Two questions: In what area are you currently experiencing fear? And how would your life be different without fear?
From full-blown phobias to low-grade anxieties, fear is something all of us experience. But if Scripture is true, God doesn’t want us to fear.
Wait, wait. The first part I get. But the second, really?
Maybe I’m addicted to fearing. Even while I hate it, it also feels like something can’t live without. And when I consider going without fear, guess what rises up in me? Fear.
What terrible things would happen to me if I stopped worrying, abandoned all anxiety, or let down my guard?
Meanwhile, fear is happy to go along, pretending to be on my side–an ally against all that has or could go wrong.
In what ways does fear pretend to be your ally? Does it promise to . . .
- Keep you alert, so you won’t be surprised by anything?
- Spur you on and help you accomplish your goals?
- Show your family you care about them?
- Protect your kids from harms they don’t seem to fear?
- Convince God to love you?
It’s all hogwash, you know. Fear cannot keep its promises. In fact, it actually makes things worse.
So how do we live without fear?
Love seems to help.
When I allow myself to be loved by God and others (which can feel scary), fear dissipates. Picturing myself at the foot of the cross, with Jesus’ love pouring out for me, helps.
Similarly, when I take my eyes off myself (which can also feel scary) to love God and others, fear dissipates.
So, real life examples for me today:
- Regeneration has its annual fundraising desserts in just six weeks and what happens there will impact how much we can (or cannot do) in the coming year.
- Some of my kids are going through difficult things at school.
- I have loved ones who are dealing with problems I don’t know how to fix.
For each of these, fear is doing a hard sell, trying to get me to trust it can help.
Instead, with Jesus’ help, I’m practicing letting love motivate me. I’m asking . . .
Jesus, these fundraisers are for you; what are you dreaming they’ll be?
You’re the author of my kids’ stories; what part do you have for me?
Nothing confounds you; in what way can I step out in faith for the good of my loved ones?
In short, I’m asking him to share with me his love for others.
Love is a much better motivator.
So what about you? In what area(s) of your life have you believed fear is an ally? What evidence do you already have that it’s not? In what practical ways can you begin practicing being loved and giving love instead?
I’d value hearing your thoughts! Leave some here.
Fear is a thief that we, too often, allow into our hearts and homes, and then make a permanent guest – soon controlling the whole house. Let’s evict the thief of our peace, joy, trust and hope, and make more room for Jesus instead!
I so resonate with fear being a thief. Let’s evict it from our homes indeed. Thanks for commenting!
Jesus is the only way we can calm our fears. Trust in Him. Sure we can push aside our fears and failings, until the next wave of problems come along, and our fear return. We need to trust Him. Josh, He will look after you.
Josh, I like your ideas of bringing Jesus’ ideas and plans into each area of our fears. Another way to overcome fear is to practice the virtue of detachmnet. Detachment is not being disinterested or not caring. It is having a worldview with perspective that our loving father cares for us. He allows trials. We are to do our best and trust him with the outcome. “Whatever pleases you, father.”
Virtues are developed over time with perseverance.
Hi Josh, Wow, the first item on the list really resonates with me. One of the reasons I “keep” fear is so to keep me alert as so I won’t be suprised by anything. God has shown me recently that this is nothing but control in disguise. He has also told me that if I ask for something from him, “Why wouldn’t I?” It’s good to hear him tell me these things and helps me not to fear, knowing He is my father when I ask for a loaf of bread, he doesn’t give me a stone. Forgive me Father, when I think this! Thank you Josh, for reminding me that fear is sometimes disguised as a help for us when truly it is the opposite of faith.