I consider “fear” a four-letter word. Imagine the difference if the human race could strike it once-for-all from its vocabulary. Alas—that won’t happen so long as we’re warm and breathing. A spiritual enemy prowls about, and his mission is to prevent us from being all and experiencing all that God has planned for us. Fear is one of his major tactics:
Fear for our kids’ well-being.
Fear of rejection.
Fear of inadequacy.
Fear of financial insecurity.
Fear of an unknown future.
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 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 has no place in me because the Holy Spirit resides there.
How about you? Do you have a favorite Bible verse on which to meditate when fear stares you in the face?
Grace, I’ll always remember something you said on your blog a number of years ago (and I believe was from your book, also). It was life-changing for me. You said something like this: “Fear is a opportunity.” I was taken aback by that statement because it was such a foreign thought to me. But yes, thanks to you, I’ve learned that fear is an opportunity to grow closer to God, to grow in faith in Him, to take steps (mini steps or bold steps) in faith. Seeing fear that way provides an opportunity to blossom and grow and live life to the fullest. I’m working on my second memoir now about how fears plagued me during a three year period in South America. It was a very dangerous place and all of us should have been fearful, but I struggled with whether I’d let my fears hold me back from experiencing all God was offering me. I can never thank you enough for letting God use you to minister to me and to so many others.
Thank you for your encouragement, Linda. I’m so grateful that God took those four little words–“fear is an opportunity”–and used them to promote greater growth in your life. And that you’re sharing your life lessons with other people through your writing, too. Keep it up, Linda. You never know whose life will be changed by what you say in your books. God bless you!
Thank for your words of encouragement as regards fear.Those words were directly from God because they through for me to make use at most critical times.Thank you so much
I’m thanking God that He encouraged you through these words about moving beyond fear. Psalm 34:4-5 are favorite verses of mine in regards to overcoming fear. May they bless you, too.