What is your child afraid of? The dark? Storms? Animals? Strangers? Being alone? Fear seizes us at an early age. It made its appearance in the Garden of Eden, shortly after man’s creation, and has flourished ever since.
Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command by eating fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Guilt and shame emerged from this new awareness, creating fear . . . and they hid from God Almighty.
Ever since, the devil has put many fears in the minds of men and women:
- loneliness and abandonment
- spiders, snakes, and mice
- accidents, and natural disasters
- failure or success
- death or losses
- the unknown
God’s Word, the Bible, builds our faith and fights our battles when satan puts fear in our minds. That is where the battle truly resides, but the Bible, God’s Word, is our Sword.
In college, I suffered from night blindness and tunnel vision, courtesy of Retinitis Pigmentosa. My faith allowed me to stroll alone after night classes without fearing muggers, sexual predators, or stray animals. The funny thing is big fears weren’t an issue, but it’s close relative, worry, consumed me.
Facing new experiences of how to pass tests given by unfamiliar professors, manage money when paid only once a month, and even how to choose the right classes and enroll each semester, while being far from family, worried me.
By the time I learned I was legally blind due to peripheral vision, I qualified for a program paying student readers to read textbooks, so I worried about learning that process. Then came moving from the residence halls to the challenge of finding an apartment with additional responsibilities, while switching from campus employment to SSI (Supplemental Security Income).
Phil. 4:6 boldly states “Do not be anxious in anything . . . ” This commands us not to worry or be afraid. I realized I wasn’t trusting the Lord completely, and still leaning on my own understanding (Proverbs 3:5)
Both fear and worry, steal God’s peace. So, how do you change?
According to Romans 12:2, we can renew our mind. This means, fear’s poisons don’t have to stay!
Recognize fear and worry’s symptoms: nausea, Shortness of breath, Rapid heartbeat, Sweating, anger, or light-headedness. Then, ask yourself whose report will you believe?
- Will you believe the lie trapped in your mind, or God’s Word?
- Will you believe in your power, or God’s?
- Are your thoughts moving you closer to God, or further away?
- Is our thought process helping us to thrive or barely survive?
- Do our thoughts bring peace or anxiety?
- Does our thinking fuel our faith or diminish it?
To me, faith is trust in action. We may still feel natural emotions for a time, but is your heart trusting God or His answer? Job continued to place His trust in His Heavenly Father, yet he questioned Him.We have the power to take every fearful thought captive, lock it up, and throw away the key. It’s not easy, and it does not happen overnight, but it is a choice. Faith grows.
In a tornado, I lay snug against the outside wall of our church. We had just played chicken with a tornado on our way to evening service. A board hurled toward my head, preventing us from taking shelter inside. My husband immediately, but gently laid me down and covered my body with his.
I prayed for God’s supernatural peace and His protection over my family and our community . . . just as the tornado struck the other side and debris sprayed all around. God graciously gave it to me. I didn’t even realize the wind carried us ten feet away, until afterward.
Years later, we faced a horrific week when our granddaughter was kidnapped by her biological father. We stood on God’s promises, as man failed us.
Trusting God for the answer didn’t take away the pain illuminating ever cell of our being. It didn’t mean our minds didn’t ponder how God might perform this rescue, or when, while praying and praising, crying and reaching out. It did mean I wouldn’t give up based upon my own finite brain. In His time, He made a way where there was no way. Glory, hallelujah!
Your faith may look different than mine or someone else you know. Each situation varies. The important thing is to grow in Him. Trust Him with every fear. The choice is yours!
QUESTION: What fears haunt you, and how do you fight it?
Jena Fellers from Changing Focus