Have you been dealing with feelings of fear lately?
There surely have been other times in the history of the world when people were gripped with fear, but I’m going out on a limb and guessing that this is one of the worst times of fear. It’s no doubt fueled by social media and the media in general, but there’s no denying that unsettling global events are unfolding.
The top two disturbing recent stories are ebola and the advancement of evil terrorists in the Middle East. It’s almost impossible to avoid news stories about them – each one worse than the one before. There’s a collective awareness that we could get sick or be killed at any moment. That’s always true but it feels more “real” now.
God tells us not to fear. Period. Around 365 times He says that.
Do not be afraid. Don’t be troubled or afraid. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Don’t worry or be afraid of threats. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Do not fear bad news. Be not afraid of them.
Two main reasons not to fear:
1) It’s unbelief. God promises us He’s in control and will do what is right for us.
2) It renders us ineffective. Fear means our focus is on the wrong things, meaning it’s not on God, so He can’t get our attention to use us as His representatives. We lose our witness and we lose opportunities.
But ebola and terrorists are alarming so how are we to feel? What do we do with our fear?
1) Admit it to God and ask for His help in rejecting fear.
2) Intentionally fill our minds with the truth about God.
3) Choose to believe what He says is true.
4) Choose to believe God is ultimately in control of how everything plays out.
5) Replace fear with praise. Sing praise songs or read Psalms about praise.
6) Focus on His presence in and with us. Nothing can come against us that He hasn’t allowed.
7) Believe that His grace will be enough for whatever we face.
One last word of comfort … the number of our days has already been determined. Nothing is going to change what God has already declared. If He said you’re going to live 82 years, then you’re going to live 82 years. No random event is going to alter that number.
Surrender your fear to God and live in His powerful blend of confidence and peace.