Fear can be described as a negative emotion we experience when facing danger. A sense of dread and doom looms over us whether the danger is real or imagined.
People have been known to experience fear with jobs, finances, and relationships. In our bodies, this emotion may manifest as sweating, shaking, worrying, or an inability to focus.
No matter what area of life fear appears, we always have a choice in how we respond. No matter how overwhelming, fear does not have to control us.
We can take control of our thoughts. We can take control of our feelings. The question is, do we believe this? Scripture confirms, in fact, that we can.
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What Do I Do with My Fears?
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
“We demolish arguments and every proud thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)
We don’t have to be weighed down by the worries of our minds. God has given us the power to take our thoughts captive. Taking our thoughts captive means we are not prisoners to our thoughts.
Possessing “sound judgment” is the opposite of giving in to fear. With sound judgment we can think calmly, and weigh the reality of circumstances. Without controlling our emotions, we run the risk of running from God. Emotions can make situations out to be what they are not, and blind us from seeing how God is involved in our lives.
Fear may tell us we are going to suffer in some way, but does not remind us of God’s deliverance or protection. However, God’s word provides the truth, and we can use that truth today to cast away fear.
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“Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Christians are called to pray “constantly”—when life is pleasant and uncomfortably, and all the moments in between. When we pray “always,” instead of keeping fears contained within our minds, we take those concerns to God. He wants to hear.
When we share with God, we don’t have to depend on ourselves to find the solution. Sometimes the answer to a problem is not dependent on us at all (Proverbs 3:5-6). We need God.
One way to look at fear is seeing it as an unused prayer. We communicate our fears by repeating the “danger” in our heads and all the ways a situation can go wrong. There is peace to experience when we can shift our perspective.
Author Jennie Allen says the way to fight any “What if,” is with a “God will.” We can find out what God wills by praying to Him.
This verse from Thessalonians also reminds us to give God thanks. When we talk to God about why we are grateful, we also remind ourselves of God’s ability to provide. If He has provided before, why would He not do so again?
Fear has a way of tricking us into developing misconceptions of God. If we pray, we can keep our connection to God alive, and put those fears in their rightful place. Outside of our heads.
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Read the Bible
Much like prayer, reading Scripture helps us connect with God, and equips us to counteract fear with the truth.
When we follow Allen’s advice, we can rebuttal our What ifs with verses from the Bible. There are plenty of passages talking about suffering such as Psalm 13 or Lamentations 3, but passages like these end on a notion of trust.
God always comes through for His children.
We can apply these same lessons learned by previous believers to our own lives. No matter what we suffer, God will deliver us. The more informed we are of God’s character, the less fear can take root in our minds. We will begin to realize no issue we face is bigger than God. And in any moment we are not in control, God is.
Much like the fearful thoughts that repeat in our heads, we can replace these ideas by repeating Scripture. Eventually fear will lose root in our minds.
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Another way to fight against fear is with the help of fellow believers. Sometimes we get lost in our thoughts because we rely too much on our own abilities.
Humans have needed companionship since the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:18). This truth still applies to Christians today. Whenever we begin falling into the spiral of fear, other people can bring us back to clarity.
Believers can offer support through their own prayers, reminding us of God’s truth, and simple words of encouragement.
When we find ourselves no longer alone, fear has less of a hold.
Cast Away Fear
As God created humankind in His image, He also blessed us with emotions (Genesis 1:26). In and of themselves, emotions are simply states of being. Whether or not they draw us closer to God helps us determine if the emotion is helpful.
For example, we can be happy someone lost a job, or happy that someone found a new job.
In the same way, fear serves us well when protecting us from real danger such as a wild animal. When fear becomes detrimental to our faith is when we begin to doubt God. In a fearful mindset, we are more aware of danger than we are of God’s presence.
The more we can shift our awareness to thinking of God as always present, the more we will be able to live with a spirit that consists of “power, love, and sound judgment.”
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Originally published Monday, 08 February 2021.