Fear Can Hold You Back

– by Ken Costa

If you’re anything like me then even when a decision seems easy, there are barriers that seem to stop us moving forward. Fear is one of the biggest barriers, and that can hold us back from the callings God has for us.

God is bigger than your failings
I have found that the key to overcoming fear is recognising that God is bigger than our greatest failings. How often have I tasted the bitterness of disappointments, fears, and failures, only to find that, by His Spirit, sweetness arises out of them? Years after a bitter disappointment, I realise that the very failure has taught me lessons that I would never have learned otherwise, and that the result was far more enriching than success at the time could ever have been.

Failing brings intense pain
Quite recently, a number of colleagues and I began to create a private investment fund. Then, a few months into the venture, it was quite clear that the market had moved against us, and we had to face a decision of whether to continue or to cut our losses and admit failure—not an experience I’d often had before. But there it was—the heartache, the failed dreams, the unmet expectations, the disappointment of having to let people go. Still lingering was belief that it might have been able to work, if only we’d had more time and the markets had been a little more moderate. But it was the end of the road. The failure was acute and the pain intense. It still is. But I take my strength in the knowledge that Jehovah-Rapha, my God and my Saviour who turns the bitter into the sweet, will take my struggle and work on me in the midst of this failure. 

Failing does not make you a failure
Doubtless, we will all fail at something at some point, but we will never be failures. For that to happen Christ within us would have to fail. And He won’t. There’s a lesson for us here. Don’t linger on the inevitable failures. Do learn, but don’t look back, and certainly not in anger. Move on in confidence that you have God by your side. Being willing to fail is an essential part of our callings.

We are carriers of hope
As Christians, we are carriers of a great hope: hope in a God who is above and beyond all things, hope that places of darkness and despair might be transformed into places of life and light. But the hardest thing about this great hope is that we don’t know how it is going to play out in our individual lives. We are called to face an uncertain future in confidence. Ecclesiastes 8:7 says, “Since no one knows the future, who can tell someone else what is to come?” It is only God who sees all things and knows all things. Whenever we step out in faith, we take a risk.

JOY! Magazine (August 2017)

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