Finding the Courage to Face the Unknown

What’s the next step?

I’ve asked myself this question too many times to count.

As I wandered through trying to discern God’s call on my life, I’ve taken some wrong turns and some backwards steps. But the biggest thing that kept me from answering His call was the fear of the unknown.

Sometimes, not seeing the final picture was the problem. Other times, money was the problem.

If you’re anything like me, you probably want a game plan with some idea of financial stability and emotional security.

But as I considered all these “key” factors, I was forsaking the One thing I could truly rely on.

 

As I wandered through trying to discern God’s call on my life, I’ve taken some wrong turns and some backwards steps. But the biggest thing that kept me from answering His call was the fear of the unknown.

I’ve heard it said, “If God calls you to it, He’ll bring you through it.”

And yet, how often do we only step as far as our comfort zone reaches?

How often do we only leap when we’re sure we can land safely?

I spent several years trying to follow God’s will without stepping far from my comfort zone. I’ve tried to fit His plan into my box and every time I ended up back at the same place.

What’s the next step?

When I truly think about it, I’m astounded at how silly I must be to think this way-fitting God’s magnificent plan, far beyond anything I can imagine, into my small, limited box.

And yet God is always patiently waiting every time I return to Him asking:

What’s the next step?

As I learned how to find the courage to step out of my comfort zone and into God’s beautiful plan for me, I had to embrace a different approach.

Be Still

I sat before the Lord day in and day out asking for answers. But He had a greater plan.

The answers would come, but first my busy heart needed to learn to truly be still before God.

This process wasn’t easy. In fact, some days I wanted to get up and dart back to the rush of things. But as I learned to be still, I found something worth staying for.

I found a peace that surpassed all understanding. A peace in knowing that no matter where I am, God is with me and working in me. A peace that filled me with hope for my future and joy in each step.

Being still before the Lord every day allows our hearts and souls to connect to His life-giving Spirit. This is SO essential to finding the courage to truly follow God’s call.

A Shifted Focus

As I continued to still my heart before the Lord, I realized that something was changing.

My focus was shifting away from myself and to the Lord.

My whole life I’d been looking for the next step based on my plans, my goals and my sense of security.

I had ideas about how much money I needed and what I needed to do to get there.

But with this mindset, I struggled to take steps in faith. After all, God works in mysterious ways, right?

I just wanted a path drawn out, step-by-step. But God knows that if He reveals too much, we’ll run in fear. He knows exactly what we need to know and He leaves the rest up to us.

As you consider the fear and hesitation you feel when God is calling you into the unknown, remember these truths:

Our purpose is not to live a wealthy life.

"No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. -Matthew 6:24

We will be asked to suffer for the Lord.

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33

Following God in spite of these things, will result in glory.

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. -2 Corinthians 4:17

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. -Romans 8:18

We will be rewarded as we seek to follow God.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. -Galatians 6:9

The Lord will provide us with the strength we need no matter how we are feeling.

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. -2 Corinthians 12:10

The Lord’s peace will fill us and uphold us when we step out in trust.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:7

Don’t allow fear to hold you back from the beautiful call God has placed on your life.

Don’t allow fear to hold you back from the beautiful call God has placed on your life. Click To Tweet

 

He wants His glory to be revealed in you. This is your call.

He wants His glory to be revealed in you.

This is your call.

He wants His glory to be revealed in you. This is your call. Click To Tweet

Find the courage to grab ahold of it and you will see the Lord’s strength and peace fill your soul.

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Comments 31

  • I recently wrote a post about this topic as well. Having a fear of the unknown is definitely something I struggle with too. Another issue I think that holds people back is fear. What if I’m not good enough? What if I don’t have what it takes? God doesn’t want us to have everything it takes though. He wants us to allow him to be what we aren’t as we learn to rely on Him in everything. Thanks for sharing!

  • […] Finding the Courage to Face the Unknown by Nicole […]

  • Thank you for this . Sometimes it is so hard to step out of our comfort zones and do what we know God wants us to. This is a great reminder that God always has a plan.
    Thanks for sharing at LMM Link up to see you again this week.
    Have a great week
    Connie

  • We are all called so God can reveal the image of His Son in us. It’s so easy to get caught up in other pursuits, eh? Linking with you from Faith and Friends.

  • Nicole, This is just beautiful. The Bible verses really helped me this morning and your encouraging words as well. Thank you for sharing. I can relate so much to all this in my own life right now. I needed these reminders, every single one of them!

  • Thank you for sharing these beautiful truths. I have allowed fear to hold me back too many times in life. The opposite of fear is faith. today I am choosing to walk in faith and not fear. thanks so much! Misty

  • Nicole, this is beautiful and encouraging. I loved how you wrote: Don’t allow fear to hold you back from the beautiful call God has placed on your life. Blessings to you today from over at #HeartEncouragement! 🙂

  • Thank you, Nicole. I loved all the verses you cited. These are the ones I go back to time and again for strength and comfort. Life is a struggle. Dreams are dashed and hopes get pushed farther out of reach. But God knows every dying dream we lose. He is a rewarded of those who are faithful to Him. One of my favorite verses when sadness and the claws of depression try to drag me down is 1 Corinthians 2:9, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” The beauty of this is staggering!

  • “as I considered all these “key” factors, I was forsaking the One … I could truly rely on.” Big Amen!
    We can leave behind fear because we can rely on our Heavenly Father, on the Good Shepherd, who loves us and takes care of His own.
    When we abide in Him and in His Word, He will give us light for the next step. His purpose for our lives is to love Him first, to love others because we love Him first, to tell the good news of Jesus, and to glorify Him. He can do that through us even if we get confused about which direction we are supposed to go. The joy is in the journey close to His side.

  • I have struggled with my calling often in the last year. I so badly just want a plan laid out before me. Recently, I was talking to a mentor/friend and she encouraged me to “Seek first the kingdom of God” and that things would happen for me when I did. It’s not easy to trust, but I’m realizing that in the end, seeking God first will always pay off.

    • I love that, seek first the kingdom of God. So much truth there. You’re right, it will always pay off! Thanks for visiting, Rosanna!

  • It’s interesting that today my Bible reading included Galatians 1:15 that talked about Paul’s calling by God through God’s grace. I think of grace as being a lot like the “peace” you mentioned–other-worldly and beyond our comprehension or ability. We rest in God’s ability to face the unknown and that’s what you’ve done and explained to us here, Nicole. What a gift this post is–marking the right path to following God when our fears rise up and hinder us.

  • I believe way too often we overthink our calling. Maybe we should call it our “being” and just show up for Jesus every day and BE. Wanted to return the visit today!

    • Yes, yes, yes! Overthinking can be one of Satan’s greatest footholds in our lives, paralyzing us and keeping us from God’s will! Thank you for visiting, Susan!

  • Fear and the unknown are powerful, and have kept me from stepping out plenty of times. But, I’ve learned that I’d rather take the risk of stepping out in faith than the risk of all I’ll miss by refusing to move. We’re neighbors at Holley’s today.

  • It takes courage to say that following God will lead to suffering. I applaud you for telling this truth. I also know that rewards come during and after the long periods of waiting and suffering, as you say here. Blessings to you!

  • Believing what we can’t see is faith. And even if we know His plans, it takes courage. I have found confessing His righteousness pushes back fear. Jesus knew what He was talking about, one day at a time, there’s enough evil in each one. Unbelief is evil, I think He knows we have doubts, not really about Him but us. We do need to be still every day.

  • I definitely know what it’s like to be influenced by fear. 🙁 I try to combat it with knowing God is present in the moment, but it’s not always easy. Thanks for encouragement to not let fear interfere with the call on our lives.

    • You are right, it is hard to combat fear! But there is so much peace in knowing that God already conquered it, we just have to learn to trust. Thanks so much for your thoughts, Lisa!

  • Just beautiful! Thank you for this!

  • Great post! I love the message that you shared in this one and will definitely be sharing it with my followers.

  • Beautiful. And just for me today. Thank you Nicole! I’m saving this one in my favorites. Especially holding onto this: “But as I learned to be still, I found something worth staying for.” Amen!

  • Boy I can relate to this! Following God in your calling is like Abraham- all we know is “go”. We don’t know how far, where, for how long, to what…..everything seems to be anything but concrete. That is what makes it “faith” I concluded and it displays our trust and confidence in God as we “go” without knowing all the details. Such a refining process !! Thanks for this post:)

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