S94P2 – Dark seasons of the soul: fear

John 18:25-27

Meanwhile, Simon Peter was still standing there warming himself. So they asked him, “You aren’t one of his disciples too, are you?” He denied it, saying, “I am not.”  One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, challenged him, “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?” Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow.

It was a challenge he did not see coming that night.  The new Christian had gone to the comedy club with his colleagues as they usually did a few times a year.  One of their favorite comics was performing, and he usually did not come through their area.  As the jokes started, so did the discomfort.  Before Jesus, he never thought twice about the inappropriate humor or the jabs at the Church and God.  Now, he was starting to feel conviction with every punch line.  As the audience laughed and laughed, he thought hard about what to do.  He could walk out, or he could pretend to enjoy the show.  It was only fear that kept him in that seat without protest until the house lights came on.

None of us wants to be afraid. Fear is a great deception because it tries to convince us that we should not act as God would have us act.  It is not uncommon for us in certain social situations or environments to be apprehensive about confessing our faith or defending our God.  Fear would have us believe that we are better off staying quiet because nothing good could come from our words.  The truth is that our words spoken in faith and in defense of our God can be nothing but good.  Those words might bring us the world’s version of trouble or turn friends to enemies, but they also accomplish something great in the spirit.  The so called consequences of facing fear and exercising faith are really a blessing to endure.

Whenever I am afraid of something, I try to diagnose why that fear exists.  You see, fear is not some random occurrence.  There is a purpose behind that emotion trying to make us be still.  It is working against something that could be brought forward if we only yielded to God’s wisdom and power to do so.  We will never know what Peter could have accomplished in the spirit had he stuck by his faith and his word in those moments.  He is our example not to let the opportunity to defeat fear pass us by.  We do not want to spend our time wondering what we could have accomplished.  Father, give us the wisdom to seek You for your courage when fear tries to stop us in our tracks.