Pathways to Devotion I
Pathways to Devotion are a series of devotionals offering inspirational insights for every day situations. These easy-to-read daily devotional books offer encouragement, hope and practical answers to help us along life's way. After you read one of these inspiring devotionals, you will want to read them all. Each daily devotion offers an Application section for further Bible reading, a suggested prayer and further reflection.
Day 1 - Fear or Faith?
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
I believe one of the greatest problems affecting people today stems from a small four-letter word called “fear.” Yet, what great distress it can bring us and at times can even dictate the kind of decisions we make. I am not talking about the healthy kind of fear that preserves your life (like driving carefully and cautiously on slippery roads!). I am talking about fears that are based on unreal and often imagined disasters. For instance, if you are afraid of heights, you may feel paralyzed at the thought of flying, so try to avoid it as much as possible. Some people may have anxiety about leaving their house (agoraphobia); others are afraid of enclosed or tight spaces (claustrophobia).
Some people try many things to try to overcome their fears, like talking to a counselor or reading books about how to overcome it. Still others try to face their fears by taking greater risks or facing the thing they fear the most (like flying even though they are afraid of heights or enclosed places). The problem with trying to cure fear though, is that even though you may overcome one fear, you may find you have other fears to overcome that are just as daunting as the one you overcame.
I had my own fallout, and never fully recovered from the terror of a car accident that nearly took my life (the other car was at fault). I narrowly escaped from trouble many times when me and my girlfriend hitch-hiked half way across Canada (4000 miles in total). I ended up with a nervous breakdown from this and many other frightening events that happened to me from taking bad drugs. I would have nightmares even after I quit taking the drugs. The summer before going to Bible School, I went home to my parent’s. I couldn’t work because of the breakdown, and I had no future and no idea what I’d do with the rest of my life. My parents, who were strong Christians, and very concerned about me, suggested I go to Bible School for a year. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was really one of the best decisions I ever made, even though I was reluctant to go. Still, even though my life was such a mess at that point, I was determined to resist any change that going to Bible School might bring about. I was not going to become a Bible thumping, straight-laced Christian. I didn’t want to abandon my lifestyle, and I still wanted my freedom to do as I pleased.
If you really think about it, people who live in a constant state of fear and anxiety do not and cannot have a sound mind. It is not until a person experiences the “peace and love of God” that they can know true serenity. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear; because fear hath torment” (I John 4:18). God loves you and I with a perfect love even though we ourselves are far from perfect. This in itself is a tremendously comforting thought. Like a mother or a father wants to protect their child, so does God want to protect us.
This love that God has for us has been proved to me time and time again. I have learned that all I have to do when faced with fear is remember that I don’t HAVE TO give in to it. I can choose to believe that God will help me and protect me because of His great love and care. I know He will do the same for you!
Psalm 91; I John 4:4,7-18
Pray against every thought contrary to peace; for a mind that’s filled with faith thoughts, the courage and willingness to obey God’s Word.
Meditate on Philippians 4:6-8. What do these verses mean to you? Be specific: make a list.
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