Fear is a sneak…. It comes to steal our peace, feelings of security, rest and our hopes for the future. Instead of living expecting the best, excited for the future and living in confidence, fear attempts to limit and diminish our lives.
I guess that’s why Jesus said “fear not” so many times and to cast all our worries, fears and insecurities onto Him because He cares for us. That we aren’t to worry about anything but instead to bring everything to Him in prayer and be anxious for nothing. (1 Peter 5:7 Philippians 4:6-7)
“This is why I tell you to never be worried about your life, for all that you need will be provided, such as food, water, clothing—everything your body needs. Isn’t there more to your life than a meal? Isn’t your body more than clothing?
Look at all the birds—do you think they worry about their existence? They don’t plant or reap or store up food, yet your heavenly Father provides them each with food. Aren’t you much more valuable to your Father than they? 27 So, which one of you by worrying could add anything to your life?” (Matthew 6:25-27 TPT)
Fear is the opposite of love and when we fear we become afraid and hesitant to step out of our comfort zone. We see others courageously living; travelling, in healthy relationships, successful and full of vitality and quietly we wish we could be like them…yet often our fears and insecurities hold us back and limit our potential. Regardless as to how many podcasts, self help books, sermons, discussions and information we may consume the fact is that information alone will not bring about the transformation within us that we need. We can even know every verse in the bible regarding not being afraid and still live in perpetual anxiety.
A few years ago our family went through a really tough time and my husband was especially affected. He went from being a confident, outspoken, resourceful person to someone who suffered the physical, emotional and mental effects of severe anxiety. Just going to a new location or facing something different would cause his pulse to accelerate, for him to break into a sweat and to struggle with nausea and dizziness. As he rested, spent time in God’s Word, started being more intentional with his diet and exercise and worked through the root causes of his anxiety and the trauma he’d experienced he started to stepping out to do hard things again. At first that was just going to a new coffee shop, meeting new people or pushing himself out of his comfort zone. I watched with admiration as we took five of our children on holiday to the USA. Driving on the opposite side of the road on country roads and then through the major cities of Chicago, Washington DC, New York City and Dallas caused him to push past his anxiety and stress as he trusted both himself and God to look after his family. By the end of our five-week trip around the USA my husband came home knowing that he was going to be okay. He’d had a huge win and struck a deathblow to fear and anxiety. He now has a new well paid, executive level job, is studying to upgrade his qualifications and has fresh vision for the future. He is also is very determined, wiser, strategic and more self aware than ever before. He discovered that, “there is no way to get the peace of God from our head to the rest of our body besides trusting God enough to confront our greatest fear.” (John Ortberg)
Anytime we avoid doing something out of fear we die a little on the inside, yet when we choose to take a risk; trust God, give our worries and concerns to Him and step out we open up our lives for something amazing to happen.
Fear paralyses but love and faith sets us free, and it is for this reason that Jesus came, to give us freedom and life more abundantly. As we push past fear eventually our thoughts start to line up with the fact that we are okay, and each time we face a fear it gives way to confidence.
Wherever you are today, know that with God’s help you can overcome fear…”perfect love casts out all fear”. I encourage you to talk to Him about your fears and any concerns; give them over to him in prayer and then determine to start to do things that push you out of your comfort zone (even if it’s just something small).
Seek to do things that lift the limits on your life and that help you to face rather than avoid your fears. We need to understand that there are going to be times in our lives when we will experience pain, disappointment and problems. Things happen. But there will also be wonderful, exciting things that we can and will experience…our dreams coming true…
The choice is ours whether we will go through life in fear or step out with God, trusting that He will be right there giving us strength in the valley moments and declaring victory alongside us on the mountaintops.
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love drive out fear..”(1 John 4:18 NIV)
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”(John 14:27)