Fresh Hope – 4th June 2019

I was just a young boy when I got stuck in a lift at our local department store. I can still feel the fear as I stood holding tightly on to my Mom’s hand. Amongst the eight of us that were trapped for about half an hour, I can recall one elderly lady that was gasping for breath as the heat became unbearable in such a confined space.

That experience left me both scared and scarred for years. I know it sounds stupid now, but I would never go in a lift for years after that, not to mention that I developed an intense and irrational fear of heights following that episode.

I guess we privately all have some hang ups that we find hard to admit to, for fear of looking stupid, but to those that have them they are nevertheless very real. Taking the stairs rather than a lift, was pretty easy to disguise. But when you’re now married and cannot even stand on a chair to change a light bulb that’s another matter!

I was under the impression that what had entered my life as a result of my childhood experience was now here to stay. I just had to mask it as best as possible, and to those closest to me I would just have to admit defeat in certain areas.

The last thing on my mind was that my fears were a concern to God. I desperately wanted to get up step ladders like most other men, but every time I did, my head would go into fainting sensation that meant I would have to close my eyes and hang on for dear life until it passed. I just couldn’t overcome it.

That was all until one night when I sat in a church service. The guy at the front announced that God had told him that there was someone in the service that had a fear of heights and that God was going to heal them. I looked around waiting to see who else responded but no one did. I realised that it was ME! I got out of my seat and walked straight to the front. I was prayed for and then went and sat back down. It was not until I went outside following the service that I realised that something had happened. I had the sensation that I wanted to walk on the rooftops of the houses in the street. Something that I will never forget. Instead of being bound by a fear of heights, I was now wanting to do the very opposite. I actually wanted to get up a ladder and find out if this was real.

It was real. I started getting more and more adventurous and decided to paint the front of the house. I reached right to the top of the guttering and did what I would have never imagined to do before. Over the years I’ve been in the outside lifts of two of the tallest buildings in the world and walked on the viewing decks.

I wonder if you are facing some very real but irrational fears today? No matter how long they have been with you, you don’t have to be bound by them. God is interested in setting you free and He can do it right now if you will simply give that problem over to Him.

Take courage today from my own personal story and reach out to God right now—allow Him to eradicate your secret fears.

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

2 Timothy 1:7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

Pastor Mark

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