Stepping Into the Unknown With Fear and Trusting Jesus Will Never Abandon Us

One of my favorite places to visit as a child was Island Park in a small town in NW Iowa. I remember the challenge of crossing the river on stepping-stones at the bottom of a waterfall.

A couple of steps were missing and left wide gaps of uncertainty. As I sat on a step and reached my bare toes underneath the water, I could still feel the missing step’s slimy, slippery foundation. Dare I step forward?

Sometimes I didn’t dare. Other times I risked it, but I soon changed my mind when I nearly slipped into the rushing water. However, there were also times I did brave it and got to the other side of the river with a shout of victory.

Sometimes a flood drowns out Island Park. The river rages and obliterates all traces of any steps at all. When devastating storms in our lives churn up chaos in our hearts, the way forward can get blinded by fear. What if we take the wrong step? What if we fail? What if we get hurt again?

When Peter walked on the water towards Jesus, he stepped out in blind faith. His eyes were fixed on Jesus, and he gave no thought to missing stepping-stones. But then his heart looked away from Jesus, and all he saw were the winds whipping up the waves to a frenzy. His courage crashed. And he sank in fear… Save me, Lord! (Matthew 14:22-34)

Jesus stretched out His hand and rescued him. Even though he doubted. And He will do the same for us, even when we become faint of heart. Jesus never holds our lack of trust against us. He rescues us anyway.

Our lives are like taking small steps of faith, aren’t they? Small steps, not without fear, but in spite of fear. Sometimes one step forward and two steps back, but still forward.

We don’t know what lies ahead of us in this world. As we reach our toes ahead into uncertainty, our hearts may tremble with fear. Sometimes we slip and slide and fall wounded. Sometimes fear sinks us when we lose our focus on our only hope in Jesus. In panic, we cry out to God.

Again and again, Jesus will grasp our hand with His hand of powerful, unfailing love, pull us up again, and give us the strength to go on. He’s got us in His firm grip, and He’s not going to let us go.

“If God hadn’t been there for me,
I never would have made it.
The minute I said, ‘I’m slipping, I’m falling,’
Your love, GOD, took hold and held me fast.
When I was upset and beside myself,
You calmed me down and cheered me up.”
Psalm 94:17-19 MSG
“That’s right. Because I, your GOD,
have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go.
I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic.
I’m right here to help you.'”
Isaiah 41:13 MSG
“When struck by fear,
I let go, depending securely upon You alone.”
Psalm 56:3 VOICE

“I Am Not Alone”
by Kari Jobe

 

32 thoughts on “Stepping Into the Unknown With Fear and Trusting Jesus Will Never Abandon Us

  1. ‘wide gaps of uncertainty’

    That phrase grabbed me … you’ve said it well, Trudy.

    I’m thinking of those spaces right now filled with the unknown, edged with fear. Thanks for taking us right to Scripture where we find rest, grace, hope.

    And a right perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy Birthday, Trudy! You bless so many with your insightful blogs. May God continue to bless you in the years ahead. How amazing that broken people like us experience His love and care because Jesus restores and heals us !
    Love, Wilma

    Sent from my iPhone

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    1. Thank you, Wilma! Also for your kind encouragement, not only in your words here, but in these past years when you have told me in person. I appreciate you and your encouragement so much. Yes, Jesus’ love and care for broken people like us is truly amazing! Love to you, too! May we open our hearts more and more to the depth of His love!

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  3. Oh, I so love my blogging friends! I have about a handful I visit regularly and you are one as well as Linda above. Thanks for these words today, and sharing these scripture verses. David was running from His enemies, and our enemy can just be that fear within us that pursues us like a weaponed army. Turning to Jesus, His hand will always be there even in chilling waters. Rest for our souls…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love you, too, Lynn! You and Linda are also two of my regulars. 🙂 Oh, how true that the enemy can be the fear within us, pursuing us like a weaponed army. Too often in my life I have fled and failed to turn to Jesus. His patience knows no bounds, does it? Yes, as you say, His hand will ALWAYS be there, even in the chilling waters. I remember times when I felt like I was sinking and drowning in the waters with no hope left. But Jesus reached down under the surface and grabbed my hand and lifted me up. Thank you for this picture of His unfailing love and grace. May we moment by moment remember He has a secure grip on us and He will never let us go!

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  4. So true, we can’t always see what we’re stepping into or where it is taking us. We just have to keep our eyes on Jesus and continue to step forward in faith. It’s encouraging to know that he is always with us. Beautiful post, Trudy!

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    1. Thank you Lesley. Keeping our eyes on Jesus is the key, isn’t it? The story of Him with Peter on the water always has such special meaning to me. May we keep encouraging each other that Jesus is always with us!

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  5. Moving forward in spite of our fear requires us to lean into Jesus completely, focusing on His promise to take care of us in all situations. Your story about crossing the river brought back a not-so-fun and fearful memory for me. Danny and I were setting off on a hike in the Smokys, and I was fine until we came to a narrow, and I mean narrow, log “bridge” across a rushing stream. Even though there was a railing, I freaked out. I was even crying! Between Danny’s reassurance and lots of prayers, I did finally attempt it. It was still scary, but oh, what relief I felt once I crossed it. And you know what? Going back along it wasn’t nearly as frightening. Needless to say, I gave God the thanks and praise!
    Blessings, Trudy!!!

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    1. I’m so sorry this brought back a fearful memory, Martha. Hopefully, you can now see the courage it took for you to finally cross rather than the fear. Fear can be so strong, can’t it? I’m so glad God gave you Danny and helped you to conquer it. Blessings to you, too! May we keep grasping God’s reassuring hand that He so willingly and even joyfully offers to us!

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    1. I’m so happy this was a timely reminder, Tracey. I need the reminder myself each day. Some steps can be so filled with fear, can’t they? Yes, He is there to guide us and He’s never going to abandon us. May we more and more lean on His everlasting arms of powerful love!

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  6. This really resonated with me today, Trudy: “Small steps, not without fear, but in spite of fear.” I’ve had to practice this a lot lately, and as you say, God has been faithful to rescue me from those feelings of fear and strengthen my heart for the next step. Wonderful truth here, friend!

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    1. I’m sure you do have to practice this a lot lately, Lois. You are going through so many changes in your life. Such scary steps and so many uncertainties. I don’t like it that you have to go through it all, but the lessons God is giving you and you are sharing encourage my heart. God is using your pain for a purpose. Yes, He is faithful and rescues us again and again. May we lean on Him for strength for each next step!

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    1. I’m so thankful for that truth, too, Michelle. He is so very patient with my lack of trust. He understands better than anyone how abuse causes severe trust issues, doesn’t He? May we open our hearts to ever deeper healing and learn to trust Him more!

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  7. Oh Trudy thank you for sharing this. It was one of those “faint of heart” days for me also, but Jesus was here with me all along, rescuing me by holding my hand through the chaos of the pain. He is so trustworthy. Your words and the Scriptures you shared were just what I needed tonight. This verse especially: “When struck by fear,
    I let go, depending securely upon You alone.” Psalm 56:3 VOICE I love that word “securely” because we are so secure in Him! Blessings and hugs to you today! xoxo

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    1. My heart aches for you, Bettie. I’m sorry for all the “faint of heart” days you have. But I also rejoice with you that Jesus again and again rescues you by holding your hand through the chaos of pain. I love that version of that verse, too. Yes, we are forever secure in Him. He’s never going to let us go. Blessings and hugs to you, too! May we moment by moment rest in His safe and secure arms of love!

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    1. Thank you, Connie. Blessings to you, too! I’m encouraged by that truth, too. I love your graphics with sign language and verses. 🙂 May we in faith grasp Jesus’ outstretched Hand, always ready and willing to rescue us and guide us!

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  8. Trudy,

    What a beautiful post. That story of Peter walking on water always reminds me of those two facets of the story: faith . . . fear. He started out in faith, knowing Jesus had called him. Then he saw the waves and fear took over. How many times have I allowed fear to overtake my faith? Too many. I’m so thankful that, even when I allow fear to have the upper hand in my thoughts, Jesus still loves me. He grasps my hand.He keeps a firm grip on me. Thanks for these thoughts and verses. I need them. 🙂 Hugs and love to you, sweet friend.

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    1. Thank you, Jeanne. Hugs and love to you, too! I so identify with what you share here. I have countless times allowed fear to conquer instead of trusting Jesus. “Jesus still loves me.” Oh yes! That brings tears to my eyes. It’s such a comfort, isn’t it? May we moment by moment remember Jesus keeps a firm grip on us, no matter how much we fear!

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  9. What an uplifting and reassuring post! You have provided a hefty dose of soul encouragement for us once again. These words gave me pause for thought as I wondered what I might be clinging to for support (yet finding none), and have to let go of so that Jesus alone can hold me instead:

    “When struck by fear,
    I let go, depending securely upon You alone.”
    Psalm 56:3 VOICE

    It’s wonderful to have the security of God’s grace and holding power and His merciful understanding when we falter and fear! The world might advise us to “do it afraid”, and maybe that’s what blind faith is all about. The future might seem dark and scary but we actually have nothing to fear if we go towards it with God-given courage and faith. This is a timely word for me, Trudy. Thank you! Blessings, love and hugs to you, dear friend. xox ❤

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    1. I’m so glad you received timely reassurance and soul encouragement, Joy. That verse still gives me pause, too. It’s so true that we cling to other things for support. Yes, we need to let go of so much, don’t we? It’s such a comfort to have the security of God’s grace and merciful understanding. It continually awes me that no matter how often I falter and fear, He never condemns me. Instead, He lifts me up and hugs me with His unconditional love. Blessings, love, and hugs to you, too! May we loose our hold on all the false securities in our hearts and lives and depend securely on Him alone!

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  10. The story of Peter walking on the water and then realizing he was sinking when he took his eyes off of Jesus is one of my favorite. My book, Brave Faith is based on this passage. And God continues to teach me through these words. I love how you teach and encourage all who stop by your place here.

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    1. The story is so meaningful for me as well, Mary. Thank you for your kind words and for mentioning your book. When I read it, I had typed out all the Scripture verses and the quotes that jumped out at me. I also responded to your questions. I just found one of my answers that is so timely for me right now – “If ‘brave’ means to stay put, a perspective change for me would be to be content in whichever situation God has placed me. To bloom wherever He plants me, soaking in His love for me and sprinkling it out to others.” I need to remember that! So thank you! May we keep our hearts fixed on Jesus!

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  11. Dear Trudy,
    I enjoyed reading your word picture and this is so true: “Jesus never holds our lack of trust against us. He rescues us anyway.” Without His help, I could not have weathered the past year and a half or so. I have cried out to Him daily and daily He has given me the strength to take one more step. Thank you for this encouragement 🙂

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    1. It’s such a comfort that Jesus never holds our lack of trust against us, isn’t it? I’m so sorry this past year and a half have been extra stormy for you, Dolly. It’s so hard to surrender all our fears into His hands and trust that He’ll be with us for every next step. I’m so grateful He brought you through that deep valley and you are writing again. I love hearing how He has helped you and what He has taught you. May we more deeply open our hearts to trust Him and reach out for His proffered hand of love and understanding!

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