One of the highlights every year I was a youth pastor was our Winter Retreat. We would load up two buses of teenagers and head for an amazing camp in northern Wisconsin for the weekend. In addition to ridiculous amounts of winter fun we also had very deep and powerful worship experiences. Every year many students would make big decisions in their faith, and many more would take some significant steps in their walk with God. The retreat was always an amazing experience, but I always dreaded the week that followed. With 100 teenagers on a retreat the chances that someone would have a poor experience, get upset with someone, lose something, etc. is very high, which means the chances of hearing from an angry parent are incredibly hight. It actually got to the point that I DREADED this retreat because I was so worried about what sort of drama I would face once the retreat was over. I even contemplated not doing it anymore. Yes, that’s right, I came to dread an event that always saw students take major steps in their faith because I feared the complaints that would follow.
As men, we really don’t like to admit that we’re afraid of anything. But, I would venture a guess that most of us are actually afraid of quite a few things. The list likely includes failure, upsetting others, economic hardship, losing a loved one, getting a disease, hurting a relationship, and more. For most men, anything that we can’t control can cause us fear and anxiety. What can happen a lot is that are fear comes to keep us from doing things. You don’t share your faith with a friend because you fear hurting your relationship. You don’t take a stand on an issue because you fear offending others. You turn down serving in church leadership because you fear your decisions will upset others.
When fear starts keeping us from acting or, makes us constantly feel dread, turn to these words from Psalm 112:6-8
For the righteous will never be shaken;
he will be remembered forever.
He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
The Psalmist does not say that the righteous will never experience anything bad, but he does say that they will not be shaken. Why is that? Because if we are really putting our full trust in God, then nothing that transpires should shake us. This is because not a single thing that happens in our lives can erase the gift of eternal life God has given us. Will there be times we are saddened, upset, or even angered? Absolutely! When those situations arise the key is to always remember that nothing can undue the amazing love and grace God has for us. Don’t let fear derail you from the life God desires you to live. Trust in His plans, and remember that nothing can ever fully shake us