Taking Control of Fear: Courageous Christians

At the G42 Leadership Academy, we talk about our missional “forefathers” who have overcome in the face of real adversity. Gladys Alward, Brother Yun, Nate Saint, George Mueller… for some reason, many of us have lost the courage to do difficult things these days. Every time fear raises up, or obstacles come, we decide it’s not God’s will and we change direction.

A new generation of Christians must have COURAGE

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather having fear and overcoming it.

Courage - The lion from Wizard of Oz

It’s Not As Bad As You Think It Is

Fear is “the irrational belief that something is harmful to you.”

Fear is “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat”

Fear is “a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined

Get the idea? Fear is in our minds. Yes, there are natural instincts that keep us from plummeting to our death…. but most of the time, we fear things that won’t actually harm us.

  • Spiders.
  • Public speaking.
  • Clowns. –Okay, I’ll give you clowns. But I digress…

We need to recognize fear for what it is: a lie. It is an idea, a thought, that is keeping us from growing, from advancing, and from succeeding.

One of my favorite books growing up was Frank Herbert’s Dune. In it, there is a “litany” against fear:

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me…

If you are facing fear in your life, you must realize what it is doing to you: it is stopping you from doing bigger and greater things (whether that is for your family, your business, or for your church!)

It’s Worse Than You Think It Is

But hey, the world is a dangerous place, right? There are natural disasters everywhere you look. There are wars, shootouts, rapes, and muggings. People die.

Yes, people die.

And so will you.

Without being morbid or cliche, you are going to die. It’s a fact. Will you die living life to the fullest, or hiding from reality in your safe livingroom? Will die doing something you love, or trudging through life beaten down and depressed?

We have brilliant examples of how to succeed in the face of overwhelming odds: Gladys Alward, who was deemed too old and not smart enough, went anyway to China, nearly freezing to death on the way. Brother Yun was beated, imprisoned, and tortured… and still went on to share the Gospel in prison and in Chinese house churches. Study these histories and take courage from them.

So What Then?

As a new generation of Christian, we must decide if we believe what we say we believe:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jer 29:11

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Tim 1:7

Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. Josh 1:9 (and all of Joshua chapter 1)

If we do believe this, then:

  • Use your voice to defend your beliefs, your family, and your calling.
  • Take a step of faith to start something new, fun, challenging, and scary.
  • Decide to be decisive. Make the call.
  • Don’t let unspoken apologies or unforgiveness ruin a relationship.
  • Lead.

Check out the next in this series on ‘A New Generation of Christian': Secure or Insecure?

  • That’s a great point – that courage isn’t a lack of fear.  No one who is never in danger needs to be courageous.  Courageous people, by definition have to be in dangerous places.  Great thoughts, Dave!

  • Thanks Matt.  You bring up some good points!  We all need a little danger in our lives to bring out our inner courage…

  • Thanks Matt.  You bring up some good points!  We all need a little danger in our lives to bring out our inner courage…

  • Anonymous

    Ha ha clowns – my wife would defintely agree!!

    Another quote i read recently (Bear Grylls book) that i have been trying to live out is:

    “Both faith and fear may sail into your harbor, but allow only faith to drop anchor.”

    Also i like the idea of reading about ‘our missional forefathers’ – another persons story i keep coming back to is the english missionary James O’Fraser – a really challenging account of a man dedicating his life over to God with amazing results.

    Thanks

  • Great post!

  • Thanks Brandon :^)

  • I will have to look up James O’Fraser… 

    …and what do you think of Bear Grylls’ book?

  • Anonymous

    Yep, James O’Fraser’s story is definitely worth reading the book is called Mountain Rain by Eileen Fraser Crossman.

    ..i enjoyed Bear Grylls book “Mud, Sweat and Tears.” ….challenged by the perseverance he needed when he describes attaining Special Forces Selection – a few life lessons there.

  • Anonymous

    Fear is a human emotion in which we all at times have. These are some great passages when during those times we are fearing. I have found the best way to face fear is head on. Though at times this is a challenge for me. Great points.

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