“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
– 2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV)

I’ve had the opportunity to coach many young boys who are playing contact football for the first time. The level of enthusiasm is always high as they report for that first practice. The first two days are filled with excitement as the boys learn how to go through new drills and execute the fundamentals of the game. Usually on the third day, helmets and shoulder pads are issued which only elevates the joy of being a part of something new. Usually by the fourth day, the young athletes are fully equipped and ready for action. At some point in that fourth practice, coach blows the whistle and announces that the time has come for tackling drills. Suddenly, the chatter ends and the expressions change. The eyes get big and many of the inexperienced players start looking for the back of the line. The faith of the first three days has now turned to fear. You can read their minds. I’m not sure I want to be here, but there is no place to hide! Usually, with some patience and positive coaching, the young athletes learn how to handle themselves, gain confidence and continue to enjoy the game.

Fear is an emotion that can enter our lives at any time and it often causes us to question our abilities. It can cause the same kind of anxiety that young boys feel when asked to tackle for the first time. Fear is something that we will have to deal with many times during our childhood as well as an adult. Fear can come from many different places, but we know from reading Scripture that it doesn’t come from God. That means we can conquer fear and that God will help us do it. How many times did Jesus speak the words, “fear not” as He encouraged his followers. We are called to lives free of fear, worry, and anxiety and to put our complete trust in Him. There will be many times in our lives when we come up against a situation that we can’t handle in our own strength or in our own wisdom. But, when we remember that God is always with us and we put our complete trust in Him, we can have the confidence to tackle any obstacle that might come our way. As we learn to overcome our fears, our confidence grows and our lives become more complete.
 
Heavenly Father, may I feel Your presence as I strive to overcome my fears today. Fill me with Your power and Your love. Amen.