I’ve struggled with fear since at least 8 years of age.
I used to run down the darkened stairs as quick as possible as if fleeing from an unseen monster into the bright, safe light of the occupied living in my parents’ house. My logical reasoning told me nothing was there, but fear originated in my heart and spread into a flight response in my limbs.
Now, with a son with a degenerative heart condition, severe speech delay, and many more special needs, fear all too easily soaks my heart.
But, we’ve read through Job’s story and Joseph’s story these past several weeks in Abounding Hope. If nothing else, we know God can restore goodness and we can trust in hope.
When Fear Threatens to Grip Tighter
Everything I fear is what I don’t (and can’t) know. What I fear is not what already happened, but rather what might happen if my past choices cause future harm. A future I don’t know anything about.
Twice just in the passages this week, we read, “do not be dismayed.” Many more times we’ll read, “Do not fear.” God is near.
My lack of self-worth tells me I don’t deserve His love, so why would He protect me? Well, that’s grace, my dear. I don’t deserve it. That’s why His love is grace.
Kicking Fears Out
My husband once told me, any time I let fear in, to face those fears and yell “Grrr!” at them. (Did anyone else just imagine Paul telling Timothy to growl at his fears? Just me?)
Try it. Tell that fear of yours, “Grr! My God is greater!” Yes, you’ll laugh at yourself, but it reminds you, you have a choice. Do you let fear in, or remember God’s peace?
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7
Why should we not be afraid? “…for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
As Katie and Lara say in Abounding Hope, “if what He declared is true, then fear has no place in us. When we set our hearts and minds on the sovereign Lord, fear has to flee to make way for hope to rise up.”
This week’s verses remind us where there is trust, fear can’t reside.
Why can we trust? Because He already gave of himself, and His grace is already here.
Fear is only here when we pay attention only to what our limited eyes and minds can see. When we trust, we see. And even when we can’t see, faith and grace help us still trust. Refusing fear becomes a practice in acknowledging and gripping to the presence of God.
Kick out fear with me. Remember God is always there and always loving us.
I’m going to pray as Elisha does in 2 Kings 6:17—for you and for me.
God, thank You for Your faithful love. Please open our eyes that we may see Your constant presence. Especially when we feel weighed down and bent from fear, God, allow our hearts to remember, understand, and feel Your always-guiding, always-protecting arms around us. In Christ’s name, Amen.
What do you do when you feel fear creeping in? How can you growl away those fears and rest in His presence instead? Let us know your favorite verses in the comments!
Anyone is welcome to join in this 13 week study of hope! Just grab your copy of Abounding Hope (available as a PDF download or on Kindle) and join us back here on the blog every Monday! View the rest of the Abounding Hope series here.