When I think of fearful situations, I can’t help but be reminded of the mighty warrior Benaiah in the Old Testament. He “…chased a lion down into a pit and killed it” on a snowy day (1 Chronicles 11:22). Who does that?
I’d imagine that a lion trapped in a pit would likely issue a bone-chilling roar toward anyone perceived as a threat. So it’s all the more impressive that Benaiah ran toward the lion rather than retreating in the other direction. He proved himself a valiant and fearless warrior in other exploits as well; by biblical accounts, Benaiah seemed to live with a deep sense of Kingdom purpose. He was son of the chief priest Jehoiada, and he remained loyal to King David and King Solomon throughout his lifetime. Perhaps his sense of God’s presence and Kingdom purpose infused his life with extraordinary courage.
What scares you? What causes you to shrink back? For most of us, an ill-spoken word or a hint of rejection is enough to make us hesitate before taking another step forward. And the threat of failure can halt us completely. But the Word of God makes it clear that we are not to be afraid, because we have His presence with us.
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
“Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me…” (Psalm 23:4).
“I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4).
“So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom” (Luke 12:32).
The more we focus on God’s plans and purpose, the more courage rises within us. The threat of rejection, failure, and difficulty no longer cause us to retreat. With God’s Kingdom in mind, we can stop focusing on our own fears and courageously run toward the roar.