The Passage: Nehemiah 2:1-2
The Point: What is fear doing to you?
When I was eight years old, I watched a play called “The Snow Queen,” and it gave me nightmares for months. The story is about a mean queen who shoots a bunch of glass into kids’ eyes and makes them see only the bad in everyone. (This is an extreme overgeneralization.) It was terrifying. I do not recommend this play to any eight-year-old “scaredy-cats” like me.
I used to be afraid of everything, but I knew that one day I would grow out of it. Even an eight-year-old knows that when you’re a dad you don’t get scared anymore. Or so I thought. I became a dad and realized that although I’m no longer afraid of the dark or the snow queen, there are other fears that still haunt me. Fear doesn’t dissipate the older you get; it only disguises itself in different ways. Fear loves to haunt us and veil our view of what God wants to do through us. But we don’t have to let fear cloud our focus or stop our forward motion.
When Nehemiah was before the king getting ready to do what the Lord was calling him to do, he was terrified ― even more than I was of the Snow Queen. It was against the Persian law for a servant ever to show sadness in the king’s presence. He could’ve been thrown in jail, fired from his job, or even murdered depending on the king’s mood. He had many reasons to be scared about what was about to unravel. So, did that stop him? Seriously, think about it for a second. Nehemiah is TELLING US HE WAS TERRIFIED! He wants us to know so he can show us what we are to do in uncomfortable or fearful situations. We have to press through the fear like he did. I’ve heard it put this way: courage isn’t the absence of fear, but the decision that what we want is greater than that of which we are afraid. Nehemiah wanted God’s will more than he wanted his own well-being.
- Which of your thoughts continually give you anxiety or fear?
- What do you think helped Nehemiah face his fear?
- What thoughts have held you back from what God wants you to do?
- What truths can you pray to combat fearful thoughts?
- What do you need to do?
- Whom do you need to tell?