These are things we fear.
They grip, paralyze and debilitate.
Fear can create shame and embarrassment. We tell ourselves “get it together” and yet the fear consumes. We feel frustrated and withdraw. We are frustrated when that doesn’t make the fear go away.
I believe everyone has something they fear. It might be creepy, crawly critters or a fear that comes from a deep trauma of the past. When it consumes, it is truly larger than life. It’s terrifying and when we are in its’ grip, there is little else we can think of or do.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
As I read that verse, I have struggled trying to understand how simple the command, “do not fear” appears. It’s not something I can turn off when it hits. Fear makes me feel small and helpless. As I’ve been recently learning more about walking with God, I’m realizing that His promises are best understood in the context of our relationship with Him.
“Walk with God”. What does that really mean? Is it yelling for help in the midst of a crisis or is it a leisurely walk in times of calm? It’s both. God is calling you to immerse yourself in His presence. Some of the ways to walk with God are:
- Trust in God’s character – turn your self-sufficiency into God dependence
- Engage in active ministry
- Study the Word: daily reading, intentional study
- Seek the Holy Spirit’s direction: Stillness, praying for specific direction
- Pray specifically
- Share with Christian community
- Proclaim and praise God’s work in you life
He wants you to lean into Him. It is then that He can give you the strength you need.
Logical versus illogical fear
It’s important to step back and analyze whether you are facing a logical or illogical fear. Logical fear is being afraid of something that is real and can hurt or destroy. Illogical fear is a distortion and makes you afraid of something that actually cannot hurt you. There is no basis for that fear. It may have surfaced due to something that happened in the past. In the case of logical fear, you may need to get help and protect yourself. With illogical fear, you will need to check why you are afraid and see what you really are afraid of. You may need help processing that.
Turn your fear into faith
Fear will come. It will consume. The only way you can overcome illogical fear is to face it. If you step into the darkness while leaning on God, you can trust Him to take you through it, He will give you strength, resources and the people you need to overcome the fear. Suddenly, the cloud of darkness will lift and you will feel yourself stepping forward. You will realize that this thing you are afraid of has no power over you. It will only happen as you lean in, rest in Jesus and truly believe that He will carry you. It’s then you are free! Fear will lose its hold on you.
You will be stronger. Fear is no longer your enemy. Trust in the very one who turns darkness to light.
Step into your fear. He is greater!
Note: You may need to see your doctor or therapist to help overcome and manage issues related to anxiety and fear.