The first time I stood up to a bully I was four years old. We were eating lunch at a Jack's after church, and I had wandered onto the playground outside. I can't remember the exact scenario, but my mom always tells a story of an older, bigger boy trying to intimidate me. She said my response, with flexed arms held above my head, was, "I'm not afraid of you, I'm strong in da Lord!" I'm sure that was the first time that boy had been met with that kind of opposition. Needless to say, he didn't push the tiny, charismatic Chase anymore.
David Platt once said, "Faith in the promises of God makes you fearless in the face of men." I couldn't have recited a phrase that eloquent as a four year old, but I see now how confidence in something greater than ourselves can strike down the advances of the enemy.
The same is true in a general sense: with our emotions, with daily struggles, with difficult circumstances. When the big-picture is so much greater than the metaphorical bully in front of us, we can flex our muscles and shout with confidence that we are not afraid.
And in view of the Easter holiday we just celebrated, we have the utmost confidence because death has actually been defeated, the grave is overcome, and nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Who can stand against us?
No thing and no one. Not disintegrating relationships, not situations out of our control, not sadness that fights to rise to the surface...
Walk without fear, in the image of the One who created you, with the power of the One who saved you, with love for all and joy unshakable.