Fear and worry are not mere emotions; they are expressions of what we hold dear. They reveal the loyalties of our hearts. If we know Christ and have affirmed our allegiance to him, worry is a sign that we are trying to have it both ways. We certainly don’t want to renounce our allegiance to Jesus, but we want to protect what we feel is our own. We are not so sure that the Lord can be trusted with some of these things, so we look for help elsewhere. And if there is no obvious alternate source of help, we worry.
from Running Scared by Ed Welch
Because God is faithful, we have no need to fear. But often, circumstances speak so loudly. They tell us that fear is natural… that it’s a normal response to have. Fear tells us that circumstances are bigger than God’s power, or even at times that God doesn’t care. It can be so pervasive. It creeps in so subtly. So, what do we do at times in our life when fear comes knocking? Or when we’ve seen it take hold in our lives?
Knowing and understanding God is crucial in our battle against fear.
We need to take gospel truths and filter our every fear through it. It is important to look back and remember how God was faithful in the past. Remember who you once were apart from the work of Christ in your life. God, in his great love, provided His Son so that you do not have to live your life captive to sin, even the sin of fear and worry. His overwhelming peace can speak louder to your heart than all your concerns and fears.
Here are a few gospel truths about God that help me when I struggle with fear:
He is a God of great love:
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ. (Eph 2:4-5)
He is my Father:
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. (1 John 3:1)
He is near to me:
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Ps. 46:1)
He has promised to complete what He began:
He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Phil 1:6)
He is my Rock:
Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses! Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any.” (Is. 44:8)
God is my Father. He is near in my troubles. He will complete the work in me. He is faithful, and I can rest on Him.
Look back and remember all the times God has been faithful in your past. Through every trial you’ve faced, He never left you. He will never stop being faithful. Fight the urge to think of and project yourself ahead to a godless future.
God delights in His children coming humbly to Him. He promises that every time you are afraid He will give you fresh grace and fresh strength… powerful grace. Grace that is greater than all our fears!
[copyrighted, 2009, Emily Schankweiler]