A successful runner is ready for all of the challenges that may come. If they are preparing to race on a course with many hills, they focus on hill training. If they are training for a trail run, they will spend their time on trails. Their training will reflect the upcoming race they are about to run.
The same is true in our walk with God. He will often lead us through different terrains so that our faith and endurance grow. He knows the “race” we are preparing for, and He is faithful to “train” us appropriately. The road ahead can often be intimidating. It’s easy to allow fear to take over when you are “walking through the valley of the shadow of death” as David so eloquently put it. But David chose not to fear. He knew that he wasn’t alone on that road – and neither are we.
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Here are 5 ways to never fear the course…
- Know who your Father is. The Bible tells us that when we come to Christ, we become adopted sons and daughters of God. Just as an earthly father protects his children, we can rely on our heavenly Father to protect us. (Romans 8:14-16)
- Remember who the fear is coming from. God’s Word is clear – there is an enemy. He would love nothing more than to bring fear into your life. But fear is a liar. It is crippling, and it can keep you from your God-given purpose if you give in to it. (John 8:44, 2 Timothy 1:7)
- Even when you feel alone, God is with you. When the Israelites were sent into Babylonian captivity, it was because of their disobedience. They refused to turn from their wicked ways, so God was true to His word and sent them away from the Promised Land. Even in the midst of what was meant to be the consequence of the sin, God promised to be with them. He assured them of a bright hope and a future. He also promised to hear their prayers. Even in exile, they were never alone. (Jeremiah 29:10-14)
- Look to your brothers and sisters in Christ for support. God meant for us to encourage each other as siblings would. This is why fellowship with other believers is so important. We need each other – during both good and bad times. I can’t begin to comprehend how many times my faith has been renewed by the encouraging words of a friend. We need to share our victories as well as our losses and lean on each other when we are afraid. In the book of Psalms, David shares many of his victories as well as his defeats. He encourages us to share what God has done in our lives. Not only is it an act of worship, but it will strengthen others as well.
- Know that His path always leads to victory. Don’t be intimidated by the course ahead. We have absolutely nothing to fear. The Bible tells us that even death can’t separate us from God. With each small hill and each minor victory, He is preparing us for the bigger victory that lies ahead. He knows what each of us needs in order to be ready and well-trained. It is up to us to trust Him throughout our training and to know that He is training us for victory, not defeat. (Romans 8:37-39)
Never fear the course, even if it leads you through a dark valley; because when we are on course with God, we can rest assured it will lead to victory.
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.
**Photo by Ben White at ChristianPics.co