Nobody likes to talk about their fears. I know I particularly don’t. The last thing I want to think about is anything that makes me afraid. This world is a scary place. If it’s not the horrible things going on in our world as reported by the media, it’s the fear that we won’t get things done in time to make a deadline or that something will happen to one of our family members or that we will fail a test or disappoint someone. Every day brings up new fears that we can either allow to consume us or that we can make a choice to push.
Our family has gone through a lot of uncertainty this past year. My husband left his job due to the toxic environment that left him stressed out and drained every day. He dreaded going in to work, and this was not like him at all. He is good at pushing past things that are uncomfortable and making the best out of the situation. This, however, was a completely different level.
Together we made the decision for him to pursue an entirely different field of work. It is a long process filled with a mountain of uncertainty. Each month we plan carefully for the following month to make sure bills are paid and there is food in the pantry. We have no idea how long the process will take, but we have a choice to either live in fear every month of whether or not we will make ends meet or trust that God has got this.
John 14:27, NIV
“Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
The Bible mentions to “Fear Not” or “Do not be afraid” many times throughout. It also tells us not to worry. It’s so easy to allow worry, which goes hand in hand with fear, to creep in on the day today.
We do not have to worry because God promises that He will take care of us. He will light the way. He tells us to draw near to Him. I have had many experiences in my life that have created the landscape for a lot of worry, anxiety, and fear. There were times when I thought, “This is it. Life will never get any better than this. I am destined to live miserably for the rest of my life.”
I, however, clung to the hem of Jesus’s garment. I knew that it only took the faith of a mustard seed. If I could just hold on to even the tiny shred of faith and hope that was there, one day, I would be on the other side of that situation.
God has allowed me to go through some things that really strengthened my faith. The more faith we have, the less room there is for worry, anxiety, and fear. We realize that we have the Lord as our pillar. He is our anchor.
When I was a single mom of three kids and living in so much uncertainty, barely able to pay my bills, I decided to live in faith and tithe. I know it sounds a bit crazy to put 10% in the offering when you are a single mother raising three small children and barely able to feed them, but I knew that God promised He would take care of us if we trusted in Him.
One Sunday I tithed 10% of my paycheck and I just had no idea how I was going to make it on what I had. It wasn’t a week later I received checks from five different places at random. I don’t say this to give a prosperity lesson or say this is how it goes every single time. I use it as one example of how God has provided for my family when we acted in faith. Faith, like love, is not just a word we say or a feeling we have. When we have faith, it shows in our actions.
Matthew 10:31, ESV
“Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
God wants to have a relationship with us. When we accept Jesus into our hearts and receive the Holy Spirit, we are not just obtaining our ticket to heaven. The buck doesn’t stop there. We are committing to a lifetime relationship. He is our Father, our Protector, our Master. He wants to protect us. This doesn’t mean we will not still have things happen because we do live in a sinful world. We all have free will, and we are all sinners. There will be times where we wonder what is going on. What did I sign up for? Everything will not always be a bed of roses here on this earth.
Ephesians 6:12, NIV
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
The book of Psalms references fears many times but also makes mention that, by putting our trust in God, He delivers us from that fear.
Philippians 4:7, NIV
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
While there is no doubt many things that cause us to be afraid every day, there are also many ways we can drive it out.
1 John 4:18, NIV
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
When I am afraid for any reason, I find that, if I start praising and worshiping, suddenly, the fear disappears like a vapor. Reading God’s Word and praising Him is what works for me.
What are some things that cause you to be afraid? What are some things you can do to drive out those fears?
Featured Image by Vitaly Taranov