Healthy leaders lead healthy churches. And healthy leaders sent out into the world with the cause of Jesus in their souls experience fear on a regular basis. But experiencing fear is not a new occurrence. Fear is an age-old emotion.
“Then I was very afraid” (Neh. 2:2; NCV). Those are the words of one of the great leaders of the Old Testament, Nehemiah. We don’t normally think of him as a fearful person, but fear was a common experience for him.
And Nehemiah was not the only great leader in the Bible to be challenged by fear. Time does not permit to talk about Abraham, David, Daniel, Paul and so many more who could have said the same words. That’s why the Bible says at least 365 times, “Don’t be afraid!”
Fear is a normal emotion in this fallen world—we will experience fear. We just have to determine what we will do with that fear. I’m impressed that a man of Nehemiah’s stature would record for all time that he experienced fear. His honesty is refreshing to me.
But what’s even more impressive was the cause that drove Nehemiah to overcome his fears time and time again. Something greater than fear was brewing on the inside. The need to see Jerusalem restored was greater than the fears that kept arising in him.
And that’s the secret to a healthy life in the face of fear—keeping the cause of Christ alive and well in our souls. The cause of Christ is the love of God that beats in our hearts for every human being in our world. When that cause is at the forefront, it drives us past our fears.
So if you’re facing “giants in the land” today, drill down into the love of your Father (Gen. 6:4, MSG). Let His cause fill your heart with unbridled passion for those in need around you. Stop thinking about yourself, and start thinking about them. That cause is in you, waiting to well up like an overflowing spring today “because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4, CJB).
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