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Stepping Forward

“Courage faces fear and thereby masters it. Cowardice represses fear and is thereby mastered by it.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

Fear immobilizes and causes us to disobey God. But for those who put their brave face on, freedom is waiting to embrace them. The things I have feared the most, have become the greatest blessings when I faced them. I fear conflict, trials, failure, and success. And if I had it my way, I’d avoid them or hide from them, which is why I procrastinate.

I am so grateful Jesus didn’t do that. Instead, He faced His fear head on. John 18:4, in the Passion Translation says, “Jesus, knowing full well what was about to happen, went out to the garden entrance to meet them. Stepping forward, He asked, ‘Who are you looking for?'”

Jesus didn’t run away from the awful trial He was about to face in the Garden of Gethsemane. He didn’t let His fears get in the way of fulfilling His Father’s will for His life. Fear did not dictate His next steps. Instead, He faced what was up ahead, even though He had full disclosure what was about to happen. Our Savior knew He would be tortured, suffer, and die a criminal’s death on a cross. Jesus knew the loneliness and devastation He would feel when He became separated from His Father as He took all our sins upon Himself. Instead of retreating, Jesus stepped forward and went out to meet His enemies.

We all have fears to face. Maybe you need to have a hard conversation with a loved one you’re in conflict with. Maybe you’re facing a challenge at your job, or with a recent health diagnosis. Whatever it may be, ask Jesus to give you the grace to step forward, to meet your fear head on, just like He did. And when you do, the blessing of freedom will be waiting for you on the other side.

“God incarnate is the end of fear; and the heart that realizes that He is in the midst…will be quiet in the midst of alarm.”

Frederick B. Meyer

Relevant Reflection:

How can you step forward and face your fear?

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