Originally published Monday, 23 November 2015.
It’s the Saturday before Thanksgiving and this year many of us find ourselves glued to screens with images of chaos. If you have a television, it’s impossible to deny living in a world where terrorists lurk and nations tremble.
Still, in all this, Christ abounds.
Truly my soul silently waits for God; from Him comes my salvation. 2 He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.
Fear is familiar to the flesh.
Sometimes, fear is so common that its visits seems comfortable. Many of us are used to living with it. I’m someone who has struggled greatly with panic attacks, anxiety, and fear throughout most of my life, so I get it.
Over the last few years, I have slowly but surely experienced freedom from the kind of fear that wants to steal my life, soul, and God-given gifts. Often, especially in turbulent times such as these, I have to make a concentrated effort to wage war against the familiarity of fear. When I see others suffer, from the people of France to the refugee crisis, everything in me hurts.
Here’s what I do to beat fear:
I tell my flesh to submit and command my soul to wait silently for God alone. Because, friend, you have to tell that old familiar visitor, “NO!” Shout it inside your mind and let it echo throughout your heart into the deep of your soul.
It takes practice.
I tell a story in my book about the weeks following the loss my baby daughter. I would go to church, raise my hands in worship, and sing through the ache. Who knows? Maybe those around me thought I was processing my pain well. I wasn’t. I was making myself go through the motions of praise, hoping that it wouldn’t be long before I unlocked the part of myself that actually wanted to praise the God I loved so much, but could not for the life of me understand.
His mystery holds a beauty each soul longs to know, and at the same time, it’s downright frustrating.
For me, the way to remind myself to put down fear is to enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise – despite the condition of the world – despite the condition of my personal life- despite every type of chaos coming my way.
We MUST tell fear it is no longer welcome, and the best way to do that is to practice praise.
You can beat fear!