Then the Lord said to Paul in a night vision, "Don't be afraid, but keep on speaking and don't be silent. For I am with you, and no one will lay a hand on you to hurt you, because I have many people in this city." And he stayed there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
Fear is one of the biggest stumbling blocks in life. It keeps us contained to a small area of comfort. Some people are afraid of the unknown while others are afraid of death. Some fear the judgment of others while some fear not having material things. If you sat down and made a list of the things you're afraid of, would these things keep you from sharing the love of Jesus with others? Would you say your fears keep you from being obedient to God's call on your life or would your faith outlive your fears? We would love to say we have no fear and we'll do anything and go anywhere to spread the gospel, but is that true? Could we walk in the dangerous unknown, living with little, while people make daily judgments of our lives? In Acts 18, Paul faced discouragement, fear, and danger, but continued to be obedient to God's voice. He believed what the Lord had said and he walked by faith. Matthew 10:39 reminds us that anyone finding his life will lose it, and anyone losing his life because of Jesus will find it. God has plans to use you outside your comfort zone. His plans are not made around your fears. He has called and equipped you with everything you need to proclaim His name to the ends of the earth. God has an answer for each one of your fears. Are you willing to let Him answer? Loving people of every nation and sharing the gospel with them will be filled with the unknown, may be dangerous, may leave you with few material items, and may cause people to look at you differently, but there is no safer place to be than in the center of God's will. All fear does is hold you back from living an abundant life. God has given you the faith you need to walk boldly in obedience. Rest in God knowing that He will use you to love your family, your community, and the world through your faith that trusts in Him. We pray that your faith is fearless this week as you jump out of your comfort zone to pick up your cross and follow Jesus.