What would you do if you knew you could never fail?
I’m sure you’ve heard that question before. Think about it – if you had all the resources, time, talent, and energy you needed, if you had no lack whatsoever, what is that one thing – what are those many things – that you would be excited to wake up to do every morning?
We’re living in treacherous times. It seems like it takes three times as much effort and four times as much heartache just to scratch the surface of achievements we’ve dreamed of for years.
I thought about something today. In Luke 21:26, Jesus said that in the last days, men’s hearts would fail them for fear. The NIV says, Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.
I always thought that verse spoke of something more literal, like heart attacks, which have increased in number in recent times and can often be the result of shocking news. I still think the most accurate translation is in this sense, i.e. people’s health being jeopardized or people getting so sick because they fear the calamities that will befall the earth. However, today, I thought of it in a slightly different additional light. Today, I thought perhaps this verse also meant that a time would come when a large number of people would begin to give up on their dreams and shelve their longings because they seem so impossible.
If you have any idea what the headlines are, and if you look around you, it’s easy to get discouraged. There is rampant corruption, there are no jobs, marriages are falling apart, children are getting sexualized (for lack of a better term) at tender ages with the approval of their parents, pastors are leading their flocks astray. There are accidents, shootings, rapes, muggings, burglaries… It’s chaotic! I can see someone asking, “What’s the point?” I have heard people wonder aloud, “Why bother?” What’s the point of trying if your efforts will be tossed aside and replaced by those of someone who has better looks or higher connections? Why bother getting married if the only possible outcome, based on credible statistics, is a divorce? What’s the point of having children if you can’t raise them right? Why bother going to church if your pastor is only looking out for his pocket?
What’s the point? I think that’s a question many ask today. And in that sense, people’s hearts are failing them for fear. Discouragement weighs on many like a heavy blanket. The horizon looks bleak. And in what seems like a glaring irony, many, out of fear, choose to throw all caution to the wind.
Are there reasons to be fearful? I would say yes, plenty – as long as we forget who and whose we are. But as chaotic as the days are, I do not believe that the Lord wants us to stop doing what we were created to do. I believe His desire for us is that we keep loving, living, giving, until the day He comes. Fear paralyzes and torments its victims and in very many, if not all, cases, it is a choice. When we fear, we short-circuit so many blessings and we rob ourselves of the opportunity to make a difference. Like David, we should defy terror. The earth may be removed and the mountains cast into the sea, but we have to make a deliberate choice not to fear. A thousand may fall to our side, and ten thousand at our right hand, but we have to believe that it will not come near us. God promises to protect us. He promises to help us, too – but we have to participate and be willing to be helped. He is the Keeper of our dreams. He is the Refuge in every storm. And with Him on our side, we have nothing to fear.
The verse from Luke that I mentioned above speaks about men fainting for fear. But Isaiah boldly tells us in Isaiah 40:31 that those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall rise up on wings like eagles, which are known to fly above clouds, continuing their journey unaffected in the midst of raging storms. Those who trust God shall run, and not be weary – not even on Monday mornings when everyone is crying about a weekend that went by too fast. Here is the beautiful part: They shall walk, and not faint.
If you have a dream, pursue it. Glorify God. Defy fear. He puts desires in our hearts. Like a friend once told me, He made an investment in each of us, and is looking for a return on that investment. What He starts, He is faithful to complete. If we turn our eyes to Him, then nothing around us will be able to stop us. If we take our thoughts captive, fear can become a thing of the past. We can do all things through Christ, who strengthens us. You might not have all the resources, time, talent, and energy, but if you have the dream, that is a seed from God, and that’s enough. Give it back to God, and see ashes turn to beauty. May He give you courage to change the things you can.
All things are possible. Don’t quit. Thrive.
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1. the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.
2. Obsolete . the heart as the source of emotion.