It’s audio devo day! Today we are going to dig into this question: How can we possibly live fearlessly in a world where adversity is frequent and inevitable? Daniel learned a secret about this question. Let’s explore what he discovered on the matter, here:
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“Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer” (Rev. 2:10, NIV).
Really?? Is it even possible to obey this command? In the sentences following it, Jesus predicts prison, persecution, and possibly even death for His beloved children in Smyrna. “Don’t be afraid”!? This goes against the grain of some of our most basic human instincts. We perceive danger ahead… and we brace for it anxiously. You know, the whole fright, fight, flight response built into our nervous system. Fear comes spontaneously to us. It’s only natural to get fearful in the face of anticipated threats to our safety. And all the more so, living on a planet where suffering is a built-in, regular feature of our existence.
How then, can we live fearlessly in a context where adversity is frequent and inevitable? First of all, Holy Spirit reminds us of this vital truth: If it’s in His Word, it is true. He is truth. It’s the very essence of His nature. He cannot lie. Therefore, yes, it is entirely possible to fulfill what this Scripture is holding out to us. We genuinely can live life free of anxiety, free of the fear of whatever suffering may come our way.
But how? How do we come up with this kind of courage? Do we scrunch up our faces and somehow dig deep to muster it up? Do we need to just pull harder on our bootstraps? Thankfully, no. It’s our Father who will provide the strength and courage that we need. All of it, all of it, comes from Him. The Prophet Daniel discovered this personally on his journey with God. We catch glimpses of this in the book he penned. In one particular moment of anguish, he describes being so overcome by difficult emotions that he cries out, “My strength is gone, and I can hardly breathe” (Dan. 10:17, NLT).
Have you been there? Have you experienced emotions that are so overpowering, even breathing comes hard? Holy Spirit included this description in the book of Daniel to let us know how human this man was. When we are overwhelmed by what we are facing, we, too, desperately need our Daddy God’s intervention. In those moments, we will find Him Faithful and True. He will always provide the strength that we need. Here we see His nature expressed through His message to Daniel in that same crucial moment of need:
“‘Don’t be afraid,’ he said, ‘for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!’ As he spoke these words to me, I suddenly felt stronger and said to him, ‘Please speak to me, my lord, for you have strengthened me’” (Dan. 10:19, NLT).
When we cry out to God, He will always respond to us. His words “Do not be afraid” become life and peace to us. The very tone of His voice infuses us with strength. Dear one, you are His own, precious sheep. You hear His voice. His voice imparts everything we need for every moment that we live through. As we listen for Him, we hear His heart pouring out this momentous truth to us: “You are very precious to Me.” Just like Daniel, we suddenly feel stronger. His voice lifts us up. It comforts us. It heals us. It supernaturally endows us with fearlessness.
Draw near to Him today. He will unfailingly strengthen you. It’s He who will make you unafraid… no matter what’s ahead.
If we find our hearts struggling to trust God with our future, what can help our trust roots go deeper?