“I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled.” Habakkuk 3:16a
This is a picture of fear painted by the prophet Habakkuk. When was the last time your heart pounded with fear at the sound of dreadful news or a powerful threat?
I’ve stood before many audiences, worried they could see my lips quivering, and more fearful my legs would give out. My audiences have been as harmless as packed auditoriums awaiting a solo performance and as horrifying as a jury of 12 strangers determining where my daughter would live. God has proven faithful at the end of every journey from fear to faith. I learned that it’s not the final result He is after, but the in-between. The in-between is that character-building place called perseverance.
Like the journey of faith Abraham walked from God’s instruction to sacrifice his only son to his trembling hands binding Isaac and raising the knife just before the God stopped him and provided a substitute, it is the in-between that proved Abraham’s trust in God. Not knowing how things would play out, Abraham continued to place one foot in front of the other.
Perseverance is taking a step forward when all you can see is what’s behind you. You can’t see the whole journey but you trust the One who does. When you’re weak and you fall down, because you will, perseverance is saying to your enemy “I have fallen but I will get up.” When the world tells me I should be wrenched with fear, I say, BUT GOD. You ask, how so?
I’ve heard friends say, “Christianity is a crutch.” Of all the religions of the world, Jesus Christ is the only one who has conquered death. Therefore, I call Christianity a license to live the greatest adventure. When I die, I’m going to heaven and in the in-between I will persevere many challenges with great courage. I will press into life with reckless abandon because of the promises my Risen Savior has granted. He promises to never leave or forsake me and He works out everything for my good and His glory. With every step of faith, He turns curses into blessings and I have the privilege of knowing Him more and more, in the in-between.
If you know Christ, you can tell the pain, “you won’t last forever.” You can tell the tears, “I won’t drown in you.” You can look into the face of death, and in the power of the One who conquered death, shout with resolve, “If I perish, I perish.”
What is making your heart pound with fear?
Say these words over and over again until your quivering lips calm.
“…yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength over [insert source of fear..ex. cancer, divorce, bankruptcy]; he makes my feel like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.” Hab 3:18-19
Write it on a note card and recite it 10 times a day.
Watch God write the end of your story and become your best friend on the journey.
In living proof of his unfailing love,