Thursday, September 4, 2014

Seeing God in the Midst of Fears

Our church’s monthly ladies’ meeting discussed fear, worry and anxiety this month. I admit, I’ve never considered myself a fearful person. I don’t worry or become anxious about a ton, and I don’t automatically think of the worst possibility in a situation and then worry about it. That’s what comes to mind when I hear the terms fear or worry. Worry is not my #1 struggle.

But the reality is we all fear something. And sometimes we see fear as an emotion that cannot be changed, so we think there’s nothing we can do. This lie causes us to neglect to get to the root and really deal with our fear.

Scripture is full of commands not to worry. Matthew 6:25-34 says multiple times “do not be anxious”. Philippians 4:6 also reminds of this. The problem is not that we don’t know the truth, but that it’s hard to apply it. And it is impossible in your own strength. You need the power of Christ within you, and you have to turn to Him. Putting off sin is never possible on our own, even if we know all the right things to do.

Getting to the root behind the worry or fear is always tricky though. The truth to remember is that if you are worrying, you probably desire something more than Christ. The Bible calls that idolatry. So, if most of our fear and worry is spurred by idolatry, then worry or fear is a sin that must be repented of.

As we see areas of fear or worry that we need to repent of, we must shift our focus to the worship and adoration of God, submit our desires to God, and trust that He knows best. Gazing upon God's attributes in Scripture, like how He is faithful and true, perfect and unchanging (2 Tim. 2:13, Mal. 3:6), reminds of His greatness. When we see God more clearly, it changes the way we view our circumstances.

“Is it possible that God has allowed these specific challenges to teach you of His goodness, to remind you of your inability to control circumstances and to set you free from fear? These trials are not a sign of God’s powerlessness, but a sign of God’s loving care.” Elyse Fitzpatrick

When’s the last time you saw a struggle or trial as God’s loving care to you? God is a jealous God (Ex. 20:5, Deut. 4:24) who will not be content to allow His children to pursue idolatry.

We all know that we shouldn’t worry, but that doesn’t make our problems go away. Dealing with worry or fear is bigger than telling ourselves we won’t think about it or that we need to stop worrying. In the next post, we’ll dig a bit deeper into fear.


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