Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32
Bernadette Grey was the editor-in-chief of a women's magazine. Her work-related responsibilities kept her in contact with some of the world's most successful businesswomen. In one editorial she analyzed four factors which lead to success among her colleagues. She mentioned 1) optimism, 2) uniqueness, 3) a strong work ethic, and 4) fearlessness.
While her four observations relate to successful executives who are women, they apply equally to every person who succeeds. It was that fourth facto - fearlessness - which was especially intriguing to me. An individual who is afraid of failure almost always fails, yet fearlessness is not bold brashness.
There are two ways you can be fearless: You can have a daring and audacious disregard for reality, or you can have a greater inner strength which assesses the failure factor yet confidently moves ahead. Individuals who disregard reality are usually not fearless but brazen and often crash and burn, while those with inner strengths move forward with confidence.
I plowed through two biographies which consumed more than a few hours of reading on airplanes. One was a biography of General Douglas MacArthur, the liberator of the Philippines and the man who did more to shape the future of Japan after World War 2 than any other person. The second was on the life of the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, a contemporary of MacArthur's.
Both of them faced tremendous dangers--both personally and collectively. Both had the responsibilities of vast numbers of people on their shoulders, and both of them knew full well the great consequences of making wrong decisions. Both of them, incidentally, on occasion exercised poor judgment and - yes - failed at their tasks, yet - and this is what made them successful - they had enough inner strength that when a decision had to be made, having considered all the factors, they moved ahead without fear.
Is this something which you can do, or is this a quality of only truly great men and women? Everyday, contended William Manchester, MacArthur's biographer, he read his Bible and prayed. As pugnacious and sometimes as belligerent as a junkyard bulldog, Churchill believed that God fought against the tyranny of Hitler and Stalin, whom he hated almost as much as Hitler. Their fearlessness came from an inner conviction that they were instruments in God's hands. Perfect, no. They made mistakes and plenty of them, but confident that God would see them through.
OK, you aren't leading an army or a nation. You, however, may be boss in your family, a single mom, or a husband who is trying to do a good job in your company. Can you as an individual also be fearless, even when the doctor says, "You've got melanoma," or your accountant says, "If you know how to pray, you had better pray for a miracle!" Can you be fearless when the circumstances of life seem to bully you?
Fearlessness doesn't depend on your strength. Knowing that God is in control, that someway, somehow, He will see you through, lets you move into the future without fear.
Safety is not the absence of danger as much as it is the presence of the Lord. In an Upper Room, Jesus told the disciples, "Stop worrying; stop being afraid." He says the same thing to you today. "You trust God," He told them, "Trust Me as well."
How about it? Fearlessness always relates to the future, and when you get there God will already be there. Make sure you acknowledge that it is He, not yourself, who brought you through the storm. He still says, "Don't be afraid; don't worry. Trust Me."
Resource reading: Psalm 46:1-11