Dealing with fear (2)
The Bible says, ‘God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.’ Dealing with fear begins with understanding that fear is a ‘spirit’, and it doesn’t come from God. Each time we realise that, we’re less likely to give in to it. So, what has God given us in place of fear? Three things: 1) Power. We’re not simply talking about self-help techniques and stress management. This is something much deeper. It’s a settled and unshakeable conviction that goes down to the core of our being, that all things that concern us are in the hands of a loving God who has only the best in mind for us. He works for our good, and we can rest secure and confident in His power. 2) Love. The Bible says, ‘Perfect love casts out fear’ (1 John 4:18 NKJV). It’s only when we realise that we’re loved unconditionally by God, who never changes His mind about us, that we learn to love and accept ourselves, and then be able to love and accept others. Imagine the effect that would have on any fears of people, fear of rejection, and fear of criticism that we have. This kind of love is more than a ‘feel-good’ emotion; it’s a life-changing force. 3) A mind focused on Christ. The Message paraphrases Paul’s words: ‘We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ’ (2 Corinthians 10:5 MSG). Let’s take hold of those three things that God has given us, and use them to break down our fears.
Do you know anyone who’s struggling with fear at the moment? Try and have a gentle chat with them about the ‘weapons’ God has given us to deal with fear.
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