Choosing Faith Over Fear – Encouragement for Today – February 19, 2020

Carolanne MiljavacFebruary 19, 2020

Choosing Faith Over Fear

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"Don't be afraid. Just have faith." Mark 5:36b (NLT)

The definition of "fail" is to fade away or weaken, fall short, disappoint or leave undone. You are most definitely going to do all of that if you are out there living, learning, using your voice and growing. We all agree that nobody is perfect, so why are we often scared of disappointing others?

A major reason for fearing failure is believing that you won't meet people's expectations of you. I played softball in college, and I remember one game when we had the bases loaded and two outs, and I was up to bat.

I started letting thoughts of what everyone expected of me swirl around and drown out every ounce of confidence I usually carried with me into the batter's box.

The next thing I knew, I'd taken a swing at a ball so far over my head I had to jump for it, gone golfing for another, and I let a perfect pitch go right down the middle while I stood frozen. Three pitches, three strikes, game over.

That's what a fear of failing others does - it robs you of everything you know you are capable of. I lost faith in my ability to perform. It didn't matter that I was prepared, ready and able, because all my focus had shifted to how horrible it would feel to let everyone down.

Pressure to please others will have you taking swings at all the wrong things and standing frozen as opportunities pass you by. Faithful woman, you were created to step up to the plate and crush it. The enemy knows it. Practice makes perfect, so put expectations aside and put to good use what God says about you.

You strengthen the skill of choosing faith over fear every time you study the truth, praise the sacrifice made for you and deepen your trust through Christ. Your focus on the path set before you will begin to outweigh what anybody else has to say.

You can trust God has placed a calling on your life. If you have faith to pursue it, there will always be people who can't see it. Living according to other people's expectations will weaken the purpose for which you've been created. If your purpose is weakened and begins to fade, isn't that the definition of failure? When your time comes, leaving this earth with a calling left undone sounds much scarier than disappointing people.

There's no joy at all in pleasing everyone else at the expense of your peace. You can do what God says you can do. If you keep showing up, you'll keep growing into everything He says you are, which is greater than any expectation a person can place on you. In the words of the Almighty, "Don't be afraid. Just have faith" (Mark 5:36b).

There will be days we inevitably do or say things we regret or fear people will judge us for. That's just being human.

We make mistakes, lose our tempers, forget to be thankful, yell at our kids, gossip or lose perspective. We will never be good enough for the standards of different kinds of people, from different backgrounds, with different views on life.

Mamas, wives, sisters, friends, let me ask you: What does God say about you? Have you gotten so wrapped up in other people's differing opinions that you can't hear the whispered words of the Lord? Well, snap out of it! Tune them out, and tune Him in. It's as simple as that. He can be found offline, off the radar, off the map, away from the distractions of all the chatter. When you and the world are apart, He is right there inside your heart.

Heavenly Father, today I will choose faith over fear. With You by my side, I can pursue Your calling on my life and live unafraid. What would You have me do today? Thank You for loving me more than I could ever ask or imagine. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

2 Timothy 1:7, "For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline." (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES: Join Carolanne Miljavac on a journey of joy in her new book, She Laughs: Choosing Faith Over Fear, where she shares how laughter has been an essential and valuable part of her own healing, plus hilarious true stories will help you get started on the path to a life of peace and joy. Pick up your copy here.

For relatable faith (and lots of humor!), connect with Carolanne Miljavac on her website, Facebook and Instagram. 

Enter to WIN your very own copy of She Laughs by Carolanne Miljavac. To celebrate this book, Barbour will give away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We'll randomly select 5 winners and then notify each one in the comments section by Monday, February 24, 2020.}

What can you do to help tune out the negative, fear-filled thoughts that take hold of your mind?

What's your go-to Bible verse that serves as a beautiful reminder to focus wholly on the heavenly Father? Share your ideas with us in our comments section!

© 2020 by Carolanne Miljavac. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Barbour Publishing for their sponsorship of today's devotion.

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