Facing Fear

In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid.
 What can man do to me?
Psalm 56:11 NKJV

 Since it is still January, I continue to contemplate about what the new year may hold for me and what God desires for me.  If I am totally honest and vulnerable this morning, I will have to admit that I am struggling with fear.  This scripture in Psalm 56:11 is intimidating to me since I want to trust God and yet I cannot wholeheartedly say that I do not fear.  I guess my feelings are being influenced by my experiences the second half of 2013 with a broken wrist.  It was a bad break complicated by my bones being weak because of osteoporosis. The orthopedist said I would probably have more broken bones in the future.  This is where fear comes in because I do not want more pain and broken bones.  I have rebuked the words of the doctor but the seed of fear has been planted within me.  I know that I have not blamed God for this situation nor felt like God deserted me but I do sense the reality of what is possible in the natural.  In the spiritual, I must remember that with God all things are possible and I must not put limitations upon God.

So, my Reader, do you struggle with fear?  What causes you to fear – health, finances, job security, relationships?  I am suspicious that there may be something deep down that is causing you some anxiety.  As you continue to read, please apply my thoughts to your situation.

 Fear not, for I am with you;
 Isaiah 41:10 NKJV

One thing I need to remember is that fear is an emotion.  Fear is not necessarily a weakness.  God created me with emotions.  I have heard that there are approximately 365 scriptures, one for each day of the year, telling me not to be fearful.  (However, I cannot substantiate this.)  If God tells me not to be afraid, then He must know that I will experience fear.  However, He does not allow me to handle my fear alone.  Isaiah 41:10 tells me the reason I do not need to feel afraid is because God is with me.  When I read to the end of this verse, God also says that He will uphold me with His righteous right hand.  That is especially reassuring to me since it was my right hand that was broken.  Now I have the Lord taking hold of my injured hand.  I like the statement,Face your fears, acknowledge them, confess them and take a positive stand against them!”  Knowing that the Lord is with me, I am more capable of heeding this advice.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

 This verse is encouraging to me!  When I focus upon the fact that God’s plans will not harm me, I am less fearful.  The next couple of verses of Jeremiah 29 go on to say that when I pray and seek God, I will find Him in any situation I encounter. Even if an unpleasant situation arises, God will be with me.  If He is with me, the unpleasant is better than what I might consider pleasure without God. This scripture helps me to say, “Jesus, I trust You!” no matter what may happen.  If I can see Jesus in every situation, fear will lose its hold on me.  I want to agree with David who says in Psalm 27:1,The Lord is my light and my Salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

For God has not given us a spirit of fear,
but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
II Timothy 1:7 NKJV

 As I think about this scripture, I ask myself, “How do I receive the spirit that is the opposite of fear?”  The first quote that comes to my mind is by Beverly Lewis who says, Courage is fear on its knees.”  I really like this quote!  I desire to be courageous, not fearful, and the way to receive courage is to pray for God’s help.  I want to follow this advice, “If your knees are knocking, kneel on them.”  Another quote I like is “Courage is not the absence of fear; it is the conquest of fear.”  I am becoming less fearful of what may happen in 2014 when I read these  scriptures and quotes.  Just one more quote, “Keep Faith as a constant companion. When Fear knocks at your door, send Faith to answer it.”

In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
Psalm 56:11 NKJV

Yes, I am back to the first scripture I quoted at the beginning of this blog.  However, when I read it now, I feel more hope than intimidation. I agree with Oswald Chambers, “If we fear God, we shall cease to fear man.”  I want to dismiss the words spoken to me by the orthopedist and claim the Word of God. The type of fear I want to experience in my life is a reverential fear of God rather than a panicky fear of something that might not even happen.  Fear of God is a sure foundation while fear of man‘s possibilities is only an apprehension or uneasiness.  The quote, You’ve gotta face your fears and face the facts, before you can get the victory.” is true just as is the statement, Faith and fear cannot totally occupy your mind, heart and spirit at the same time.”  I can now speak the words of Psalm 34:4 with more confidence, I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”  One more quote now becomes a part of my life, Face the fear of man in the power of His Spirit on the promises of His Word, and you cannot fail!”  When I live with a reverential fear of God, not fear of man, and include prayer and scripture reading as essential parts of my life, what was once fear will become courage with the help of the Holy Spirit!

Therefore encourage one another
 and build each other up.
I Thessalonians 5:11 NIV

My Reader, how are you feeling now?  I hope my honesty has helped you to take a closer look at something you might be apprehensive about.  The word “encourage” means to impart courage.  This scripture verse may mean that we need to be ready to receive encouragement from the Lord Himself or from another person when we are discouraged.  It also can mean that we need to be ready to encourage others who may be discouraged. Let’s look together at some scriptures in Romans. Romans 8:26 says,the Spirit helps us in our weakness.”  God encourages us through the work of the Holy Spirit within our lives!  Romans 8:28 goes on to say, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  This tells us that our times of discouragement can help to equip us to encourage others at another time. God wastes nothing, including our fearful feelings.  We gain an empathy for people who may be fearful if we have experienced fear in our own lives.  So, I pray that my sharing may help you to face your fear with courage.  In turn, may you encourage others.

Joyfully,
Cheryl

Question: Are you facing fear?  If you would like me to agree with you in prayer to overcome this fear, please respond to this blog and I will pray for you in the coming weeks.  Your request will not be posted.

(Quotes in light purple were found at http://www.wordofloveforyou.com/fear.htm unless another source is indicated.)

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