by Barbara Latta @barbaralatta
I could say, “Have you ever been afraid?,” but that would be a silly question. Of course, we have all faced fear at some time in our lives. A germ spread panic around the world three years ago. Weather reports or hurricane warnings can instill terror for those in coastal regions as we see more storms forming in the ocean. Terrorism, crime, and rising prices can keep us wrapped in knots of anxiety.
No matter what we do apprehension can grip our hearts if we allow this enemy to grow. But if we give in, this emotion can deter us from success in our lives and can cause health and emotional problems.
Here are 4 effects of fear:
1. Fear paralyzes and disrupts decision making. When we are not thinking clearly, we grasp at whatever sounds good at the moment and act impulsively.
2. Fear divides. Political climates, social media, and news reports all contain various opinions. Escalated emotions can lead to fights and violence either physically or verbally.
3. Fear overrides hope. When we look at circumstances through the lens of discouragement, we see no resolution to the problem.
4. Fear defeats success. When dread is the prominent thought, there is no room for productivity or creativity. With no hope for the future there is no motivation for growth.
God tells us time after time in His Word to fear not. Of course, He knows the frailty of our humanness and He knew we would face situations that cause alarm. That’s why He gave us His Word as our weapon to combat fear.
King David faced hopeless situations more than once. When he and his men experienced the loss of their families, David’s response was to encourage himself in the Lord (1 Samuel 30:6).
Another psalmist wrote, Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God. (Psalm 43:6 NKJV)
We can learn from David’s example and encourage ourselves in the Lord by following these 5 remedies to the agitation that can plague our souls:
1. Prayer – stay in fellowship with God. Not just to ask Him to take away the afflicting thing, but to fellowship with Him in praise and thanksgiving for who He is—the Almighty, the Omniscient, the King of the universe.
2. Provision of God – He provides for our needs so we shouldn’t panic when prices soar, or supply chains are slow or empty for a time (Philippians 4:19).
3. Protection of God – He gives us His angels to guard and protect us (Psalm 91).
4. Power of God – He is able to do abundantly more than we can ask or think as long as we depend on the power that dwells within us (Ephesians 3:20).
5. Promises of God –God tells us He will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6).
Living in anxiety and worry will not make any problem go away. Trusting the Lord means walking with Him and depending upon Him for answers.
I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. (Psalm 34:4 KJV)
As we learn to live in the identity Christ gave us, we will be able to resist the devil’s tactics more easily because we will be able to recognize that none of this dismay comes from God.
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