Cliffhangers Make Great Television, Frustrating Politics And Anxious Real Life

Pastor Paul Witkop

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By Paul Witkop –

Television writers often use cliffhangers, episodes with ending scenes in which the main character is left in a perilous and risky situation, to entice us back to watch the next show in the series. Cliffhangers make for great television. Our nation has just avoided falling over the “fiscal cliff,” which according to economists, could have sent our country into another recession. As Congress negotiated its temporary solution, the rest of us felt like we were hanging precariously from the cliff.

Real life cliffhangers can bring high anxiety and paralyzing fear. Many have been teetering on a financial cliff because of large debts or the loss of a job. It could be that your cliff is a relational cliff. Your marriage or your relationship with your child is very shaky and you do not know the future. Maybe you have suffered the loss of someone close and life without that person seems very empty and almost impossible to navigate. Most of us have experienced situations like these where we are frightened, worried and frozen.

The good news is that God is well aware of  life’s cliffs. His promise of “do not be afraid” is the most often repeated promise in all of the bible. God knows that destructive fear paralyzes us and prevents us from experiencing life in all of its goodness.

The key to conquering our fears is to tell the truth – to admit our fears. Then ask for God’s help. As we face our fears with God’s help, God has promised to renew our strength and our minds and to build our confidence and courage.

“The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.” – Psalm 118:6

“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God.” – Isaiah 43:1-3

In Philippians 4, the Apostle Paul reminds us, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.” The result will be God’s peace.

Are there some places in life where you are hanging over a cliff, where you have an unhealthy fear holding you back?

  • Are you holding a grudge? Is it fear of rejection, fear of admitting you are wrong that is holding you back? Ask God to give you the courage to go to that person and forgive and move on.
  • Are you mired in the quicksand of a bad habit or bad finances? Are you afraid to ask someone for help before it further wrecks your life?

Pray that God will give you one action step that will move you toward overcoming your fear and away from the cliff. Trust God to help you do it!


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