As I asked a circle of friends and co-workers, what’s the thing that holds you back from doing hard things?, the overwhelmingly most common response was: fear.

Fear of the unknown.
Fear of failure.
Fear of getting hurt.
Fear of judgment from others.
Fear of running out of resources.
Fear of exposure.

The list goes on. We are so often bound and restricted by the stronghold of fear when God has declared:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

~ 2 Timothy 1:7 NLT

It’s okay to feel a sense of trepidation or caution about a situation that is legitimately dangerous. That’s what keeps us safe from walking aimlessly down a dark alley at night or dancing on the edge of a cliff. But when fear keeps us out of intimate relationships or away from great opportunities, it’s definitely not from God.

What did come from God?

Power. That is, strength and supernatural ability.

Love. We think courage is the opposite of fear, but in reality, love is the antithesis to fear. Fear causes us to protect ourselves at all costs and to place our needs first, but love moves us to allow others in and to allow them to have first place.

Self-discipline. In other words, while you’re shrinking back from pursuing the opportunity because you’re afraid you’ll fail, God is giving you exactly what it takes to pursue the opportunity all the way to the finish line.

God did not give you the fear you feel. God gave you, instead, the tools you need to succeed. So go and do the hard things God has called and commanded you to do, believing you’ve been equipped by your Creator with all that you’ll ever need.

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