It’s easy to see heroes of the faith in Scripture. People such as Abraham, David, Peter, and Paul. We also are pretty familiar with the “B-list” characters – like Ruth, Jonathan, and Stephen. And of course, we know the “villains” well.
But there are a lot of other people in Scripture that are easy to overlook – they’re not villains, but they’re not stars, either. People like Andrew – the one who brought Peter to meet Jesus. Or those four unnamed friends who pushed through crowds and finally cut through a roof to bring their broken friend to the One who could heal him. Or Barnabas, who quietly supported and encouraged those weak in the faith, building them up, and making peace a priority in the church.
These are the unsung heroes. They don’t seek attention for themselves. They stay in the background- support characters. They’re not the ones at the front lines – but they’re the ones that keep the front lines strong.
Until my own recent struggle, I don’t think I realized just how far-reaching fear can become, not only personally, but how my internal fears can begin to affect my relationships in significant ways. I think we’re all guilty of acting in fear in our relationships – I just think we don’t generally notice until it becomes out of control and is seen more in the results of deep depression, desperate behavior, and a pattern of broken relationships.
It’s often not too difficult to look back and see where we did things the wrong way, acted in fear, and where things got off track. Unfortunately, it’s much harder to fix the problems when we’ve reached that point. It is not, however, impossible. It simply requires much humility and a determination to let God become our focus rather than people, and let love control our actions, not fear.
One of those sins that Christians tend to address as "minor," "little," and "unimportant," fear is often deemed unnecessary to address. We don't see it as a big deal, so we just ignore it, hoping it’ll go away. Unfortunately, though, as time goes on, fear not only doesn’t disappear – it actually grows. Before too long, the “little” sin is now the BIG sin that has begun to push us around and is grasping for control over every part of our lives.
I think part of the struggle we have to take fear seriously starts with the fact that fear in and of itself may not be a problem. Fear is a God-given emotion. The danger is found in what we’re fearing and how we respond to that fear.
I am so thankful that God uses people
We need encouragement. We need help. We need hope.
When we’re overwhelmed, frustrated, tired, and broken, we are tempted to isolate. But it’s in those broken moments that we most need each other. We benefit the most from our relationships when it’s the hardest – when we’re most tempted to give up, close up, or shut down. When we’re vulnerable. When we’re scared. When we’re desperate.
The pattern in scripture is that when people (or even the nation of Israel) were desperate, they cried out to God. And God sent a man. God sent a woman. God sent a person. And He used that person to help, encourage, and bring about deliverance, both personally and corporately.
When Adam was alone and needed a helper,
In scripture, we consistently see God’s power at work in the lives of those
he loves. We see his love, his goodness, his compassion, and even at times his discipline, as he intervenes on behalf
of his children. We see him working deliverance for his people, setting them free, healing them, and blessing them.
waiting for freedom, waiting for healing, they were doing just that — waiting. They did not know the end of the story. They did not yet see God’s intervention. They didn’t know how he was going to work things out for their good, how he was going to fulfill his promise to them.
So they waited.
Some waited well. They “strengthened themselves in the Lord,” as David did in 1 Samuel 30. They fixed their eyes on the Lord rather than their circumstances, they chose to trust him,
not their emotions, and they were determined to walk by faith, not by sight.
Others waited, well, badly. They focused on their pain. They focused on their circumstances. They took matters into their own hands, afraid that God would fail them. And the results
always proved tragic. The deliverance was delayed, their relationships damaged, and often, their testimonies tarnished.
I want to wait well.
they all ran.
All for the same reason.
They ran from the consequences of their sin.
They ran into the arms of sin.
And they left a trail of destruction behind them.
One of the biggest struggles everyone faces is
the challenge to believe God’s love for us. People who are living in rebellion and sin seem to accept easily – why? And then those of who are trying
so hard to live right, honor God, and deepen our relationships with Him — well, it’s the hardest thing ever.
We struggle to believe that…
- God loves me now.
“Even with all the mess I’m going through? Look at me! God can’t love me like this…”
- God loves me after.
“But you don’t know what I’ve done. No one could love me after that.”
- God loves me personally.
“Yes, I know, God loves everyone. He has to. And I believe He does.
But it’s not really about me.”
- God likes me.
“Okay, so God loves me, but that doesn’t mean He likes me. That’s crazy. I know how
it works. Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you like them. I can just see Him cringing as soon as I start to pray.”
“To love at all is to be vulnerable.”
A call to full-time ministry is really a call to full-time love.
Sometimes that love is easy to give; sometimes not so much.
Sometimes that love looks like a hug, a smile, and an encouraging comment.
Other times it means saying hard things, and drawing a line in the sand.
But it’s always all about love.
It’s about showing God’s love.
In a word: passionate.
About Jesus, church, ministry, music, reading, family, friends, and sometimes even
iced skinny soy mochas.