False Evidence Appearing Real
Paralyzing. Regret inducing. Dream stealing. Success squashing. Relationship destroying. Finance draining. Time wasting. Health robbing. Sleep depriving. Mind games playing. Trust slaying. Growth inhibiting. Life killing. FEAR.
I wish I could say that I have always walked bold, courageous and fearless. However, there are a number of situations that have caught me by surprise and planted a seed of fear.
In college, I visited a concentration camp over in Austria. The death camp, along with the pictures that I saw, birthed a fear as I was in shock with the reality that man was capable of being so brutal to another human being.
In becoming a mom, fear is what I had to fight and overcome at yet another level. Prior to giving birth to a child, these next thoughts would have seemed so silly. “Why does he have that fever? Why can’t he sleep at night? Is it cancer? Will anyone talk to my child and include them in? Will she be safe at camp? Will my children make good life decisions? We need more money. Why hasn’t my husband come home from the office yet? Why hasn’t he phoned? Why is the campus on lock down? Maybe my kids are too young to drive safely. The kid next to my child in school has lice, strep throat, chickenpox, pink eye, a club foot, ugly shoes, and on and on and on and WILL THEY CATCH IT?!?”
Fear is a liar that gets in your head and is a horrible “reality” to base any decision off of. I have way too many times made bad calls due to the fact that I was operating in fear. Fear brought on in the circumstances of sickness, rejection, relational hurt, loss of a job, political unrest, loneliness, exams, hearing gossip about me, reading or watching the news, a bad report, etc.
Possibly none of you have ever had to deal with the issue of fear. However, the fact that the Bible says
“DO NOT FEAR”
over 365 times is a pretty good indicator that I am not talking just about myself. I guess God knew that we would need a daily reminder.
I read a quote earlier today by an unknown author,
“Fear is not real. Danger is real. Fear is a choice.”
I think that it probably couldn’t be more true. It is a choice in how we will respond to the situations, good or bad, around us. In fact, dare I say that when we allow fear to rule, it also alters our ability to perceive a situation correctly and respond appropriately. Fear never makes a situation better, but it sure does a good job of robbing us from functioning well in the present.
You can take the most talented athlete or musician who has put in hours of practice and has skill that outperforms everyone else. Insert fear into their mind and you will not see that talent when they perform.
We live out what we are thinking and believing about ourselves and situations in our mind. Whether it is truth or a lie.
There is a word that describes exactly where I place myself when operating in fear…
BONDAGE. I hate that word. And I despise living in that prison even more.
In an earlier posting, I quoted Pastor John Gray.
“What you focus on the longest is what becomes the strongest.”
I have good news for you. We can focus on the Word that brings a peace that passes all understanding. The Bible is not a book of good suggestions. It is powerful, accomplishing, achieving, useful, and very relevant. It is filled with a peace that Christ offers us. And yes, even in the midst of chaos and storms. Because as long as we are on planet earth, life will be messy.
John 16:33 MSG says it best…
“I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.”
All throughout the Bible, we see examples of the peace and confidence that God offered to those that trusted Him in the face of frightening and daunting situations. The danger was real, but they made the choice to not fear. Or maybe, to do it afraid.
- David was frequently running from someone who was trying to take his life. Yet he was convinced that God was bigger than his problem and trusted him. He penned while on the run…
“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.” Psalm 4:8
- In boldness, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego walked into the fiery furnace.
- Daniel slept in the lion’s den.
- Esther approached the king unsummoned which could have lead to her death.
- Jehosaphat lead his people singing praises to God to what should have been their demise but instead trusting God to be good to His Word.
- Joshua lead the people into the Promise Land successfully that was filled with giants and enemies.
- Peter walked on water.
- Paul shook off the poisonous snake and continued to minister to the people on the island.
These Bible hero’s had something in common. Instead of believing their circumstances, they put their faith in God and His promises. They were not moved by the mountain in front of them, but instead trusted the mountain mover. They believed God in the face of the impossible and intimidating situations in front of them. And God was faithful.
“What we focus on the longest is what becomes the strongest.” If we are looking for peace in the middle of turmoil, we need to focus on the promises of God. They are still yes and amen (2 Corinthians 1:20). I assure you that when we meditate on His Word for our circumstances, His peace will start to dominate in each situation.
He is faithful. He has given us everything we need for this moment. We lack nothing that we require today. We are overcomers and are more than conquerors because we are in Christ Jesus. He has given you and me the ability to be strong and courageous. Today. For such a time as this.
What will you do in the face of fear? I encourage you to focus and meditate on the truth in His Word and experience the peace, strength, and courage that He has for you.
Bible Verses When Facing Fear – NLT
Having hope will give you courage. You will be protected and will rest in safety. You will lie down unafraid, and many will look to you for help.
You will go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly.
This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
I prayed to the Lord and he heard me. He freed me from all my fears.
2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?
Do not be afraid for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I will fear no evil, your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day.
Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident.