Sunday, October 31, 2010

What Are You Afraid Of?

If anyone has been paralyzed with fear, I have. I can give a long, 22 year old testimony as to how my life has been littered with doubts, fears and worries. They stem from a heart that, at times, is just not willing to trust the God of the universe with different areas of life. I have found that most of my fears are merely lies in disguise. These lies continually churn in my mind, exhausting me from a Christ- focused-life so much that they become ‘truth’ in my mind. This harvests a discontented spirit and quenches the joy of knowing Jesus as both my Lord and Savior.

I have learned that the only hope I have in stopping the hostility of these lies is to combat them immediately with God’s Word; the Truth. I encourage you to do the same; this morning I wrote out some current fears as well as thoughts that have pinned me down in the past. My ammunition has been a few of these scriptures that address the topic. Some of the verses are merely just the tip of the iceberg in revealing a Biblical man or woman’s life who are slaves to a similar fear that you may be facing. A good place to begin finding your amo, is a word search of a particular word either in the back of your Bible or I use or Whatever you do, don’t just stop at the verse, dig deeper and read it in context please! God’s Word is meant to be in its entirety. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what the text says and you’ll discover that Truth exposes the lies in disguise. I would even go as far to write it down---and remind you on the days you find yourself locked to a ball and chain of a particular fear.

Additionally, you could ask godly friends, parents, or your pastor to give you some ideas of passages dealing with the fear. If you feel like a verse is not “hitting the spot” sometimes all you need to do is to meditate simply on God’s character. In college, I was blessed to attend a Bible study lead by a beautiful, God-fearing woman who taught us how to simply meditate on who God is. My absolute favorite hymn is “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” Although it’s not scripture persay, the lyrics could not be any better!

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face. And the things of earth will turn strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”

It’s amazing how focusing on how BIG God is in comparison to your fear, immediately destroys it and you’re able to glorify God instead of worrying about it.

One more suggestion, if you’re visual person like me, I sometimes need to see things in order for it to really sink in. I created this little “Sticky-Note-Prayer Poster” where I have the verse Philippians 4:6-7 written out at the top. Then I wrote down specific prayer requests, fears, worries, and temptations that are constantly on my mind on sticky notes. I created the rule that I can take the sticky note down and pray about it or leave it up there---otherwise my thoughts shouldn’t be trying to figure it out. Some days it works and other days I still struggle, but again, it’s a visual that I can tell myself “It’s up there! Leave it alone!” Or I am just reminded of what the verse says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in EVERYTHING, by prayer and petition, with THANKSGIVING, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Those words are enough to knock-out any fear!

I fear pain

Job 5:18
"For He inflicts pain, and gives relief; He wounds, and His hands also heal.

Revelation 21:3b-4
"Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away."

John 16:33
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Romans 8:35
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

I fear change

Psalm 46:2-5
1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not R1397 fear, though the R1398 earth should change And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; F4113 Though its waters R1400 roar and foam, Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah. F412 4 There is a river R1401 whose streams make glad the city of God, The holy dwelling places of the Most High. 5 God is in R1404 the midst of her, she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.

I fear fat and an undesirable appearance

Matthew 6:27-34

27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his lifeF30 ?
28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

1 Samuel 16:6-7
6 When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, "Surely the LORD's anointed stands here before the LORD." 7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

Psalm 45:11 “The king is enthralled with your beauty.”

1 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4 Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful.

I fear sickness

John 11-The Death of Lazarus: Christ is glorified in the sickness of him (4)

Proverbs 18:14
A man's spirit sustains him in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?

I fear not knowing how to respond to others

Psalm 37
1 [a] Do not fret because of evil men
or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.
3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Mark 13:10-11
10And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. 11Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.
Luke 12:1-12—Please read in context, you will understand when you get to it 
It’s both “Warnings and Encouragements” so take into consideration both the warning and the encouragement from it! Especially verse 12

I fear not listening/knowing His will

(see parts of Psalm 37—multi-purpose verse!)

Psalm 16

I fear disappointment

This is what the Sovereign LORD says:
"See, I will beckon to the Gentiles,
I will lift up my banner to the peoples;
they will bring your sons in their arms
and carry your daughters on their shoulders.
23 Kings will be your foster fathers,
and their queens your nursing mothers.
They will bow down before you with their faces to the ground;
they will lick the dust at your feet.
Then you will know that I am the LORD;
those who hope in me will not be disappointed."

I fear being alone

Psalm 25:15-17
15 My eyes are ever on the LORD,
for only he will release my feet from the snare.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
17 The troubles of my heart have multiplied;
free me from my anguish.
Genesis 28:15
“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."
Deuteronomy 31:6
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."

I fear forgetfulness

Psalm 105:7-9
7 He is the LORD our God;
his judgments are in all the earth.
8 He remembers his covenant forever,
the word he commanded, for a thousand generations,
9 the covenant he made with Abraham,
the oath he swore to Isaac.
Psalm 111:3-5
3 Glorious and majestic are his deeds,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4 He has caused his wonders to be remembered;
the LORD is gracious and compassionate.
5 He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.

I fear making mistakes

Deuteronomy 32:4
He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.

2 Samuel 22:33
It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.

Psalm 37:23-24
23 If the LORD delights in a man's way,
he makes his steps firm;
24 though he stumble, he will not fall,
for the LORD upholds him with his hand.

I fear not being good enough

Colossians 3:1-17
1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

12Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

I even fear the act of fear or lack of confidence

Moses and the Burning Bush-Exodus

Proverbs 19:23
The fear of the LORD leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

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