Browsing Tag

Fear

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Guest Writer: Lillian Howard on Fear’s Paralyzation-Part 2

(Upcoming: The Digging Deep podcast for October is next Tuesday night.I hope you can join us and we would love to have your comments in the live chat. Comments are a great enrichment to the study’s scope, of course. The winner of the international writing contest for kids will be announced here next Monday, so be watching for that, especially if you are one of those who submitted an entry. Every entry represented a great effort and a significant investment of time.)

How do we stop fear?

To begin with, remember it’s a growth process. You don’t wake up one day and suddenly have no fear any more than you wake up one day and suddenly know everything the Bible teaches on love. And it does start with courage. You’ll never conquer a fear if you don’t do it, and you’ll never do it without courage.

Next, remember why we don’t have to fear.

… the LORD is with you while ye be with him; and if ye seek him he will be found of you… 2 Chronicles 15:2

… If God be for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31

… for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Hebrews 13:5-6

The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? Psalm 118:6

For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; 1 Peter 3:12-14

The almighty God is with us. We have our Creator and unfailing Lord on our side! His eyes are over us as we practice righteousness! What really is there to fear? The Lord even gives us a specific promise in Matthew 28:20. He promises us specifically that he is with us as we spread his word!

God is on our side, but he doesn’t just root from the sidelines. He does so much more than that.

He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Isaiah 40:29

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. Psalm 27:14

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD. Psalm 31:24

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. 2Corinthians 12:9

But the God of all grace, … make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. 1Peter 5:10

God gives us strength as we apply our courage. Psalm 46:1-2, Isaiah 12:2, and 26:4 also show that he is our source of strength to help us overcome our obstacles. And part of how he does that is through a magnificent gift.

These things have I spoken unto you that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk there in, and ye shall find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16

Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means… 2 Thessalonians 3:16

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Colossians 3:15

Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

When we walk with him, he gives us peace. He conquered the world, and now we can have peace. He is the very Lord of peace! But my favorite verses from this are in Philippians and Colossians.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds (Phil. 4:7).

But let the peace of God rule in your hearts (Col.3:15).

Peace keeps our hearts and minds from all the cares, fears, and troubles that we give to God, 1Peter 5:7. Peace rules in our hearts, which means it has conquered the fears and troubles that once lived there.

Remember back to our verses against trouble and fear. One definition of the word ‘troubled’ in these verses is ‘causing inward commotion and taking away calmness, or peace of mind’.

In closing, let’s notice 2 Timothy 2:22:

Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

We have to follow peace. Like I said earlier, it doesn’t just come to us in this wonderful epiphany. Righteousness, love, and faith come from God. But that doesn’t mean they just come to us. We have to try to be righteous, try to have proper love, try to keep our faith. In the same way, peace is a gift of God, and we didn’t earn it. But we have to let it rule in our hearts. We have to remember that God is with us and give our cares to him.

Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. Psalm 37:37

Uprightness brings peace. Let’s remember that as we face this tempting and often terrifying world.

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Guest Writer: Lillian Howard on Fear’s Paralyzation

I’ve been thinking about how our Digging Deep  study, Authority, is not for the fearful. I have already been called on to do some major self-examination and ready myself for submission in important ways that I have been tempted to ignore.  Recently while speaking in the state of Missouri, I met Lillian Howard. Lilly is still in high school, but she has her own personal arsenal of written defensive missiles against our great spiritual enemy. Listen to her words (and the Lord’s) about the danger of our own fear, specifically about how our fears  can make us ashamed of our Lord. They are convicting. Here’s Lillian:

In Revelation 21:8, God gives us one of several lists telling of those who will not enter Heaven. It has such people as the unbelievers, murderers, and liars. But it is the first one that really catches my attention. Fearful.

In this verse, fearful means timid or cowardly. Cowardice is succumbing to fear. Cowards will be kept out of Heaven. But why? Obviously because God said so, but why did he say so? I think we understand why most of these others are wrong. If you don’t believe, you can’t even begin to do anything else God commands us. Murder is the unlawful taking of a life, made in the image of God. And lying breaks down trust and our influence. But what does cowardice do that makes it so serious?

First, succumbing to fear can make us ashamed.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord… 2 Timothy 1:7-8

For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory… Luke 9:26

But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in Heaven. Matthew 10:33

Clearly, being ashamed of the one who died for us is a serious matter, as is being ashamed of his gospel. It is, after all, the power that saves us, Romans 1:16.

Second, fear can keep us from doing what we know is right. Remember Esther? She had the chance to save her entire race from annihilation. But she was scared. It could cost her her life. In a nutshell, Mordecai told her, opportunity + ability = obligation. It’s not as though she didn’t have a choice. But cowardice would have cost her and her family immensely, Esther 4:14.

We are given a similar command in James 4:17-

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

Next time: What Can We Do about Fear?

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: A Snake on the Porch

We live in the country. THIS week…A fat lizard greeting me inside my kitchen gate each time I come home, a fox and her three babies in the backyard, two chimney bird-nest smoke-outs, two mice caught in traps and an armadillo on Gurley Pike that I tried to miss, but just could not. (Those awkward things just cannot get out of the way, but I still will always have a little soft spot for them because of Rafaella Gabriela and Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla and Albert Andreas Armadillo, who found an aardvark in Schoolhouse Rocks!) When I picked up my mop wringer on my screened-in porch to find a suh-suh-snake, I’d just about reached my critter-quota for this week! (I’m only terrified of two kinds of snakes—dead ones and live ones.) This is the porch that’s just off both my dining room and my bedroom. The snake was lying just outside the door that I’ve left open on many a spring and autumn night. If I live in this house till my dying day, I will never sleep with that door open again—EVER! 

My faithful husband, who already had a lunch appointment, cancelled it and drove the thirty minutes home to decapitate and then discard the still-moving beast. 

I cannot figure out why I am so afraid of even non-venomous serpents. I don’t know why I thought of him last as I fell asleep at about one a.m. last night or why he popped into my head when I first woke up and lay there staring through the glass at that porch floor that will probably not ever get mopped again; at least not this year. 

Glenn tried to figure that out yesterday over lunch. “Did you have a big traumatic snake experience when you were little?” 

“I guess not except that time I was fishing with my grandmother and that snake slithered by us on the bank.”

“What did you do?”

“I climbed up in the bed of my grandfather’s pick-up truck, along with my aged grandmother, and yelled, with all of the volume I (we) could summon, across Hollis’s lake (My grandad always fished on the other side, probably exactly for the volume reason…) for him to come around there and “save” us, which he did….But I don’t think that was really traumatic, do you?”

My husband, ever the valiant and forbearing one, overlooking my reptile trepidation (really, phobia), said “Well, I think God, maybe, placed in us an aversion to the snake. After all, it was the snake in which the devil first came to tempt.”

Now that was very kind of him to give the fright that will haunt my dreams for several weeks now, a spiritual connotation, when, actually, I’m thinking all material…”You know, a condo downtown with a paved front yard might be better than this rambling old house in this forest,” … “A big and sealed screen door might be good beside our bed, here, even though the porch is already screened in,” … “ And could we caulk those porch floorboards?” 

But, really…I hope I can be as afraid of the Genesis 3 snake as I was (am) of that one Glenn killed out on the porch. I know Jesus already crushed his head at Calvary (Genesis 3:15), taking away his power over my purchased soul. But still…Jesus wants me to fear him. The serpent is still moving around in our world today (I Peter 5:8) . May I have a healthy fear of the snake that can kill both body and soul in hell (Matthew 10:28). May I call for reinforcements from the One who is stronger than I, when I find myself spiritually paralyzed by that serpent. And may I keep the door closed between me and that snake.  I don’t want to be asleep while that crafty (Gen 3:1) and venomous snake slithers into my house.