Fear

Fear – not just anxiety, not just stress, not just nervousness, but fear – has at times been the overriding factor of my emotional life.  This has led me in the past to do things or not do things I should or shouldn’t have done, said or not said, responded or not responded.  Fear is insidious.  It creeps in slyly and, before I know it, I’m overwhelmed by fear. 

Sometimes, it’s fear of death, sometimes it’s fear of failure, sometimes it’s fear of other people’s responses, sometimes it’s the fear of the unknown, sometimes it’s the fear of the known.  It doesn’t matter what the fear is.  What matters is what we do with and about that fear.

Fear itself is a God-given emotion that works as a necessary alarm system which goes off whenever we feel threatened.  God has designed this for us to be able to respond to real or perceived dangers. Fear is perfectly natural and can lead to protective behavior.   But, when we begin to fear imagined possible outcomes, turning our fear into worry, and allowing that worry to move into anxiety, we place ourselves into bondage.

What to do when that happens?  I’ve found some particular Scripture passages to be helpful to me:

·         I turn to God.  1 Pet. 5:7 says, “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”  When my husband was struggling with cancer in 2000, the little chorus “Cast all your cares upon Him” ran through my mind almost constantly.  It helped me remember that God, Who has shown His love over and over, will continue to care for me.

·         I try to focus on the solution, not the problem.  In Matthew 14, Jesus commanded Peter to come to Him on the water.  Peter stepped out of the boat and walked towards Jesus.  Then, Peter focused on the wind and became afraid.  He began to sink and cried out to the Lord.  Jesus reached out and caught him.  Keeping his eyes on Jesus was the solution to peter’s problem but when he focused on the problem of the boisterous wind, he sank.  Keep focused on the solution.

·         I try not to waste my energy by worrying.  Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” 

·         I try to keep my thoughts on God in order to have peace.  Isaiah 26:3 says “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in You.”

·         I pray.   Most of us are familiar with the verses in Phil. 4 which tell us to “be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God and the peace which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”   

·         All of these things help me to direct me attention toward my true source of hope.  Ps. 91:2 tells me the Lord is my refuge and my fortress. 

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4 thoughts on “Fear

  1. faith6601 says:

    Sandy; this is all most excellent and true. It cannot be taken out of context with the rest of Scripture to the point of “let go and let God” type of attitude. To “walk in the spirit” is a directive which indicates that we are responsible to take action; even though this action necessarily has to be empowered by the Lord Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” is indicative of our having the responsibility to take certain actions in response to the gospel of truth in the light of humble reverence for the Almighty God, our Father. Yet, sometimes I am overcome by all the Scriptural requirements of our walk with Christ…until I remember that it is not about my strength, it is all about His might and power and about my submitting my will to His and staying “connected to the Vine” and allowing Him to be the reason for; the goal of; the culmination of all I do, think, or say.
    Matthew 6:34 is immediately preceeded by “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness….” For me this is a daily task, one which I need His help even to do this.
    Thanks for your post…it really set my mind to thinking.
    Robert

  2. robin says:

    As a believer who has suffered from PAD (Panic Attack Disorder) all of her life, I fully appreciate and applaud this entry.

    What has helped me through these trials is the ever increasing personal knowledge and experience of God’s very real love for me as demonstrated, not only directly by Him to me, but also through my husband’s unconditional, patient and ardent love for me through the years. This has become a firm foundation in which all my insecurities have met their doom.

    The love of God is so very strong and powerful. It tears down our insecurities, our worries, and our fears. As I’ve learned to allow God to fill me with that love, it has enabled me to walk through times of panic with courage and surity that I am forever in the hands and heart of my heavenly Father.

    In this, I can do all things in Christ, who strengthens me.

    Sandy, thank-you so much for sharing your hard earned lessons through blogging. May others find your words of encouragement and wisdom to be the confirmation of the Father’s love that deliver’s them from all fears.

    Blessings,
    robin

  3. Sandy says:

    Robert
    Yes, there is a fine line between casting our cares on God and carrying out our personal responsibilities. This, to me, is the difference between carrying the knapsack God has asked me to carry alone and carrying the boulder I am to share (Galatians). The worrying about how everything is going to turn out belongs to God but we have to put actions to our responsibilities.

    Again, you are very right in saying it’s not to be done in our strength but in His!

  4. Sandy says:

    “The love of God is so very strong and powerful. It tears down our insecurities, our worries, and our fears. As I’ve learned to allow God to fill me with that love, it has enabled me to walk through times of panic with courage and surity that I am forever in the hands and heart of my heavenly Father.”

    Yes, Robin – exactly.

    Thanks so much for dropping by! 🙂

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