Facing Fear

By Angela Wittman

As a follow-up to yesterday's post: Thoughts on the Duggars, the Ninth Commandment, Reporting Child Sex Abuse and Repentance, I'd like to encourage those who are grappling with sins that others have committed against them.

One of the hardest things for me to do is to confront others who have sinned against me.  I would rather walk away from any type of confrontation, but this isn't always possible, nor is it always the best course of action. I try to discern whether the offense is strictly personal or if it will impact others. If it hurts only me, I tend to lay it at the cross and place it in Christ's safe keeping, knowing He will do what is right and just. But if the offense is of a nature that it affects others or may lead to additional abuse, either physical, spiritual, or mental, then I feel it is my duty to speak out or confront the abuser to see if I can help remedy the situation.

So, please take some advice from a seasoned sister and if you need to confront sin or abuse, first lay your fears at the feet of our Lord and Savior. He will give you the wisdom, strength and courage you need to confront the evil. Secondly, seek the advice and help of a trusted individual. Never confront an abuser in private or without a trusted friend or loved one present as abusers will often have others nearby to defend them and take their side against you.  If a law has been broken, then contact the proper authorities. If the abuser is violent or has fits of rage, do not confront him or her as this will only enrage them even more. If you must escape an abusive relationship, then do so as soon as possible and seek shelter in a safe house such as a women's shelter (most communities have resources to help victims of domestic and/or child abuse*). Sometimes the greatest fear one must face is leaving an abusive relationship.

Hopefully, more pastors have become aware of the signs of domestic violence and child abuse and can give good counsel in these matters. But if you feel your pastor and church leaders are either poorly equipped or will take the abusers side, you will need to go to others in your community for help. There is no shame in this and if you're in a healthy church, the pastor won't be offended that you sought help elsewhere; he'll be glad you are safe! :)

As a word of encouragement to those in difficult situations, I want to share today's "Daily Checkbook" by C.H. Spurgeon originally posted at SermonAudio.com:
The LORD God is my strength, and He will make my feet like hind's feet, and He will make me to walk upon mine high places ` Habakkuk 3:19

This confidence of the man of God is tantamount to a promise, for that which faith is persuaded of is the purpose of God. The prophet had to traverse the deep places of poverty and famine, but he went down hill without slipping, for the LORD gave him standing. By and by he was called to the high places of the hills of conflict; and he was no more afraid to go up than to go down. See! The LORD lent him strength. Nay, Jehovah Himself was his strength. Think of that: the almighty God Himself becomes our strength! Note that the LORD also gave him sure-footedness. The hinds leap over rock and crag, never missing their footholds. Our LORD will give us grace to follow the most difficult paths of duty without a stumble. He can fit our foot for the crags so that we shall be at home where apart from God we should perish. One of these days we shall be called to higher places still. Up yonder we shall climb, even to the mount of God, the high places where the shining ones are gathered. Oh, what feet are the feet of faith, by which, following the Hind of the Morning, we shall ascend into the hill of the LORD!

So, please take heart and know the good Lord will always stand with you and enable you to face all your fears. He truly is your strength. Amen.

* If you are in a dangerous situation and need immediate help, please call 911. If the situation does not impose an immediate threat, look in your local yellow pages or online for a list of local social services available or a hotline number you can call for help. May the good Lord bless you. I'm praying.


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