Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fear and Money

Hi everyone! I found little time this week to write, but did find a lot of time to read, so I thought I would share with you a piece written by Lisa Welchel that I've been meditating on all week. This past two weeks my husband and I have been praying and listening to God about some major decisions we need to make, mostly my husband finding a full time teaching job. I admit that I have been quite fearful; worrying about the upcoming baby, the delivery, working from home with two kids, and on the list goes. Then this sweet piece of mail arrived at my in-box! I encourage you to read Lisa's reflections about the role that money and fear play in our decision making.

God promises us in 2 Timothy 1:7 that he "did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power love and self discipline." and I needed to be reminded of that! I loved the part she wrote about eliminating money and fear from any major decision. My husband and I did just that this week, we eliminated fear and money from a decision we were making; immediately we felt the peace of God radiate our hearts. The fear of failure left and all that remained was that "peace that surpasses all understanding."

Grab a cup of coffee, your Bible, and enjoy!

Melissa Williams


http://www.lisawhelchel.com

So let's get cozy and talk about fear and death. You think I'm
kidding? What did you expect, it is October, the month we celebrate
Halloween (or not) and All Saints Eve. Either way, the holiday ahead
commemorates death and where there is death there is typically fear lurking
nearby. Call me crazy, but I decided this afternoon to talk tonight
from Job 3:25, "For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me and that
which I was afraid of is come unto me." I'm speaking at a Christian school
fundraiser and I want to share my personal experience regarding money. I
can live fairly generously and open-handedly with money because I've lost it all
before and when Steve and I hit rock-bottom financially, we discovered that God
was there. He filled up the hole with treasure more valuable than
money. Not the least of which was His presence. That is one of the
reasons why, at the beginning of this year, I could ask to be released from two
book contracts and take a sabbatical from writing, a decision that appears
fool-hardy on paper, but I know I have nothing to fear. That which I have
greatly feared before--having no money--did come upon me and I survived; even
more than that - thrived. Night before last, I had a
humongous decision to make so I called a friend in hopes that by talking it
through out loud I would hear myself come up with the right answer. At one
point I said, "One thing that has helped me in the past when I've had to make a
difficult decision is to remove both money and fear from the equation. For
me, those two things often deceptively attract or falsely repel from God's will
for my life." Once I asked myself what I would do if I wasn't afraid, I was able
to make a decision and act on it.So, let me be your friend on the other end of
the line and allow me to ask you a question. What are you afraid of this
month? Use your imagination with me for a moment. Picture yourself in
the middle of your fearful circumstances. First, how would you react differently
if I could guarantee that God is there and He will come through for you? 1
John 4:18 says, "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out
fear." I can't promise that God will show up for you the way you think He
should or hope He will. But I can tell you from experience that,
ultimately, there is nothing you are afraid of that is bigger or more powerful
than His love for you.I've recently learned this truth all over again in a very
different situation. I mustered up all my courage and risked facing one of
my biggest fears. I was terrified but I chose to jump in. Guess what
happened? No, I didn't get on the other side of my fear and wonder what
took me so long to trust. Actually, quite the opposite. Everything
my fears told me would happen, came true. That which I feared the most came upon
me.But, once again, God was there and He was enough. This loss, rather
than confirm that I should listen to my fears in the future, actually made me
braver. There is something about coming face-to-face with one of our
fears; oftentimes involving a death of sorts, and discovering that God always
wins that takes the sting out of the threat: "O Death, where is thy
sting?"I want to share one last scripture from the first chapter of Job, verse
twenty-one, that has been meaningful to me lately and I hope it will continue to
take the sting out of the fear of death for both of us. "The Lord gave and the
Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." God is sovereign
and His character is trustworthy. We truly have nothing to fear. We can
live open-handedly. We can stand with courage. We can face our
fears. We can stare death down and say, "O Grave, where is thy
victory?" So let's celebrate death and fear this month! Because, with
Jesus, life is always on the other side of death and Love triumphs over
fear. I don't think October contains such a bad holiday, after all.
What do you think?

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