Fear. It lurks and tries to creep it’s way into our minds. Slowly, sneaky, creeping fear. Sometimes fear starts as a tiny seed that we hardly know is there. Soon it grows and the root of fear takes over our minds, our emotions and the way we live out our lives. The Bible has much to say about fear. Infact, the words “Fear Not” are repeatedly penned in Scripture. Yet, if we are to be honest we still fear. How can we stop?
I grew up afraid. Perhaps it was because I was a latch key kid by first grade with my parents leaving me in the early dark mornings all by myself. One of my earliest memories is being paralyzed by fear as I waited for daylight, with one eye always on the front door fearing someone breaking in. Who knows for sure, but fear grew in me, stayed with me and must be addressed within me even as an adult. I guess you can say that I had a habit of thinking in fear and living in the confines of fear. I realize this is not something we broadcast. You don’t walk into a dinner party and meet someone new by saying, ” Hi, I’m Debbie and I struggle with fear.” Nope. We put on our brave faces and go through life with fear and worry on the underside. It’s this underside that Jesus wants to address in our lives and give us new freedom in.
These days my fears would be considered normal. I have breast cancer , had surgery about two weeks ago, and will begin the rest of the treatment this fall. Funny thing is, with cancer they give no promises. They have told me the prognosis is good, even great. Still with cancer cells there is the looming invariable of it coming back regardless of what surgery or treatment is implemented. Fear, in this time, would be considered normal.
But, is normal what is best for me? Is normal a path to mental, emotional and spiritual freedom? Often our normal is based on past experience, habits of thinking, and the way we have dealt with life before today. If, like me, you are used to being afraid or skilled at worrying, your normal is not what is best for you.
So how do we stop?
In order to calm our hearts regarding fear we must get a true revelation of God’s love and care for us. We talk about his love but we often don’t believe what our mouths are saying. If we believed, we would not be as worried and not be as fearful. Jesus addressed this in Matthew 6. The words of Christ speaking to us today, can begin to penetrate even the scariest places within us. He speaks to those, like us, who have HIM as their Father. He speaks to them, and us, about His care and how we have no need to worry any longer. Take a look…
“I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear…and why do you worry…If God clothes the grass of the field, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry…For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows what you need. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow…” Matthew 6
“My sheep follow me…no one can snatch them out of my hand…” John 10
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us…” Romans 8
“Perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made complete in love…” 1 John 4
So how do we stop?
Habits of thinking and reacting to life are strongly rooted within us. They don’t magically go away over night. We must embrace the truth of His love. Step by step, day by day, we practice living in the truth.We ask Jesus by the power of His Holy Spirit to make God’s love real to us. To make God’s care real to us on a level that goes beyond our human understanding. For me today that means, I know I have cancer, but that doesn’t define me. A diagnosis doesn’t define my life, but the truth that I am in good, loving hands, defines me. I am protected. I may go through things, but Jesus will always care for me and be with me. The same is true for you. What defines us is that we are God’s daughters. He is our Father and HE has us.
What are you dealing with? Fear comes in all shapes and sizes. Some are afraid of loss, rejection, financial difficulty, friendship deliemas, people treating you unfairly, the idea of being alone….it goes on and on….Can you agree with Scripture today that you have a Father, and He knows what you need right now? You have a Father, a heavenly Father, and He is caring for you as sure as the sun rose this morning and will set this evening. Be calm. Be strong. Look Up. Embrace the truth. You are never alone!
Living as His,