April 3, 2017
When I Am Afraid
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me (Psalm 23:4, NIV).
Friend to Friend
As I was putting our seven-year-old grandson Justus to bed one night, he started talking about fear. “I don’t like to be scared, Mimi. It makes my tummy feel funny and my heart gets kind of jumpy.” I thought that was an excellent description of fear. But knowing Justus and his pure heart that goes hard after God, I should have known he was not through. “But the most awful thing about fear is that I don’t think Jesus likes it, do you, Mimi? I mean, it doesn’t make Him smile, and I want to make Him smile. What do you do when you get scared, Mimi?” I soaked up the wisdom of his words and then whispered a desperate prayer for the insight to answer his question. Jesus came through.
After I shared God’s truth about dealing with fear, Justus smiled at me and said, “That’s really good, Mimi! You should tell the women you teach about it!” I promised him I would. My heart melted when Justus smiled and said, “I love you, Mimi.” And with a sigh of contentment, my precious teacher rolled over and went to sleep.
As I watched this beautiful boy sleep, I thought about his words and knew I would keep that promise – to tell women what God has to say about dealing with fear.
Admit I am afraid.
Psalm 56:3 (NRV) “When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.”
We will never be completely free of fear this side of Heaven, so it is important for us to learn how to manage fear by positioning trust in its place. Notice this verse does not say “if” I am afraid, but “when” I am afraid. No fear will be conquered until it is faced, exposed and identified. Instead, we mask fear … hoping to camouflage the weakness fear so often tries to hide.
We can put fear in its place by placing our trust in God. Someone once told me, “Mary, no one thinks you are perfect. Give it a rest!" I did. Freedom is found when we embrace our imperfection along with God’s power.
1 Peter 5:7 (NRV) “Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”
Instead of clinging to fear, we must remit fear to God, or as Peter says, we must cast all of our fear and anxiety on Him. “Cast” means “to throw on” while “anxious” means “to be pulled in different directions” and is based on the old English root from which we get our word “worry” meaning “to strangle.” And that little word “all” really does mean “all.” What a perfect description of faith at work in the face of fear.
History describes the way a group of Indians tortured and killed their enemies by staking them to the ground and wrapping a wet leather strip around their necks. As the leather strap dried, it gradually cut off the air supply, choking the victim to death.
Fear literally tries to strangle our faith, but trust breaks its grip, setting us free. We can walk in that freedom, claiming it as our own when we choose to submit to the power and authority of God, knowing that where we are and what we are facing is no surprise to Him. No matter what your circumstances may be, Heaven is not in a panic. Your Father is well aware of your situation and He has a way out. He is the Way Maker. We really can trust Him.
But what do we so often do? We yield to fear, authorizing it to hold us prisoner. We willingly position the fearful circumstance between God and us. When we choose to place God between our circumstances and our fear, we choose to unleash His power in our lives.
Commit my fear to God
Psalm 27:1 (NCV) “The LORD is my light and the one who saves me. I fear no one. The LORD protects my life; I am afraid of no one.”
Confidence in God’s presence is our basic weapon against fear. In other words, give your fears to someone who really can do something about them.
When our daughter Danna was a little girl, her two greatest fears were the darkness and thunderstorms. One night, as I was putting her to bed, I heard the distant rumblings of a storm approaching. With every clap of thunder, Danna’s eyes widened in fear. When lightening streaked across the menacing sky, Danna dove under the covers and began to pray, “God, if it’s a “wittle” storm, I can just stay in my bed. But if it’s a “biiiiiiigggg” storm, I just want You to know where I’m gonna be - in mama and daddy’s bed! Amen.” Committing our fears to God means crawling up into His lap until the storm passes.
We can learn to commit our fears to God. We can choose now to trust Him with the fears we will face tomorrow.
Father, there are so many times when I allow fear to overwhelm my faith in You. Please help me trust You and choose to walk through my fear.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Make a list of your top four fears. Beside each fear write one of the verses from today’s devotion and choose to trust God with that fear.
More from the Girlfriends
How can we trust God when our life seems to be falling apart and we are terrified? Mary’s book, The 10-Day Trust Adventure will help you learn to trust God and walk straight through your fear.
Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.
Originally published Monday, 03 April 2017.