Faith and Fear Can Co-Exist

“When I am afraid,
I will trust in You.”
Psalm 56:3 HCSB

Feeling crushed by enemies too hard for him, David asked God for His free, rich mercy only He can give.

This same David bravely conquered a lion and a bear and the giant Goliath in his youth. Yet now he admits how afraid he is. The enemies who seek to destroy him are relentless in pursuing him.

He didn’t deny the presence of fear in his heart, but he found courage in trusting God to do what could not be done by human power alone.

“He feared, but that fear
did not fill the whole area of his mind,
for he adds, ‘I will trust in Thee.’
It is possible, then, for fear and faith
to occupy the mind at the same moment.”
Charles Spurgeon

When painful memories get triggered, panic screams through my veins. I want to run and flee, but my feet feel stuck in quicksand that sucks me down and threatens to swallow me up. Fear fills the whole area of my mind, especially when it hits me without warning. It can be hard to think straight and to remember I can trust Jesus’ outstretched hand of rescue.

I have to talk myself through it. Where is this coming from? Why am I feeling this way? Am I in real danger here, or is it a hyper-sensitive reaction triggered from past painful experiences?

Traumatic events can embed themselves in our brains, and our bodies automatically react when these memories are triggered. We may feel helpless to control it, and it sometimes takes time to talk ourselves through what is real in the present moment. Even as we desperately cry out to Jesus, trusting and believing He is the only One who can and will rescue us, our bodies can be shaking with fear and anxiety. We may feel fear, but that does not mean we have no faith.

I have heard some Christians say fear and faith cannot co-exist, and I figured anyone knows better than I do. So I would beat myself up (and still do sometimes) – “If you can’t face this fear or get rid of fear entirely, you must not have faith.” But God is step by step teaching me that fear and faith can co-exist, and we don’t have to feel shame about the fear that still sometimes lingers on in our hearts and minds.

Jesus keeps loving us no matter what. It’s not about the measure of our love for Him. It’s about His perfect love for us! Even when our faith seems nonexistent or is dim. Even when the thunder of fear makes it hard to hear His voice. Even when we struggle with believing He is with us in the storm. We may waver, but His love never does. No matter where we are, He is whispering, “I’m here, Child. I understand your fears. I catch your tears. I will always love you.”

“Praise You In This Storm”
by Casting Crowns

The Broken Transformed Into Graceful Beauty

“Redeemed Elegance” by Bella Forte Glass

Have your heart and your life ever felt like shattered glass? Broken into a thousand pieces? Irredeemable? Worthless?

Chris McGahan and his son, Micah, take broken pieces of glass, pieces that are thrown away and worthless to others, and arrange them on a ceramic plate. They then heat them and roll them up on a blowpipe. The result? Beautiful blown glass they call Redento Raffinato (Italian for “Redeemed Elegance”).

Redeemed Elegance
Broken, Flawed, and Worthless
Transformed into Graceful Beauty

Do you see the parallel to the work of Christ in our hearts and lives?

“There are remarkable parallels that accompany every step and point toward the work of Christ in our lives, starting with the broken pieces. We all have failures and shortcomings in our lives. Who would have thought that the broken or discarded ‘worthless’ pieces that represent failure could be used to make something even more beautiful and valuable than what was originally intended? But that is exactly what we do. Every single step throughout the process points clearly to Christ at work in our lives.” (Chris McGahan quote from AFA Journal – Brokenness to Beauty)

Are you broken into pieces? Do you feel worthless and irredeemable? Do you think there is no hope for you?

There is hope in Jesus! He will never throw us away when we seek His grace. He has bought every broken piece of us with His blood. He died and rose again for us. He has the power to pick up every single broken piece, even those hidden deep in our hearts where no one else sees. He lovingly blows the breath of His love and grace into our brokenness. The result? Redeemed elegance beyond what any person can make out of broken glass.

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name; you are Mine.
Isaiah 43:1b HCSB

“Mosaic of Grace”
by Shelly E. Johnson

“Just a pile of broken glass
Pieces of a painful past
Shattered by the storms of life
This is all that’s left inside
 
He can take the fallen pieces
And lay them in the perfect place
When His work is finally finished
You will be a mosaic of grace
 
In your pain you may not see
The beauty of the masterpiece
But there’s a greater work of art
Than what each piece alone imparts…”

New This Month: Links, Quotes, Books & More

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“My Prayer For You”
by Alisa Turner

“For anyone who’s prayed a thousand prayers
And still can’t find the answer anywhere
Fighting off the lie that no one cares
For anyone who’s out there losing hope
Feeling you’re forsaken and alone
Clinging to the last strands of your rope

May God give you eyes to see, He’s still greater
Courage to rise and believe He’s able
May God be your peace in the fire you’re walking through
This is my prayer now
This is my prayer for you…”

Thank you
to all of you who share songs, links, books, or quotes
that point to hope, healing, and freedom in Jesus.
I appreciate it so much!
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ABCs of Jesus’ Love

Visit this page anytime and let me know if you’d like to add to the words describing Jesus’ love along with a verse supporting it. Remember, there is also a print-out of the original list.

 This month I have added an “L” Word:

❤︎ Light-Leading Love ❤︎
“Jesus spoke to the people once more and said,
“I am the Light of the world.
If you follow Me, you won’t have to walk in darkness,
because you will have the Light that leads to life.”
John 8:12 NLT
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Books

I am not always able to keep up with the abundance of books that promote hope, healing, and freedom, so I haven’t always read every one I post here and on the Books Page. Though many are on my long wish list. 🙂  Many will be from recommendations of online friends. If you ever know of a book that is not listed and that supports this website’s mission, please let me know. 🙂

Life After Breath:
After Her Husband Takes His Last Breath,
and After She Tries to Catch Hers
 

by Susan VandePol

I have not yet read this book, but a friend highly recommends it. Here is a review from Susan’s site:

“LIFE AFTER BREATH is a faithful friend and companion to a widow’s grief that will enable her to look into grief and heal when others want to look away. It gives resolve without insisting on an answer and prepares a widow to champion her own Biblical cause in a way that no other book or resource on the market offers. There are countless millions of widows crippled without a voice; LIFE AFTER BREATH breathes life back into a grieving woman and prepares her apart for a set-apart calling.” 

 

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Hope Harbor

💞  Links That Inspire Hope and Healing 💞

💞  Daring to Hope When It’s Not Happy Endings: How to Sing in the Dark  by Katie Majors – “Our pain does not minimize His goodness to us but, in fact, allows us to experience it in a whole new way…. It’s not light yet, but I know Him, the One who is the Light. And so in the dark, I will sing.”

💞  Breaking Free of the Cycle of Abuse – “This article is for anyone who is in or might get in a relationship that is abusive. It is full of helpful information because knowledge is power — especially when it includes knowledge of God’s love for you and his power to help you. Survivors of domestic violence need to be empowered in order to break free and learn to move from just surviving to thriving in a life of love, joy, and peace. If you’re stuck in an abusive relationship you can break free!”

💞  Having Mental Health Issues Doesn’t Mean You’re a Bad Christian by Bonnie Gray – “It is tough enough combatting the stigma of mental health in a culture that prides itself on entrepreneurship, self-reliance and curating Instagram-perfect lifestyles. But as a Christian, it was even worse. Speaking up about the emotional pain I once survived or was enduring, I ran into a lie often perpetuated in our church culture about mental health and spiritual fitness: If you’re feeling emotionally broken, your faith is weak or broken.”

Nature Retreat

“Just when the caterpillar thought
‘I am incapable of moving,’
it became a butterfly.”

~ Annette Thomas

My brother in Arizona captured the life cycle of a Queen Butterfly,
except for the eggs. Aren’t his photos awesome?!

🐾 Butterfly Photographs on Pinterest – At least 463 breathtaking photos of a variety of butterflies

🐾 19 Before and After Photos of Butterfly and Moth Transformations – “The animal kingdom is full of beautiful and mysterious processes, but there are few that are more captivating and wonderful than the metamorphoses that caterpillars undergo to become moths or butterflies.”

🐾 Monarch Butterfly Metamorphosis  A time-lapse video of the life cycle of a Monarch Butterfly

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Quotes

❤︎ Darkness comes. In the middle of it, the future looks blank. The temptation to quit is huge. Don’t. You are in good company…You will argue with yourself that there is no way forward. But with God, nothing is impossible. He has more ropes and ladders and tunnels out of pits than you can conceive. Wait. Pray without ceasing. Hope.– John Piper

❤︎ When tragedy makes its unwelcome appearance and we are deaf to everything but the shriek of our own agony—when courage flies out the window and the world seems to be a hostile, menacing place—it is the hour of our Gethsemane. No word, however sincere, offers any comfort or consolation… and yet it may happen in these most desperate trials of our human existence that beyond any rational explanation, we may feel a nail-scarred hand clutching ours.– Brennan Manning

❤︎ God brings fullness of joy not just despite but through suffering, just as Jesus saved us not in spite of but because of what He suffered on the cross.– Timothy Keller

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