From Fear to Faith Cory Nickols 9 Jan 2013 no comments Have you ever been mistreated or wounded by another person? Sure, most of us have at some point in our lives. But have you let those wounds and the fear of being hurt again keep you from experiencing God’s very best? Many people today are in that exact predicament. Several weeks ago, I spent a couple of days with a friend visiting a hill tribe village in northern Thailand. During my stay, I saw many stray dogs scavenging for food, looking for handouts from people as they ate. The village people saw the dogs as a nuisance, so they yelled at them frequently and tried to scare them away with broomsticks or other such objects. This made the dogs extremely skittish. One of the small adolescent dogs in particular caught my attention. I tried to get him to come over to me, but he was too scared at first. Eventually, the frightened puppy built up enough courage to venture closer. Each time I put my hand out, he would back away because he was afraid of getting hit as he was accustomed to. However, over time, he saw that I was different; he saw that I wanted to show him love and affection. As I sat kneeling down petting him, his whole demeanor began to change. His ears perked up and his tail began to wag back and forth. Then, all of a sudden, a couple of larger, more mature dogs walked past and my new friend crept back between my legs because he felt safe and secure under me. This went on for a couple of minutes. Then he saw some other adolescent dogs around the same size and age as himself. They had their ears pulled back and their tails down between their legs because they were scared and intimidated. The little dog I was petting ran over to them with a new spring in his step; he felt at ease and was a much more confident dog. Why? Because he felt loved and valued. He felt safe, and when things got tough, he knew he could come back and sit between my legs and experience the loving touch of someone who cared. You see, as long as that puppy was constantly being hurt and mistreated, t built walls of distrust around itself and shrank back from enjoying life to the fullest. It was scared to come to me. It was scared to take risks, and it was too intimidated to interact with other dogs confidently. But once the puppy felt my unconditional love and warm embrace, his whole world began to change. His perception of himself and how he viewed other dogs turned 180 degrees. His tail went from hanging low to pointing straight up in the air, his ears perked up and he trotted around with a sense of pride. The same is true for you and me today! When we truly experience the depth of God’s love, his unconditional love, we too can begin walking around with confidence, knowing that God is with us and for us! His love heals even our deepest wounds and causes us to see clearly. God is not standing up in Heaven ready to hit us for every mistake we make! The Bible says, “Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love” (1 John 4:18). The Bible also says, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). This means that when we accept Jesus Christ into our hearts, we are made right with God because of what his son did for us on the cross, not because of our perfect track record. He made a way for us to be in an incredible relationship with Him. And when we mature in our understanding of His love, it is like a shield around us. The pain of the world gets overshadowed by the immense greatness of God’s unending love, which helps us see correctly. Let me ask you a couple of questions. Are you living your life through a lens of hurt and pain? Are you letting fear make decisions for you? Let God’s love heal you from the inside out. He will help you if you ask Him to. His love will motivate you to be a risk taker, a person that walks by faith instead of by fear and unbelief. Remember, the puppy began experiencing life from a different vantage point when it felt my unconditional love. It began walking around with a new sense of confidence. You too can have that same level of confidence when you know who you are in Christ and experience the depths of His love! Receive it today. It is for you! Cory can be reached at [email protected] Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply. You must be logged in to post a comment.