In a study in Cleveland, Ohio, coroners examined the hearts of 15 assault victims who died after being attacked though their wounds were not life-threatening. Charles Hirsch, one of the researchers, concluded that 11 of the 15 victims had torn fibers and lesions in their hearts, most likely caused by mortal fear. They died because of what they feared might happen, but didn't.

That study proved that "scared to death" is more than a casual expression. If fear can put a stop to life, think what else it can put a stop to. It can cancel out opportunities that God sets before us. God opens a door in front of us and we freeze—we're afraid to walk through. We are afraid of being alone, afraid we'll have no resources, afraid we'll look foolish when we fail. Yet even if we do fail, God has promised to cause even our failures to be for our good. When God promises to be with us wherever we go, there should be no fear that keeps us from walking through His open doors.

Is there an open door that you're afraid to walk through? Don't be. Trust God—you have nothing to fear with Him by your side. (Turning Point Daily Devotional, 12-9-05)

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