Girlfriends in God - Oct. 16, 2008

October 16, 2008
When I Am Afraid
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV).

Friend to Friend
We do a lot of laundry at the Southerland house. There always seems to be a load in the washer that needs to go in the dryer, a load in the dryer that needs to be folded and a load of dirty laundry waiting to begin the process all over again.  Sound familiar?

Our washer and dryer have numerous settings for everything from hand washables and fine delicates to cotton and permanent press. In an effort to raise responsible young adults, our children began doing their own laundry at a young age.  However, there was a price to be paid for that lesson.  After a few loads that yielded pink male underwear and sweaters shrunk to fit Barbie dolls, we decided to wash everything on one setting.  Heaven help the man, woman or child who dares to change that setting. 

When a life crisis comes, we generally have an automatic setting of fear and anxiety.  The good news is that we can change that setting to peace and joy!  How?  By counting on God.

Count on God to be with you.  We battle stress every day, but God is faithful and we can count on Him to be with us every step of the way. Worry is trying to fix tomorrow’s problems with today’s resources. My husband and I are flying to Charlotte, North Carolina.  Dan booked the tickets and reserved seats for both of us.  We have packed our suitcases and made every preparation we can think of.  However, we really don’t need any of those things…until we get on the plane.  Grace is much the same.  God gives grace in daily doses – just when we need them.

Isaiah 43:2 When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you (NLT).

Count on God for direction.  Life can easily spin out of control in a whirlwind of confusion.  God offers direction and guidance through His word, through His people and through the Holy Spirit. 

Psalm 32:8 I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.  I will advise you and watch over you (NLT).

Count on God for provision.  God goes before us in every area of life.  Nothing that happens to us will ever surprise God.  We must be careful to stay away from the scenario sickness of “What if”.  There are no “what ifs” when we choose to trust God for every need. 

Isaiah 65:24 I will provide their needs before they ask.  I will help them while they are still asking for help (NLT).

Count on God for protection.  God will fight for us when we are attacked.  When we follow God’s agenda, God fights for us.  When we follow our agenda, we are on our own. 

Exodus 14:13 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” (NIV).   

I recently saw a bumper sticker that read, “If God is your Co-Pilot, switch seats!”  Many of us have good reason to be afraid because we are sitting in the pilot seat of life, determined to be in control.  Fear feeds stress. Stress thrives in an atmosphere of fear and doubt when our hand is on the steering wheel of life.  We need to move over, surrender control to God and find the peace waiting in His hand.

Let’s Pray
Father, my heart is filled with fear.  It seems like I am drowning in the uncertainties of my life.  Lord, help me to surrender my fears to You.  Strengthen me to face each one and walk through it, knowing that You are with me. I choose to trust You and doubt my fears.  I choose against stress and choose for peace.  I choose You, Lord. 
In Jesus’ name,

Now It’s Your Turn

  • What fears are you facing today?
  • Make a list of your fears.  
  • What step(s) do you need to take in order to find victory over those fears?  
  • Surrender each one to the loving control of God as you pray, “I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”  
  • Burn the list as an offering of praise and thanksgiving to God’s perfect peace enthroned in your life.
  • Read and memorize the following verses.  When you are afraid, pray and speak these verses aloud:

Psalm 46: 1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble (NIV).

Psalm 63: 7-8 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.   My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me (NIV).

Isaiah 42:16 I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them (NIV).

More From The Girls
The longer I live and walk with Christ, the more I experience the reality that God is the only one I can truly count on in life.  He never lets me down.  He never leaves me.  He is always there when I cry out to Him.  Fear was once a very familiar prison to me.  Step-by-step, I began to realize just how faithful God is and that realization has changed my life.  When you are afraid, He is your complete peace.  Need encouragement?  Check out the new MP3s now available! 

Don’t miss the next Girlfriends in God Conference, October 17-18, in Gloucester County, New Jersey.
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Originally published Thursday, 16 October 2008.