Have you ever considered how your emotions affect your life?
Love, for example, influences your feelings, behavior, and even your looks. The same is true of fear. It can affect your thoughts, conduct, and even your physical health. Apprehensions have the power to hold you back from all that God wants to accomplish in your life.
Satan uses the emotion of fear to prevent you from enjoying what the Lord has planned for you. You may think that you don’t have any fears, but the truth is that nearly everyone is afraid of something. Your fears may be hidden, and that makes them even more dangerous.
Almighty God is greater than any terror your mind can imagine, and He wants you to walk in courage and faith. In Isaiah 41:10, He says, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
Key Passage: Isaiah 41:8–14
Supporting Scripture: Joshua 1:6–9; Proverbs 17:22; Isaiah 64:4; John 14:18;Acts18:9; Ephesians 1:3–4; Philippians 4:19; 2 Timothy 1:7; Hebrews 13:5
1. Six basic fears.
There are six basic things that all of us are anxious about at one point or another. They are the fears of poverty, death, sickness, old age, criticism, and the loss of a loved one. The human reaction of fear is not a sin; in fact, there are some fears which are useful or even wise. Protective fear, for example, usually helps keep us safe. There is also the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom. This means that we are to reserve reverence, honor, and exaltation for the holy God we worship. The negative type of fear, which becomes a torment, is the kind of anxiety that damages and enslaves us. God told Joshua, “Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). Fear is a normal part of life, but not one that should hold us constantly in its grip. Our heavenly Father gives us promises to hold on to so that we never have to be dominated by fear.
2. The nature of fear.
Why is fear so damaging? Because it is as though we constantly have a message playing in our mind, telling us to be afraid. We are programmed early in life by others to be anxious concerning relationships or certain situations, and that fear continually torments and punishes us—paralyzing us from doing God’s will. Our worries dominate all our goals and desires, blocking our spiritual growth and preventing us from building our faith. This does not honor God in the least; in fact, our anxiety is a way of saying we do not think God is powerful enough to protect us. We become increasingly doubtful of the Lord’s powerful promises. Since we don’t trust God, we begin to assess and respond to His circumstances in our own strength and reasoning power. The result is that we come up empty in life. Fear simply does not fit the life of a child of God. We may have moments of fear, but we should handle them quickly, remembering God’s promise that He will use all things for our benefit and His glory.
3. The sources of fear.
Where does this terrible torment come from? Fear can be the product of sin because anxiety and guilt are a natural result of our transgressions. Fear can also result from things we have been taught or from our own imaginations. Doubt of God, poor self-image, and ignorance of God’s Word are other sources of our worries. We must have our hearts fortified by God’s promises so that we won’t be so susceptible to the enemy’s weapon. The more we dwell on God’s Word, the more courageous we will be.
4. The consequences of fear.
There are terrible results for those who give in to the tyranny of fear. The anxious person is afraid to take risks and, as a result, will be incapable of launching out on the great adventures God has prepared for him. He will be indecisive and procrastinate on important projects, because he will be fearful of making the wrong decision. By not acting in a timely manner, he will thwart his own efforts. In time, his self-confidence will be undermined and he’ll give in to an irrational course of action because of the torment he’s feeling within. Ultimately, fear will dominate his entire life. He’ll long to be free from his anxieties, but to be free he will have to give in to what he’s most terrified of—lack of control. He’ll only experience true freedom when he gives control of his life to God.
5. The way to be healed of enslaving fear.
Do you really want to be free of fear? The answer should come easily, since no one wants to suffer; however, being free from fear requires you to step out in faith. You must recognize and admit that the basic cause of your fear is your failure to trust in the sovereignty of God. You must also make a choice to be courageous—to take your eyes off the cause of your apprehension, and gaze upon God instead. He will liberate you from those powerful emotions if you will resolve to trust and obey Him. Isaiah 64:4 instructs, “From days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, nor has the eye seen a God besides You, who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.” Only God can free you from this devastating torment. Seek Him through His Word and in prayer, and trust Him to set you free. Reprogram your mind with His truth, and trust Him to fill your every need.
6. Why there is no need to fear.
The Lord is with you. He is not out of reach in some distant place, but is there beside you at every moment. He is your God, and He loves you more than anyone else ever could. He promises, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). God will strengthen you and help you, no matter what happens. These are solid promises from His Word, and He’s never broken a single pledge He’s ever made. You can expect Him to fill your every need, no matter what obstacle or challenge you face in life. This is your wonderful heritage as a child of God—so embrace Him and the wonderful victory that’s yours through Him.
Imagine living your whole life and missing all the good things the heavenly Father has prepared for you. Every person in the world has an opportunity to live this earthly life to the fullest, but some do not take it because they spend their time in bondage to fear. Don’t allow that to happen to you. The next time you feel anxious, take hold of God’s Word and be courageous. Your heavenly Father has promised that He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). He wants you to be able to proclaim your faith in Him with confidence.
No matter what the Lord calls you to do, He will give you the power and wisdom to accomplish it. He calls you to serve Him out of a desire to fellowship with you and bless you—not to frighten or dominate you. Therefore, trust in Him and experience a resounding victory over the torment of fear.
Facing Our Fears
Fear creeps into our life and wraps itself around our mind and heart. This can happen so subtly that we don't recognize how anxiety has affected our decision making, our health, and our spirit. Ultimately, many people miss God's best because apprehension keeps them from stepping out in faith to do His will.
The fear may seem unimportant at first, but left unchecked, it begins to interfere with our life. Physically, we may experience tension that keeps us from relaxing and enjoying the day's pleasures. Anxiety can lead to health problems, especially if it is constant. Mentally, our mind may be clouded by fear, which can limit what we are willing to think about and consider. If that should happen, our dreams and creativity will almost certainly be stifled.
But the mental paralysis that often accompanies unchecked fear is most dangerous to our spiritual life. Unless it is entrusted to God, a singe fear can easily rule over us, coloring our attitude with a general sense of torment. We become indecisive, worried that we will make the wrong choice. So we are trapped, trying to avoid anything that might make us anxious. Consequently, we stop growing as Christians and are usually hindered in our work and family life also.
If you allow yourself to be paralyzed by worry, you cannot be placing complete trust in God and following Him wholeheartedly. Make an honest assessment of your life, and ask the Lord to reveal places where fear is holding you back.
How to Handle Our Fear
A believer is captive to fear when he or she chooses to be. Some people actually organize their life (or at least portions of it) around avoiding anxiety-producing ideas or situations. But Christians do not have to live in that kind of bondage, because trusting in God is the key to our stumbling block.
At some time or other, apprehension enters the life of evry believer, but it need not remain long. To confront our fear ind overcome it, we must first acknowledge its presence. If we ignore anxiety or try to work around it, we will likely step out of God's will.
After we have admitted to being afraid, the next thing we must do is identify the nature of our fear. Sometimes we feel anxious without knowing exactly why, but the Holy Spirit can reveal what is holding us captive.
The third step is to begin the process of defeating fear's hold on our life. And there's no better tool for breaking chains than the "sword of the Spirit"--the Bible (Ephesians 6:17). God's Word speaks to our individual fears. Use a concordance to find specific practical help. Or, for more general encouragement, turn to Isaiah 41:10, which says, Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ This is a very important promise and, therefore, a helpful verse to memorize.
When I feel anxious, I take Isaiah 41:10 back to God by praying, "Here's what You said, and I believe You because you never lie. So I will trust You, Lord, to work in this situation." Trusting God is the only way to be free from fear. So decide whether you are going to believe Him and His promises or be tormented by your emotions.
Let God help you with your Fears
Click the Link Below to Return to the
Home page for itisbygrace2.com
Our latest Christian website.