It was one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen. With my hands folded in prayer, I lifted my head and opened my eyes. My world was immediately flooded with light, as I gazed at the beauty of the candles all around me. Another night of prayer at the beautiful grotto on Notre Dame's campus...another night of redemption in the presence of the Lord.
To me, this sight is a perfect representation of who Jesus is. Jesus, You are a God of Light. You have filled my eyes with awe time and time again. You are a God of Hope. You are a God of Wonder.
Ephesians 1:18 says, "I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope He has given to those He called - His holy people who are His rich and glorious inheritance." Jesus, I know You are longing to flood our hearts with light. You are just waiting to enliven us with Your hope and to awake our souls with Your joy.
So here's my question: If there's a God who is longing to flood our lives with His glorious light, what have we to fear? Why are we so afraid? Ask yourselves, "If God is for us, who can EVER be against us?" (Romans 8:31)
Here's my challenge to you: stop living your life in fear. You know what FEAR stands for? False Expectations Appear Real. The majority of the time, our fear is the result of our tendency to distort reality. We constantly exaggerate the situation at hand to make it seem worse than it really is. In doing so, we assume that failure is sure to follow and that the idea of hope is far distanced. What we must realize is that if we have Jesus, we have all the hope we could ever need.
Is there something that is holding you back from truly living? Is there something that is forcing you to live your life in fear? Why do you fear? Is it because you fail to see the Light of Jesus before your eyes? Here's my advice: OPEN YOUR EYES. See His presence all around you. Look for His grace and His beauty in the simplest of ways. Trust me, He is there. We have no concrete evidence disproving the existence of God, and yet we have countless stories of redemption shining light upon His everlasting grace.
Two weeks ago I told you lovely readers about a friend of mine who is in rehab for a drug addiction. I've realized that this friend is way too fearful of a life without drugs. His fear is keeping him from truly living. He is afraid because he fears that without the drugs he will not feel happy, confident, or successful. Yet in reality, the drugs are only doing the exact opposite for him. Instead of being surrounded by the light of Christ, He is surrounded by complete and utter fear every day of his life. I can't even begin to comprehend how terrifying his life must be right now. And I can't even imagine how terrifying a life without Jesus is. There's nothing that would make me more fearful than if I didn't have my sweet Redeemer Jesus.
Proverbs 31:25 says, "She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future." Because of Jesus, these words are the anthem of my life. I have Jesus, so I do not fear. I have Jesus, so I "laugh without fear of the future," meaning I am not afraid of what tomorrow brings. I find it interesting how oftentimes people automatically assume that my life is perfect simply because I am joyful. Yet I, like every other individual on this planet, have been through plenty of trials and tribulations that have stripped me of my joy. I once lived in fear...fearing that I wasn't good enough, fearing that others were always miles and miles ahead of me, fearing that I will never amount to anything. But then Jesus came in and swept me off my feet, saying, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). He surely gave me rest; He rid me of my fear and replaced that fear with an unquenchable joy.
I am joyful because I have Jesus.
I am fearless because I have Jesus.
And you can be the exact same.
I've realized that I am 100% content with the fact that the only importance to my life is Jesus. I've said it once and I'll say it a thousand times more, there is nothing sweeter than the love of Christ. Everyday, I fall more and more in love with Him, and one day, I hope and pray that you may be able to say the same thing about your life. Keep running towards Him and never stop; keep clinging to His grace and never let go. There's no other way to rid your life of fear and gain true joy unless you cling to Him completely.
So here's the thing: you have a choice. You can choose to live your life just as my friend in rehab lives his life, or you can live differently. You can live in constant fear of a life without drugs, or you can live in constant fear of the Lord, totally in awe of His love. You can make drugs your everything, or you can make Jesus your everything. The same goes for any other thing in your life that acts as a detriment to your joy. It's your choice. This life is your own; it's all up to you. You decide.
Song of the week: "Safe" by Phil Wickham