7.13.16 – Acts 20:22

2 Timothy 1:7 – For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” – Roosevelt (1932 inauguration)
Fear is one of the most debilitating emotions we have. On the lighter side of this topic, one of my favorite examples of fear comes from an episode of the Andy Griffith Show. Barney and Gomer are assigned to fix the floor of a gazebo for a concert that evening. Barney taking charge tells Gomer to get underneath the gazebo, to which Gomer replies, “it looks kinda spidery under there”. The ensuing exchange is classic. However, it does depict a great example of our common reaction to the unknown or the probability of a circumstance. Gomer had no idea if there were spiders under the gazebo but the possibility was enough to stop him.
As Paul set out to Jerusalem, leaving his disciples to finish the work he began in Asia, he clearly knew the possibilities that awaited him, imprisonment at best and death a distinct outcome. Paul did not avoid the conversation of such possibilities, instead he framed it around the certainty that by continuing his ministry, regardless of the outcome, he was doing the right thing. He believed in what he was doing and instead of focusing on the negative possibilities he looked toward the completion of his “race” with great anticipation.
Whatever fears you face today, first know that these are not of God. As Roosevelt stated, fear only paralyzes our progress. Effort is a means to an end and while we might not always succeed, we do learn. In and of itself, overcoming fear could be the first step into a new life God has already laid out for you. Acts 20:22 – And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there,