Tag Archives: fear

Faith Over Feelings


Everyone of us has had some dark valleys that we’ve walked through. There are those days, months, and years where we just wish we could see a ray of hope. We want to know that we are not alone. That God has a plan. That He hasn’t forgotten us. We want to know that this time won’t last forever. In those times, it’s critical that our faith over rides our feelings. Our feelings interpret circumstances, but our faith dictates them.

I remember walking through a long, dark valley. God spoke to me and said, “I see you where you are. I have not left you or forgotten you. I’m walking with you through this. I am not in front of you or behind you. I’m right beside you.” Those words boosted my faith over my feelings. They reminded me that even when I can’t see or feel God, that He is with me no matter what. When my prayers feel like they’re falling on deaf ears, He hears them because He’s a whisper away. He’s walking with us in the darkness. 

In Psalm 23:4, David gave us some words to remember this truth. He wrote, “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me” (NLT). In the valley, our feelings produce fear, but our faith produces peace and reassurance that God has not left us. We don’t have to fear or fret in the valley. God is walking right beside us each step of the way. He has not forgotten us. Trust your faith over your feelings.

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Faithless Panic


Sometimes at night, I’ll send my son to his room to get his pajamas. He’ll get to the stairs and say, “Are you watching me?” After he turns on the light, he goes up the stairs. He asks again then turns on the hallway light. I watch him as he walks across the balcony and gets to his room, but that when he stops. He peers into the dark room and asks, “Can you come with me?” I get frustrated and tell him to turn on the light, but his fear keeps him outside the door. I remind him that I’m watching him, but he wants me to come turn it on before he enters.

It can be a nightly thing sometimes. I try to explain to him that his fear is in his head and that he can just walk in. I remind him that there are other times when I’m going up the stairs behind him, and he runs into the dark room hiding in the darkness. It proves he has the ability to go in the dark room, but that doesn’t stop him from panicking during times when he’s just as secure. To silly from my perspective and also frustrating that he doesn’t get it.

I think that’s how Jesus felt when he was sleeping on a boat they were all on. A violent storm arose and the disciples panicked. They went to Jesus, woke Him up, and said, “Lord save us, we are going to die!” (AMP) Isn’t that how it usually goes. We let our fear of whatever cause us to panicky to the point we think we’re going to die, and we flip out. It’s often as silly and frustrating to God as my son’s irrational fear of taking two steps into his room to turn on the light.

In Matthew 8:26, Jesus woke up and said, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” I wonder how many times Jesus says that to us when we are in a panic, banging on Heaven’s doors with prayer. What often seems so big, daunting, and scary to us is so little to Him, and He wonders why we don’t trust Him more. Has He failed you before? Has He left you? No. He’s still in the boat with you. Have faith that whatever has you panicking right nows under His control. He’s watching you and won’t let you down. Have faith that He will be true to His promise to never leave you nor forsake you. Even if things don’t go the way you want, they go according to His plan and purpose got you. He sees the bigger picture. 

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Refuse To Worry


Many of us struggle with understanding the difference between fear and anxiety. Fear is an emotion triggered by real danger. Anxiety is an emotion triggered by things that may or may not happen. Fear can save your life and anxiety can cause it to end prematurely. They elicit a similar feeling inside, but fear goes away after you’re out of danger. Anxiety continues to eat away at your energy, your mind, and your life if you don’t put a stop to it.

At work, I do an exercise with people to get them to stop assuming. I get them to admit that they don’t know the outcome. From then on, when they assume something, I ask. “But do you know?” Assumptions of the future are what cause anxiety. The truth is, we don’t know the future, but as Corrie Ten Boon says, “We can trust an unknown future to a known God.” When we allow assumption and anxiety to take over, we in essence are not trusting our future to God. The key to losing anxiety is to admit you don’t know and to trust God to take care of you.

The Bible says a lot about anxiety and worry. Here are some verses about it.

1. Therefore I tell you, stop being worried or anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, as to what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing?
MATTHEW 6:25 AMP

2. Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.
Proverbs 12:25 NLT

3. Casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].
1 PETER 5:7 AMP

4. Don’t give in to worry or anger; it only leads to trouble.
Psalm 37:8 GNT

5. Whenever I am anxious and worried, you comfort me and make me glad.
Psalm 94:19 GNT

6. Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Philippians 4:6-7 MSG

7. So refuse to worry, and keep your body healthy. 
Ecclesiastes 11:10a NLT

8. I am filled with trouble and anxiety, but your commandments bring me joy.
Psalm 119:143 GNT

9. To worry yourself to death with resentment would be a foolish, senseless thing to do.
Job 5:2 GNT

10. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].
PHILIPPIANS 4:7 AMP

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Fight Intimidation 


Have you ever been intimidated by someone who was purposefully trying to prevent you from doing something? Intimidation works because it creates fear and fear paralyzed. It’s one of the main tactics the enemy uses against us. Peter told us that our enemy roams around like a roaring lion. What’s more intimidating than a lion? But we often overlook the keyword “like”. He isn’t a lion, but he wants you to believe he is because he wants to intimidate you.

All of us deal with fear and intimidation from the enemy. Paul reminded Timothy that God doesn’t give us a spirit of fear. God gives us a spirit of power. He knew that they enemy would try to intimidate us so He gave us the power to overcome. Remember, greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. We don’t have to be intimidated by our enemy. We can stand up to him because we have a greater power at work in us.

Here are some verses to help us to not be intimidated. 

1. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified or dismayed (intimidated), for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
JOSHUA 1:9 AMP

2. What’s the price of two or three pet canaries? Some loose change, right? But God never overlooks a single one. And he pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.
Luke 12:6-7 MSG

3. They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued the work with even greater determination.
Nehemiah 6:9 NLT

4. I will not be intimidated or afraid of the ten thousands Who have set themselves against me all around.
PSALM 3:6 AMP

5. Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because GOD, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.
Deuteronomy 31:6 MSG

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How To Make Better Decisions 


Through the years, I’ve worked with a lot of people. The ones that have always worried me are the ones who make their decisions based on emotion instead of logic. When a crisis happens, the ones who make emotion decisions react to the situation. They don’t think of the outcome or the consequences of their actions. They simply let fear, or another emotion, make their decision for them. On the other hand, there are those who don’t react to the situation. They think through the ramifications of their choice, look at the end result, then make their decision. 

I find that I try to be the latter, but often end up in the first category. I can let fear make my decisions for me instead of what I want the end result to be. When I feel like I’m making a decision based on emotion, I try to find an objective person in my life who can help me make the non-emotional decision. I think we all need someone like that. Peter had Jesus. Fortunately for Him, Jesus could rebuke him in love or heal a man’s ear.

Today though, I want to look at Esther. As queen, she had a certain level of influence over the king. But when trouble came and the Jews were facing genocide, she started to make her decision based on fear. Her cousin, and foster parent Mordecai, told her she needed to talk to the king on behalf of all Jews. In Esther 4:11 her emotional response was, “All the king’s officials and even the people in the provinces know that anyone who appears before the king in his inner court without being invited is doomed to die unless the king holds out his gold scepter. And the king has not called for me to come to him for thirty days” (NLT). Fear was dictating her response.

Mordecai offered wisdom though. He helped her see past the fear to make the best decision. In verse 14, he told her, “If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” With his help, she was able to make the hard decision to face the king no matter what. She was able to look at the outcome instead of her fear. In the end, the Jews were saved and Esther has been honored ever since.

We all need to recognize how we make our decisions. Yes, God gave us emotions, but they’re not always the best things to use when making lasting decisions. We each need that person in our life who helps us make the godly decision that’s based on the outcome God wants. Don’t let fear keep you from choosing the path God has for you. Find a godly person who is objective and can ask you the right questions. Proverbs 15:22 says, “Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.”

Who is that person in your life? If you don’t know, start with your pastor or a church leader.

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Don’t Be Afraid

  
One message that God repeats over and over in the Bible is, “Fear not. Don’t be afraid.” Fear shows a lack of faith in God as your protector, your provider, and your deliverer. Each of us deal with fear in our lives because none of us know the future. It’s easy to be afraid of the unknown, but God rarely calls us to do something easy.

The Bible doesn’t give a formula for overcoming fear. As you’ll see in the scriptures below, it is usually an imperative statement to stop being afraid. For me, trusting God is how I let go of fear. Trust doesn’t change my situation, it just changes my perspective on how it will turn out. When we feel like things are left in our hands, fear creeps in because we are incapable. When we trust God to handle it, we don’t have to worry about how it will turn out because God will have His way.

I hope these verses encourage you to let go of fear and embrace your trust in God.

1. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9 NLT

2. The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in GOD protects you from that.

Proverbs 29:25 MSG

3. For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”

Isaiah 41:13 ESV

4. Do not be afraid—I am with you! I am your God—let nothing terrify you! I will make you strong and help you; I will protect you and save you.

Isaiah 41:10 GNT

5. Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.”

Isaiah 35:4 NLT

6. You will not be afraid when you go to bed, and you will sleep soundly through the night. You will not have to worry about sudden disasters, such as come on the wicked like a storm. The Lord will keep you safe. He will not let you fall into a trap.

Proverbs 3:24-26 GNT

7. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 1:8 ESV

8. Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you.

Deuteronomy 3:22 NIV

9. See, God has come to save me. I will trust in him and not be afraid. The LORD GOD is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.

Isaiah 12:2 NLT

10. Israel, the Lord who created you says, “Do not be afraid—I will save you. I have called you by name—you are mine. When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you; your troubles will not overwhelm you. When you pass through fire, you will not be burned; the hard trials that come will not hurt you.”

Isaiah 43:1-2 GNT

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Confining God

  
My son is getting to the point where he says he’s scared. I remind him of Joshua 1:9, “Do not be afraid. God is with you.” He then asks, “Where is a God?” I tell him, “Right there with you.” He retorts, “But I can’t see Him.” I say, “You can’t see whatever it is that you’re afraid of either.” That’s the way most of us are. We are most afraid of things we can’t see, including God. He frightens us because we can’t see Him, and we can’t control, what we don’t see.

In Exodus 32, the Israelites were camped at the base of Mount Sinai. Moses had been up on the mountain for over a month. The cloud that represented God’s presence still covered it, but the people were afraid Moses wouldn’t come back. They decided they needed a God they could see, so they took their gold earrings off, melted them, and made a calf. Verse 5 says, “Aaron saw how excited the people were, so he built an altar in front of the calf. Then he announced, “Tomorrow will be a festival to the LORD” (NLT).

They thought they could make God into something they could create and still worship Him by worshiping the idol. God is not pleased when we try to confine Him into an image, a symbol, or something we can create. You cannot take an unlimited God and put limited confines on Him. You cannot take an omnipresent God and confine Him to one place. We would like to do that because there are places we go that we don’t want God to know about. There are areas of our lives that we don’t want to give Him power over. Confining Him helps us to justify our actions.

Having an omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent God is scary to many of us. It means we can’t go anywhere or do anything without Him knowing. We can’t have secret lives or secret parts of our life without Him seeing it. We can’t hide our sins from Him. We can’t hide who we really are from Him. That’s a scary thought for some people. The good news is that He sees those parts of our lives, and He loves us still. He knows about our secret sins, and offers forgiveness for them too.

When we no longer try to confine God, we unleash Him into our lives. We give Him the authority to come into every area, even the hidden ones, and clean house. In Psalm 139:7, David asked, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?” (NKJV) He recognized God’s omniscience and His omnipresence. He then concluded in verses 23 and 24 by unleashing God in his life. He prayed, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.” Don’t be afraid to trust what you can’t see. God will forgive you and lead you into everlasting life.

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