I remember that feeling like it was yesterday. I had climbed up this rock face and called down to the belay to give my rope some slack so I could climb onto the top of the cliff. I remember standing upright and unclipping myself from the rope. Tossing it aside, I looked over the edge. That's when I felt it. The fear boiling up inside of me. What would happen if I tripped? If I lost my balance? If I fell the sixty feet to the rocks below? Looking up, I made up my mind to not be afraid. I was safe as long as I stayed calm. I realized it would be hard to enjoy the view if I was paralyzed by fear. Obviously I survived without falling, although I will admit the fear came rushing back as I leaned out again to grab the rope, hook myself back in, and then slide over the edge. But with that came a certain liberating feeling. I had tackled my fear of heights and survived.

There are so many things that we could be afraid of right now. Our economy is crashing, ISIS is becoming more threatening, our freedoms are being taken away. It's so easy to start thinking about events that we know will happen in the near future. But friends, God has never asked us to be afraid. In fact, Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." Fear never comes from God. He offers us the freedom to live without fear. Won't you choose to trade your fears in today?

Living without fear,

Pastor Sutherland

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