Saturday, November 8, 2008

Have You Been Afraid?

Whenever I prayed about going to Brazil to attend Littworld, I was led to Bible verses that talk about God’s sovereignty over the nations and supernatural provisions ( Acts 17:26; Psalms 74; Exodus 14, 17:6; 2 Kings 3). Those Bible verses greatly encouraged me to trust God and the impression to go to Brazil became even stronger.

But there came a point when my faith quivered. I became afraid.

This happened when I learned that I didn’t win in the writing contest in which I joined. I was hoping I could use the P25,000 (about $500) prize as start-up fund for the trip. Initially, I didn’t lose heart when I learned about it. I believed God had a better plan.

But a few days after, I began to doubt. I was then planning on sharing my journal with my family members and friends so they could also pray with and for me. But a thought struck me: What if I end up not attending the conference at all? I would end up being presumptuous, foolish.

I became afraid.

I cried and asked God to forgive me for wavering. Afterwards, I dared to be bold. I asked God to please grant me the favor of giving me another word to let me know if it is really His will for me to go to Brazil. Just one more word. Jesus, you’re the Author and Perfecter of my faith. Help my unbelief. I don't do this often, but out of desperation, I told God that I wanted to see a specific word that tells me to “go”. I want to hear that specific word: GO. Please, God, don’t be angry. If I hear that word, I’ll go on with this. No more turning back.

You see, for that day, I have a portion of Scripture to read. I have been reading a specific book from the Old Testament but I didn’t feel like reading that portion for that day. I did something which I don’t usually do. I asked God to speak to me through the part where I will randomly open the Bible. I was led to Matthew 14:22-33.

It is the story of Peter who dared to walk on the water when he saw that Jesus was walking on the lake. "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."

"Come," Jesus said.

And Peter did. But when he saw the waves, his faith wavered. But Jesus immediately caught him and said, "You of little faith. Why did you doubt?"

My heart melted, ashamed that I doubted God. But I believed again, confident of His promise. Before I ended my quiet time that day, I thought I'd take a look at what I was supposed to really read for that day—my portion of Scripture which was Genesis 46. And the words of Genesis 46:3 stood out: "I am God, the God of your father," He said. "Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt..." Either way, God would speak to me that day to strengthen me!

The following day, a high school friend who rarely sends me a message, sent me a text message: "The verse “DON’T BE AFRAID” appears 365 times in the Bible…enough ASSURANCE that for each day we can trust God to help us 2 face our day."

Are you afraid? Don’t be, for God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never forsake you.” That is why we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my Helper, so I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Heb.13:5-6).

1 comment:

Dawn said...

What a wonderful devotional piece on fear and trust! Thanks, Marlene.