Passion Trumps Fear
When I was 21 years old, I traveled alone to London, England where I attended the University of London. The night before I was to board my flight, my host family called and said I couldn’t come early like I had planned because they were unexpectedly leaving to go out of town for two weeks. This meant I would be traveling to a city of 13 million people and I had nowhere to go. But instead of panicking I prayed, “God, please help!”
That very evening, Danny, a college friend originally from London telephoned me out of the blue. I hadn’t heard from Danny in a couple of years but he was still living in the U.S. I told him about my problem. He said, “I will call my sister, Julie. I think she might be at my mom’s house in London. You can stay with my parents.” Not coincidentally, Julie was at her parents' home and offered to pick me up from the airport the very next day. God provided.
When I look back at this memory, I'm amazed I wasn’t frightened since I was on the verge of being temporarily homeless! People have often asked me about my trip to London and other overseas adventures, “Weren’t you scared?” Honestly, I wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not some sort of spiritual Superwoman because there have been plenty of times in my life when I have been afraid. But in these cases the passion and excitement I felt for what was coming were so big, they trumped fear.
My mind was focused on what I would see in London, the friends I would make, and what I would learn. I wasn’t focused on what could go wrong; I was focused on all the great things that God was going to do. And that makes all the difference when chasing down your God-given destiny, a new relationship, a new job, or any other thing God has placed in front of you.
When Nehemiah approached King Artaxerxes to ask for permission to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall and for building supplies, he said he was “very much afraid” (Nehemiah 2:2). But fear didn’t stop him because his passion and calling from God to rebuild the wall had consumed him.
Here’s the point: When what you want is bigger than what you fear, you will go after your passion in the face of fear. Your passion, when coupled with faith, will always trump fear. Therefore, when God calls you to a new task or opportunity, it’s important to stir up passion and faith by focusing on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). Negativity is the enemy of faith and therefore the enemy of passion.
That’s not to say there aren’t times to exercise caution. But there are times when it's absolutely appropriate to allow passion and faith to lead you and to focus on the good that will be yours, and the good that you will do for Christ when you step out in the face of fear.