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      Fear Strikes, Faith Answers

           “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.  In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.”  Ps. 56:3-4

          We all face times of fear.  It’s thin bony hands pull at our hearts.  We can become almost paralyzed.  Sometimes even getting out of bed to confront another day can be overwhelming.  We loose all desire to be with people, accomplish our goals, and/or take care of daily necessities.  Fear can play on many things both great and small.

          Those who have not faced fear to that extend may minimize it’s effect on others.  Or they may mock someone’s fear in an area in which they have no fear.  A person who has no fear of snakes can’t understand why others do.  But he, perhaps, has a fear in an area that others do not.  It seems so small to the one who is not afraid and so large to the one who is afraid; yet, it is the same thing viewed from different perspectives. 

      God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love. 1 John 4:17-18, The Message

      The cause of the fear is usually not as important as how the emotion of fear is handled.  It can destroy us, or it can build us.  We know fear does not come from God, it comes to torment us.  [I am not talking about a healthy fear such as a fear of putting your hand on a hot stove burner.]  Fear seeks to destroy our lives.  It drives us to inaction and depression.  It can cause the actual thing we fear to happen when it might not have happened! 

          Fear can be a tool to being to light hidden defects in our character.  For example, if I fear losing my job - even though I am a good worker - it is because I am looking to my employer as my provider.  If I really saw God as my Provider, fear could not grip me because I know there is nothing that can effect God’s ability to provide.  My employer is simply God's current instrument to bring His provision into my life.  God could just as well select another one.

          So fear - when it gets a hold - shows us areas of our life where faith is not operating.  Fear and faith cannot co-exist.  The one will destroy the other.

          How do we break the chains of fear in our lives?  We must have faith in God’s perfect love.  We can trust God.  He cares for us.  Situations may hurt, but nothing can ever ultimately harm us if we will walk with God.  Confidence comes, trust abides, faith answers.  Easy to say, but how do we walk in it?

          In times of fear, how to we show or release our faith?  The sacrifice of praise.  We do not feel like giving God praise.  We feel like curling up in a corner and dying.  Nevertheless, we open our mouths and choose to praise God.  We choose to worship.  We choose to mediate on the greatness and care of God [Psalm 23 is a must!].  We read Scripture - especially the Psalms. We memorize Scriptures which show how God is the answer to that fear.  For example, if death is our fear, we memorize Scripture on how Christ defeated death and on how we have eternal life.  Every time the fear-laced thought attacks, we response with praise.  The love of God will flow through our heats and fear will flee.  I am not saying it is an easy or quick process.  Wars are not usually won in a day.  However, if we will stand fast and let faith answer, the fear - no matter how great - can and will be steadily driven back until it no longer exists.

           

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