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Judy Lair is a licensed counselor and owner of Counselorplace Christian Counseling. She is the author of “From the Other Side of the Couch: A Biblical Counselor’s Guide to Relational Living.” Judy’s personal struggles with fear led her through the valley of hurt and sorrow. She now embraces a joy-filled life grounded in God’s truth and freedom in Christ. Judy uses her professional counseling expertise to tell stories that help people find healing and freedom. Her vulnerable, godly approach helps people find courage to move from Fear to Freedom. For more information or speaking requests, email JudyLair@counselorplace.com or sign up for blog posts at http://judylair.blogspot.com

 “Freedom is attainable. Trust me, I’ve been on the anxiety side, gone through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and now I’m praising God, eating at the banqueting table, and helping others make the same journey. Whether you find yourself stuck in anxiety, disappointment, grief, or confusion, your heart can be set free.” Judy Lair, “From the Other Side of the Couch.”

Friday, October 3, 2014

Hope Trumps Fear

Just as darkness must give way to light, fear must give way when we choose to allow hope into our heart.

Fear of disappointment is the enemy of hope. How many times have you wanted to be excited about a potential new job or the outcome of a relationship, but didn’t want to set yourself up for disappointment? A great example of this belief is found in the story of the prodigal son.

The prodigal son decided to leave his father’s household and venture out into the world so he could make his own decisions about his own life. The folks he surrounded himself with all left when his funds ran out. Then a famine came and the son ended up in terrible circumstances. He eventually decided to go back home and beg his father for mercy, hoping he'd be allowed to become one of the servants. Not wanting to be disappointed, the prodigal son had absolutely no hope in forgiveness and grace. Fear lied to the son about the father’s heart.

In truth, the father was waiting and watching for his son to come home. Rather than being angry and holding a grudge, the father felt loving compassion and ran to his son, kissing and hugging him. Yes, there were barriers they needed to address, but the father wanted his son to hope into a full restoration of the relationship rather than settling for something less. Opening up to receive his father’s genuine loving embrace changed the son’s heart. It gave him the courage to see and confess his own brokenness as well as hope into personal and relational change.

Living the abundant life encompasses cultivating an excitement and passion to see and connect with God in our everyday life. Fear of disappointment limits our ability to receive all that God wants to bring into our life. It’s impossible to be passionate without hope. Unfortunately, mankind has learned how to beat hope down to a manageable size. We analyze the practicality of our dreams based on reasonableness and risk. Such a life strategy is based on managing fear rather than anchoring to the author of hope.

In 2 Timothy 1:7 we’re told not to live a life out of timidity and fear. Hoping into God’s heart gives us the strength and courage to triumph over fear. Ask God to deposit His hope into your heart. It will change your view about everything.
  • Hope that God really does love you all the time, no matter how you feel about yourself and your actions.
  • Hope that your heart can be transformed and your life changed.
  • Hope that you can trust in God and others rather than self-protect out of fear.
  • Hope that God has a wonderful, amazing plan for your life!

Photo courtesy of medicboyz.blogspot.com

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