Fear is a four-letter word. Imagine the difference if the human race could strike it once-for-all from its vocabulary. Alas – that’s not gonna happen so long as we’re warm and breathing. There’s an enemy prowling about whose desire is to prevent us from being all and experiencing all that God has planned for us. And fear is one of his major tactics.
I’m constantly receiving emails from women whose lives are impacted by fear. They’re afraid of being alone so they marry a dud or stay in an abusive relationship. They’re afraid of rejection, so they carry burdens of secrecy and guilt over something that’s happened in their past (usually an abortion). They’re afraid of failure, so they refuse to try new ventures and ultimately miss the joy of seeing God do the impossible through them.
Even though I wrote a book about moving beyond fear, I still struggle with it occasionally. Thankfully, it doesn’t consume or paralyze me anymore as in the past. Now I recognize it when it rears its ugly head. And I immediately do something about it. Here’s my simple secret:
I say, “The Lord is with me. I will trust and not be afraid.”
Call it a mantra, if you wish. Repeating this several times works for me. It washes away the negative yuck and reminds me that God is in control. He holds me in His hand, and the enemy cannot reach me there. How can I be so sure?
Psalm 23:4 says, “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.” I base my confidence on this principle and promise. God’s presence is with me 24/7 because His Holy Spirit lives in me. Even when I go through really tough stuff – the darkest valley – I need not be afraid because He is there.
I think it’s interesting to note that the psalmist said, “I will not be afraid.” His heart may have been pounding out of his chest sometimes, but he made a deliberate choice to not let fear control him. It’s as though he grabbed hold of his thoughts and said, “Listen up. You’re not heading down that path. You’re going to stay here, right here….planted firmly, rooted deeply in the promise of God’s presence.”
That’s what I do. And it works. Fear cannot master my emotions anymore. It will not control my thoughts and impact my actions. It simply has no place in me because God rules.
How about you? What do you do when fear stares you in the face?