“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

// 2 Timothy 1:7

Training for a marathon takes tremendous self-control. With an intensive training schedule that increases in miles each week, each passing day can bring with it the fear that the task is impossible.  

Praying can be like that, often seeming like an arduous task that brings with it the same extreme fear of facing a physical challenge. We question who we are talking to and whether we have the stamina to achieve the task before us. Fear can set in.

Although it can’t kill us, fear can stop us from receiving the promise. But if we pray, committing to put God’s love in front of our fear, we build fortitude. Our hearts start to believe His truth, and the lies that we cannot complete this race are undermined by the strength He gives us.

Day by day, endurance and self-discipline builds, and hearing God’s voice becomes easier. We can hear Him as He cheers us on through our anxieties and showers us with love, like a perfect breeze on a muggy day. We see Him as a coach that spots us and paces us, hugs us at mile twenty-two and encourages us to keep going until we cross the finish line where – instead of melting into tears – we erupt with laughter, knowing that the joy of the Lord got us there.

Fear is not real, but God’s love is. Let me explain: both fear and love present to us a truth, a truth about us or God or our situations. But what the love of God says is more real than what fear tells us, for His love will always lead us into truth. So even though fear appears real, and its “truths” seem real, it is always rooted in a lie. God’s love, on the other hand, always tells us the truth and will actively remove lies. His love is the truth. It is tangible, whole and complete. It is accessible when we seek Him. It’s the promise of Jeremiah 29:13 come true. Jesus’ perfect love casts out all fears, and enables us to live within His power. Let us serve Him with unabashed abandon, focusing on the goal of bringing His love down to earth; let us focus on finishing strong.

// Julee Resendez