Turning “No I Can’t” into “Yes I Can”

Sharon JaynesIdentity in Christ, Knowing God, Living Free, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For 67 Comments

I can do it. No, I can’t. Yes, I can. No, I can’t.

Have you ever had that conversation with yourself? You feel like God is calling you to reach out to someone, start a new venture, teach a Bible study, write a book, or share a story about your past that you’ve never shared before. But then your fear shouts at your faith to keep quiet.

One day Jesus told a parable to a group of listeners. We’ve come to know it as the Parable of the Talents, but it is really more the Parable of the Three Choices. Jesus was explaining what the kingdom of heaven would be like in common terms.

For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his slaves and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey. Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. In the same manner, the one who had received the two talents gained two more. But he who received the one talent went away and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money (Matthew 25:14-18).

When the master returned home, he was well pleased with the two servants who had invested and doubled their talents, but he was furious with the one who hid his one talent in the ground.

“You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival, I would have received my money back with interest. Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents” (Matt. 25:26-28).

This story gives me chills every time I read it. For you see, God has given each and every one of us gifts . . . gifts that He has purposed for us to use, invest, and multiply. And I’m not just talking about money, but gifts in our inner being. He has given you talents and abilities that He expects you to use to further the kingdom and minister to others.

So what kept the servant with one talent from doing so? Fear. 

Giving into fear prevented him from investing what he had. I think the master would have been more pleased if the servant had said, “Lord, I invested the talent and unfortunately lost it all.” At least he would have tried. At least he would have made some effort. But the master saw him as evil and lazy.

Fear makes us lazy. Think about that for a minute. A fearful person does little.

Moving forward despite the fear gets the spiritual couch potato out from under the afghan and into the life she was meant to live.

You either show fear the door, or it will bolt the lock to keep you out of the places God has prepared for you to go and do all that He has planned for you to do.

Fear has no choice but to leave the premises when you stand on the promises of God and say, “You are not welcome here.”

Choices determine our destinies. Let’s say together:

“I will not bury my calling in a shallow grave of fear.”

“I will not allow my ‘no, I can’t’ to overshadow God’s ‘yes, you can.’”

Here’s a truth you can hang onto today. Big assignments begin with a thousand tiny yesses. So, invest that one talent you have, and watch God entrust you with more!

Lord, thank You for entrusting me with gifts and talents. Sometimes I’m not sure what they are, but I pray You will make them clear to me. Help me to be brave and share with others the talents You have given me. I want to invest in other people and multiply the fruit in Your kingdom. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What areas of your life do you need to “show fear the door?” Leave a comment. On Friday, I’m going to randomly pick one comment and send a FREE identity in Christ laminated card.

Take Hold of the Faith you Long For


Let’s get unstuck from mediocre faith and take hold of all that God has done for us and put in us! No more spiritual couch potato for me. I’m ready for the mountain moving, giant slaying, bold believing faith that God intended all along! In Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let Go, Move Forward, and Live Bold you’ll see how to ignite your faith as never before.

This book also includes a Bible study guide in the back.






© 2023 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.

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Comments 67

  1. My youngest child will go to college next year and we’ll be empty nesters. After 24 years of being a stay at home mom, my next chapter will begin. I’ve enjoyed years of volunteering but have not had a career in 24 years and seemingly am not qualified for much. I am unsure of what is coming next and how I will spend my time and talents.

    1. Hello Mary (:
      Although I don’t know you personally, the Lord does, and I felt Him nudging me to encourage you this morning. He absolutely has a special plan just for you in this coming season! You have many talents, knowledge, abilities, and therefore, transferable skills that He’s given you to have been able to care for your children and household all these years! Think: organizing schedules, handling appointments, commitments, perhaps juggling extracurricular activities for your children, volunteering in their schools with different projects, meal planning and preparation (even if, like me, the plan happens at the last minute lol), spiritual wisdom and patience to raise your children… I’m certain (as a fellow Mom-turned-empty nester) the list goes on and on. Be encouraged Mary! He has so much yet for you!

    2. So. Sounds like you’ve had a marvelous career thus far! What you haven’t had recently, is paid work. Have you been doing as God would wish? YES! He gave you a child, and you brought her up in His Ways. On top of that, you put your hand up, to work at things people needed your help with, using the talents He gave you, and the skills you’ve developed over your lifetime… and you have continued to develop them whilst doing so. Next step is to spend some quiet time with Him, asking Him to direct your path toward what He next wants you to do. It will come. In the meantime, focus on preparing your daughter for her next season. Give yourself time to adjust and grieve, and get used to the new normal. Trust Him to lead you into the Next Marvelous Thing. None of us knows what the next moment holds, let alone the next day, week, month or year! Trust our Father to guide, teach and lead you, as each day reveals its own challenges and joys. Open your ears, and your heart…tune into Him, and step forward in wonder. May God bless you, and keep you. Much love, Bev ( a recent empty-nester!) Praying for you… x0❤🫂✝️🙏

  2. my fear of decision making
    my fear to say what’s on my mind
    my fear of offending someone
    my fear of confrontation

  3. Thank you so much for this! I needed it so badly today. I’ve become the “couch potato” you described and I needed your words and wisdom to make a change! May God bless you and thanks.

  4. Fear has kept me hidden for 40 years because of the man I married and the choices he has made for our family.. there’s times I feel God has been disappointed in me for my lack of trust and waverly Faith. Just when I tell myself I know God has always kept his promise, I’m punched again with fear for the verbal abuse my husband displayes . It’s so exhausting but I keep praying that God will help me get through.

    1. You are not meant to be demeaned or unvalued sister.
      Take a small step to show how worthy you truly are by standing against what is said to you or about you that is not in line with what God says about you.
      Jesus asked those He healed to get up.. sometimes He wants to test our faith and then He comes through.
      Time to get up sister..

    2. I’m just a reader and As I read through the comments I felt the need to reply with this prayer. God thank you for sustaining Kathy, her family and her marrige all these years and covering her family in your Blood. We are Grateful. Lord I ask that you change her husband’s tongue. I pray that he starts to sound different. I pray that he speaks positivity and hope in their lives. Make a divine change in their home. I pray that the husband behavoir and words mirrors your words God. I also pray Kathy is overcome with your peace and promises. Lord all these things we ask in your name and it is so, Amen Amen Amen!

  5. Good morning Sharon as I read this devotional this morning I can identify with this story. Fear has tried to grip me throughout all my life .., I’m just know realizing the Power I have within me to stand up, speak up and declare that I’m no longer bound by the enemy! To begin to share my Story with others and allow God to use me for HIS Glory !!
    Thank you Sharon and God Bless you for your Faithfulness to continually writing these devotionals and allowing the Lord to use you !


  6. I need to “show fear the door” when it comes to worship. I left the worship team because I just couldn’t get over the stage fright. Not all the time. Just when I was the only voice singing in my range or I was the only female. I got so stuck on the self criticism and negative thoughts and i realized if I’m that focused on myself, I’m not worshiping. I felt like I was being called back for a while but held off due to guilt about leaving in the first place because it felt like I gave victory over to the enemy. When I came back in the team I prayed like you wouldn’t believe that all the fear and shakiness and self consciousness would be gone. It wasn’t. The spiritual battle continued.
    I’ve stepped out in fear many times since coming back and will continue to offer God my worship even through the fear, but I still pray for boldness.

    1. I am the same… what helped me was focusing on the words and praying the song out. I told myself that God doesn’t want a perfect voice. He wants honest worship and He is the only one that matters.
      He gave you your musical gifts to help grow His kingdom… use them and forget about pleasing the congregation.

  7. Your words airways inspire me. Leaving fear at the door around other women is my biggest challenge!! The in not good enough wins, and I’m working on b trusting God in those moments each and every day

  8. Fear..staring a new chapter of life after a year and half since my best friend, hubby, died. I’m 75 yrs old, so it is probably my final chapter.
    I lived in Ft. Myers, FL for 14 retirement years with my hubby. After he died, I became somewhat a couch potato hermit. My older son and family who live in NC wanted me with them to watch over me as the promised my hubby. Couple weeks ago, I moved from a 2000+ sq ft home in a gated 55+ community to an all age 1100sf apartment in Greenville NC. After praying, it seemed that God was pointing me into this new direction. I sold my FL home that my hubby loved and made a great place for uncle to live. I pray that I have made the choices that God wants for me.
    Life is so different moving from a community I loved. But, fear of the not having family close to help when I am sick or when I need them, prompted me to make the move. I miss my church and community a lot.
    Now, fear of making a new life with new connections in an unfamiliar place has made me somewhat hermit again.
    How do I make a new unknown life without my hubby of 32 years?

    1. May God lavish you with His steadfast love and carry you through this time of transition! I will pray for you as you are in this new place in life.

      Lord, please overwhelm Vickie with Your mighty presence today and days to come as she follows You! Please be so near to her that she knows that You are with her. Show her glimpses of Your glory to remind her that she is not alone. Please send her new companions in Christ who will be there to pray for her and with her, to continually point her to You, and help her to find the new church home that You have for her. Thank you, Lord, that You are faithful. May Vickie know that today.

    2. Hi Vickie!
      My husband and I did the same thing. We’re living in Winterville NC right next to Greenville. We moved from Maine. It’s truly very hard isn’t it.
      We try to remember that the Lord goes before us. Unfamiliarity is tough as we age. My husband is 72 and I’m 67. We are so loved Vickie by a God who will not forsake us. His mercies never end, they are new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness.

  9. I have fear of my cancer returning and this is crippling to me. I live with excuses as if it is already back. I need to move on and live in faith that God will take care of me no matter what!!!

  10. I would love this laminated card to share with my Bible Study sisters in Christ. I see fear as one of satan’s biggest robbers of action in the life of believers.

  11. Thank you for this timely message! In retirement I decided to start a home baking business. I am close to launching my website and have been feeling the vacillation you talk about, one day feeling so excited and the next fearing what will happen. Will I fail? Will I succeed? Will I deliver on my goal of bringing joy to others? I have found comfort in knowing God is with me through this process and, no matter the circumstance, I will rejoice in him.

  12. I want to show fear the door by practicing hospitality in my home and not being fearful that what I do, how my house looks or how I will be perceived. I want to practice authentic hospitality that embraces whomever I open my home to with the love of Jesus.

  13. Good morning, Sharon, this is a word in season for me. At this very moment, I need to show fear the door in my calling to write. I have written a novel and received positive feedback from literary agents, but still no offer of representation. I have been considering giving into discouragement and fear and walking away from writing. What if I’m not a “good enough” writer? What if I’m chasing a fool’s errand while I could be doing something more meaningful for the kingdom? What if I fail after all this hard work and effort? I have been allowing my “no” to overshadow God’s “Yes, you can.” I didn’t have that perspective until reading this. So, I will not bury my calling in a shallow grave of fear. Instead, I will trust God to yield fruit from my efforts.

    Thank you for using your wisdom and insight from the Lord to encourage and champion your sisters in the faith.

  14. OK God I hear you. This is probably the third time in a month that I have heard the words “Bible study“. And yes, I have been afraid, Although I have shared the word many times in some of our prayer band’s zoom calls, I’m afraid to start a group of my own. Only God can help me. Of course, every effort has seemingly been a closed door. But, I have to press in and obey the Holy Spirit.

  15. Wow. Talk about a kick this morning!
    There is a ministry idea that came to my heart and mind after listening to a podcast last week. I’ve been praying and asking God if that was from Him, something He wants me to initiate, or if I am just crazy in thinking that. I’ve been kind of like Gideon as I have asked Him to send me some sign, like maybe someone to say something to me about that topic…just something to make it clear that He is calling me to do it. And now here you are with this devotion this morning.
    Please pray for me as I am feeling so overwhelmed by the thought of the next step, so not qualified, etc. But this message from you this morning really spoke to me and helps me believe it is indeed God leading me to do it. So I know I have to take the next step and lean on Him. Trust Him to guide me, direct me, and give me His power to do it.
    Thank you, Sharon, for being His vessel in my life this morning!

  16. Thank you for your encouragement! I have been locked in fear much of my life. I do have a yes in my spirit to do whatever He wants me to do. Father, speak loudly to us and only open doors you want us to walk through, in the mighty name of Jesus! Amen and amen.

  17. I’ve been handicapped from a crippling disease, had several surgeries but have gotten worse. It’s difficult to sit still to write on my computer. That’s the excuse I’m using to prevent me from writing the book I have in my head and on my heart! I have a topic that I know will be helpful to others but I can’t figure out how to write without being in agony! I begged the Lord to show me how to do this. Dictation? Probably not as good as me writing. The written word is where my talents lie…so I continue to avoid trying to write! I strongly feel the Holy Spirit is nudging me. I’m 68 and need to get this done!

  18. I have wanted to leave my position for a while and I kept putting it off for fear of what if I don’t find a job paying the same amount or what if it’s worse on the new job. Preconceived notions I was battling in my mind, however, though it may have been valid concerns, the root of it was fear. I finally one day to my surprise, it was just enough. I put in my two weeks notice. I felt good about the decision and did not sway towards any previous concerns. I had a new job in a similar field a few days after I left paying more money. It was the position I really wanted, but I didn’t think I was qualified. But God!!! I have training and and a test to take. However, God has given me the opportunity to grow and He will continue to give me what I need for this journey. He is multiplying the talents he has placed in me. I am so grateful for God’s love toward his children. He is Faithful. He is allowing me to experience his greatness in areas I have not experienced before. I want to continue to grow in Faith! I love you Jesus, I worship and adore you! Just want to Thank You for all you’ve done and are doing in the lives of your children! ❤️Thank you Sharon!

  19. This is truly a confirmation that God has been speaking to my spirit. I have to step out of my comfort zone and say yes to His guidance and leading to stand boldly and use the gifts inside me to write and tell my story of deliverance to encourage and help others.

  20. I can relate to everything you said. I’ve allowed fear to control me and I’ve kicked it to the curb. I pray that I live more and more for the Lord and not allow fear to hold me back. Thanks for this message.

  21. After reading SJ this morning I have determined that maybe I have been guilty of hiding my “talents”
    And Why? She called me out! FEAR. Trying and failing is better than never trying at all

  22. The one area of my life I need to “show fear the door” is in applying for management roles within my company.
    I often get stuck in the “am I good enough” state of mind and hesitate in moving up.
    I really need to change the “no, I can’t, to yes I can!”

  23. God bless you for this post, Sharon. I’m going through challenges with my physical therapy after full knee replacement surgery. With the Lord’s strength and guidance; I can do the exercises and walk normally again, in Jesus’ name.

  24. Thank you for this valuable reminder. I am 70 years old and have served God in many ministries at church, Bible study leader, etc. etc., but the past few years since Covid I have remained stuck. I continue to watch church online rather than going back. I feel a need to serve somewhere but live in fear of what and where God will want to use me. I pray after reading what you wrote about getting unstuck I can move forward in faith to the new things God has planned for me to do to serve Him and others.
    Thank you

  25. I need to show fear the door in the calling to write a book about my story. I’ve let fear paralyze my efforts to a complete standstill. I need to trust that God will give me the words and content and ability to write it the way He desires it to be shared.

  26. Fear is a gift in disguise. If we open the gift of fear and acknowledge it, reflect on it and act on it…it can lead to wonderful things in our lives. Many times in my life I have allowed fear to take over and it has not allowed me to enjoy the wonderful things the Lord wants for me. It is when I face my fears and say, “ I see you, I feel you, I welcome you, and I will act on my hope and faith that everything will turn out okay because the Lord has already has planned a beautiful journey for me,” that I learn about God’s endless grace, love, and gifts. Thank you for this post and for such wonderful wisdom!

  27. Fear is pervasive in my life. It has really affected me in the area of losing weight. You see I have had seasons of eating healthy and being at a good weight, but for the better part of my life I’ve been obese. Recently, I’m frustrated because one day I do great and the next I’m a compulsive eater. I’m fearful I will never conquer this area of my life. It’s obvious that I’m not leaning on the Lord like I need to, but somehow I have trouble letting Him be Lord over this area.

  28. I’ve had opportunities where I felt convicted by the Holy Spirit to start a Bible study for young ladies in our community that have a deep hunger for the Lord. But I would push it away saying I have no car or no place to have a Bible study…those were the times after the Covid-19 pandemic. I just realized those thoughts were from God. I then talked to a friend if she could lead a Bible study group but again my excuse was no where to have Bible study. Now I feel that I let God down. I pray that I would be able to talk to my friend and start a Bible study for the young girls in our community.

  29. I know the Lord has called me to write and bless other with my art through drawing and watercolor. But yes I have allowed fear to come in and it eventually brings doubt. I love your quote “ Big assignments begin with a thousand tiny yeses” A truth I will be sure to remember.

  30. I’ve been wanting to mentor others and have been asking God For for the opportunity. I was offered a coaching posting of a high school girls volleyball team but thought I don’t have the knowledge or background to successfully do that. But over time someone reached back out to me about the position so this week I’ve been praying about what God would have me do and I believe this devotional is confirmation from God to use the talents He has entrusted to me to make a kingdom impact in young girls lives. Thank you so much for this post. I’m thankful to the Lord for how He is using you, Sharon.

  31. I fear that things won’t change, That the Gifts the Lord has given me will be unused. I wonder why I moved when I was actively being used in the body I was in, and now that I’m in a new body, the gifts I was given aren’t being used. I’m not sure what to do. I have served all my life and want to do what the Lord wants me to do.

  32. Fear is a Liar. It held me in bondage most of my life. Freedom from fear comes from God who gave me the Victory in some areas, showing me I can trust His strength to move forward in others. I am stepping out in Faith in the area of writing devotions now. Prayers are appreciated!

  33. I’m struggling with fear in the area of stepping into this new business venture that the Lord has called me to. Also, the fear of not knowing.

  34. Thanks for sharing!
    I have so much fear what others will think of me, and this results in comparing myself and my family to others.
    We will soon be empty nesters.. and yes, it will be a significant change!
    I want to be faithful wherever God calls me.

  35. I’m about to move to a Third World country for a few years at least. I’m also leaving behind our two children starting college. Fears of the unknown and leaving behind friendships, motherhood, my service as a singer in our church. I may have to get a job, but I have a little qualifications. Fear regarding counterterrorism training that I have to take for going overseas. Trying to trust God when I see my talents being used here, but don’t see any opportunities where he’s moving us. But I’m thankful God will be with us regardless.

  36. A couple years ago, my youngest went to college. A few weeks earlier we moved into a bigger house with more amenities that I did not want. We had lived in a fairly large home already raising our 3 kids for 18 years. We became empty nesters which was already a worry for me because I too, had left a corporate job to move a few times with my husband an children to jump start his career. He became very successful and like all marriages we had setbacks and accrued water under the bridge. 6 months after my youngest went to college we had a talk regarding our relationship and we needed to re start. My husband of 28 years , and I’ve know him for 30 years at that time told me it wasn’t going to work out. I was stunned and thought he will come to his senses. Within 8 months he told me he wanted a divorce. It is now almost complete and I moved out recently as I didn’t want the new house anyway. But we lived there thru out the process. I kept praying for God to save him and turn things around. I do cry a lot, but I also have to pull myself up and not give up. I grew up Catholic but strayed in the last 5-8 years being more of the world and materialistic. Didn’t know much sadly about the Bible.

    I know we serve a big God, he used this to draw me back in and save me. I’m praying for my husband as well who grew up Catholic. I believe that somehow he will take these ashes and turn all for good. I still fear and constantly remind my self not too. Since Sept. 2022 fear and unbelief has been my constant companion.
    I have learned so much this year reading New Testament and listening to podcasts. My expectation is God will heal!

  37. Fear is held me back but not anymore. God has blessed me with talents and I’ve buried them for too long.
    I’m actually sitting in the bank waiting to open a business account that I’ve recently started. I know God has me here to help others and now is the time to start.
    Thank you for the encouragement this afternoon.
    Peace and blessings always

  38. Fear has caused me in life to develop this self defense mechanism where I end up just speaking my mind without at times consideration as to the impact of the words. I have allowed fear to rob me many times of joy and happiness as I watch other’s prosper in their walk with Christ and I allow mines to falter because I have allowed myself to become a spiritual couch potato and have stopped putting in the work

  39. I have fear in relationship with my husband. Past few years he became emotionally and verbally abusive, and I’m crippled by fear of when next ‘episode’ is about to happen, walking on eggshells around him most of the time, becoming anxious and fearful. I pray to God every day that He rids me of that fear, that he gives me freedom in faith, helps me rely on Him that He will change my husband’s heart, and heals us both spiritualy, and I’m very grateful for every moment he reveals His truth to me, which brings relief, I know He is always there to help, but sometimes it gets so hard that I can’t even pray.. this are moments when my faith gets weak and fear and bad emotions take over.. Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!

  40. Fear has had a hold on me for years about sharing my story. Very intimidating, even though I Know God turned my life around when no one, and nothing else could. I literally would have died without His ever present love and grace. And the prayers of loved ones🥰

  41. Sharon, muito obrigada por não enterrar seus dons e talentos. Louvado seja Deus pois suas habilidades dadas por Deus chegam a mim, aqui onde estou e me cura, me leva a crer que “sim, eu posso!” Obrigada, Senhor pela vida da tua serva obediente, Sharon Jaynes.

  42. I’ve lived 24 years in fear of the man I chose to love. Through that, I didn’t hide necessarily…I hide the reality of my situation. I am almost done raising two strong, amazing young men, worked a full time job, cared for two amazing parents physically and financially at times. I am blessed! Now, I’m feeling fear to keep moving forward for me, and what’s next for me. Fears of divorce sound crazy even though my life has been less than a beautiful love story (not by my choice). Fears my kids won’t find there True calling’s, fears of moving out into my own place, financial fears, health fears…I’m making a conscious effort to surrender!!! And remember all that God has already brought me through!!!! but sometimes, that noise in our head, fear, it won’t leave me alone…
    Thank you for your daily encouragement!!! It helps save me!

  43. God has given me the gift of advising students. I hear him encouraging me to pursue a masters degree in counseling to open up more doors of opportunity and further reach more students. It my fear that holds me back. It’s the fear that tells me it will be too hard and impossible to do it with two young kids. I will persist because I know the Lord is calling me to get that master’s degree.

  44. I have a lot of fear in my life. One of my biggest fears is wasting my life. I fear failing, which keeps me from doing things, but itbalso keeps me from really living. I’m trying to work on it though and learn to trust God more. It’s really hard.

  45. I am coming through a very challenging period of my life, deaths, severe depression and panic, illnesses, financial issues. I am trying hard to stop isolating so much. I have no family left to pull me out. Every step out is a struggle for me.

  46. I need to show fear the door, in the area of public speaking in even a small group.
    I have so much within me to share.
    Thank you Sharyn for your timely word.

  47. My “adopted granddaughter”, she adopted me when she was 4 (A story to be told), anyway she is graduating HS and will be 18 in August. We had a very tight bond of love. Now, all of a sudden, she has cut me out of her life. (Last we talked, last month in Dec.)

    I never married or had kids of my own and I really loved my role as Grandma. This has deeply grieved me. I told myself to NEVER EVER get close to anyone again.

    Your devotional hit right square on the target. I have been afraid to get close to anyone. I need to be able to move forward. Perhaps there is someone else who needs a “Grandma”. I will be 75 in July and want to use my love for others.

    Thank you for allowing God to use your talents. I have gleaned a lot from the devotions of your ministry.

  48. Thank you Sharon, for allowing us to express our voice. Fear is the hidden mist of nothing reflecting. When we are in it we are unaware of the light, left paralyzed in layers beneath dim eyes.

    Truth and light will set us free. Live determined sided by side with Jesus.
    Always Blessed!

  49. Thank you for this word. I have allowed fear to keep me from answering a call to be a small group leader in a Bible study. I want to use the gifts God has given me to further His kingdom. I need to face my fear. The biggest danger is running from them. That is what the devil wants me to do because it is running away from what God wants me to do..

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