcome is out of my control.

I imagine Jonah must have felt some of this when the Lord came to him and said, “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” (Jonah 1:2) My first thought would have been, if the people in Nineveh are being wicked in the Lord’s eyes, how are they going to treat me? What am I to say to them? What will happen to me?

We have similar thoughts in our everyday life.
What if I lose my job?
How will these people treat me?  What will these people think about me?
What if my relationship falls apart? How am I going to fix it?
What if I don’t pass this exam and fail the class?

So when Jonah turns and runs from the Lord, I have no doubt it was because he was afraid of the unknown. It was because he could not control the outcome. It was because he thought he was going to be achieving the Lord’s work on his own.

As I have gone through some tough moments in my life – when it feels like I could miss out on an opportunity, or I am failing as a husband, or if the fear of losing my job creeps into my mind – I try and remind myself that the good Lord knows my thoughts, worries, and words before I even have them. There is no place I can go where He will not be.  Our obedience to Him in these tough moments is dependent on our ability to trust that He is with us.  If we follow his command of walking in love, and if we trust in His will, not ours, then we can live without fear.  For He “will hold [us] fast.” (Psalm 139: 10)

So as you face your next challenge in life remember, “Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him.” (Psalm 128:1)

Scripture For the Week to Pray, Meditate, and focus your heart on:

Jonah 1:1-5
Psalm 139
Psalm 128:1
2 John 1:6

– Tyler McGill