Fear. A small word that has a strong influence on how we live our lives. As I have been listening to others, reading social media, and watching the news, it has become so clear to me how prone we are to living in the grip of fear. Here are just a few examples of where I have been seeing fear show up: child starts a new school, another child doesn’t get the desired teacher, finances, politics, loss of a job, health issues, broken relationships, changes in our jobs/church/homes/etc., transitions with family members, uncertainty about the future; I could go on and on.
We don’t always see our responses to these situations as fear, however. We experience a multitude of other emotions, often failing to see the underlying fear that is driving our responses and behavior. That underlying fear, and the mis-beliefs that accompany that, show up in a variety of ways.
- We strive to over-control the people around us and environments we are in.
- We make assumptions of others.
- We pull back and stop taking risks.
- We idolize safety.
- We resist and challenge those who don’t see things as we do.
- We speak harshly to and about others.
- We seek our own interests above the interests of others.
- Our ability to trust those around us is greatly diminished.
- Anger and frustration become our go-to emotions.
- We aren’t able to listen well and relationships suffer.
- We push our emotions and fear onto those around us.
This is just the short list. I would challenge you today – if you notice any of the above responses in yourself – to consider what are your underlying fears? What beliefs are you holding on to that are prompting the fear?
There is an alternative. Fear will come. Our broken, human nature is one that is prone to believing lies, and being trapped by the fear brought on by those lies. However, our response is under our control. 1 John 4:18 reminds us, “Perfect love drives out all fear.” On our own, fear will control us. It will sneak in and consume our thoughts and behaviors. Thankfully, we are not on our own. We are loved with a perfect love by a Savior who eagerly comes to our rescue. Let us learn to trust in His perfect love and grow in our dependence on Him. When we rest in the author of perfect love, and lay our burdens on him, we are freed from fear. (Ps. 34:4).
1. Acknowledge and confess the fear
2. Consider: What would it look like to trust Jesus in this situation that is causing this fear?
3. Move forward confident that God is in control and works for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28) Hear and respond willingly to God’s call and be free to experience the blessings that come with freedom from fear.
This week, would you spend time reading Psalm 46? I’d love to know what God reveals to you as you spend time in His Word this week!