Thriving In the Midst Of Fear
by Craig Booker
There are certain world events which invoke fear in the hearts of people both young and old. If you look back at human history, you can see events which captured the attention of people around the world. I have been blessed to experience fear on so many levels and in every sense of the word. I understand how pervasive it can be and what happens if it is not properly addressed. In a world of uncertainty and fear, there is one thing we can be sure of... we WILL experience trouble, tribulation and hardship. As Believers, we know this, but it is interesting how reassuring it can be to read it in God's Word. As we go about our lives, in the midst of such pervasive fear, we can respond to fear with faith, experiencing God's peace and confidence in God's goodness or we can bow to fear allowing it to rule our lives, stealing our joy. I have experienced both types of responses to fear and understand what can happen as a result of each choice.
John 16:33 AMP 'I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.” [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.]'
Fear is Not Bad
First off, we can rest assurred that fear is NOT bad. Fear is something which God has given us, which helps us respond appropriately to real danger. Our brain is constantly monitoring our environment, which allows us to respond accordingly when another car abruptly stops in front of us on the highway. Our bodies send signals to our brain and alert us when we do not eat enough food or drink enough water. Our brains instruct us to save resources for slower months, when resources are not as plentiful. Our brains have a built-in, fight or flight response, allowing us to properly respond to danger. Fear is one of our God-given responses to danger. Fear is NOT bad. Unchecked fear IS dangerous. If fear is given free-reign, it will kick out every other biological guard God has given us to help us make good decisions. This is what we MUST protect ourselves from. In 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, God instructs us on how to combat fear.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 'For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. '
You Can See Fear As Opportunity
Personally, I experience the world a bit different than most people. Because of my past experiences, I gravitate towards seeing the world through the lens of fear. So when I say that we have a choice, I am speaking from this experience. I am not claiming to have mastered this, I am simply relating what I have seen in my day-to-day. Whether I like it or not, I have a choice to respond to fear as an opportunity or to bow to it. This does not mean that seeing it as an opportunity is easy because it is NOT.
Here IS Something I AM Learning.
Fear is an opportunity to trust in God's goodness. I know, it is not that simple. Believe me, fear will tell you, "you can not trust in ANYTHING." Let me let you in on a little secret, fear is a little biased. Fear is trying to protect you at ALL costs, but ultimately choosing to listen only to fear will cost you your health.
You Do Not Fight Fear On Your Own or All At Once
Depending on your situation, fear is not something you will fight alone or all at once. Think of fighting fear as a marathon, not a sprint. Some days you will experience great victory and others you may not be able to stand on your own.
You Can Bow To It
The other side of fear is seeing fear as too overwhelming and choosing to bow to it. Sometimes, our circumstances cause us to hide inside our shell much like a turtle rolled over on its shell. I get that! I have done this time and time again. There are some days I need all the help I can get just to get out of bed. There are times when I ask God for forgiveness for bowing to fear and refusing to trust in His goodness. Know that Our God IS a loving and grace-filled God. You WILL have days where things seem like too much to handle. I can and will write an article on how to respond when life seems like too much. I do not have an easy fix solution for you to follow, but I know a God who is even better. If you have messed up today and need God's forgiveness, I encourage you to run to the Father. He wants nothing more for you to stand tall in the face of fear, but He also understands when we are not strong enough to stand on our own.
Our Response to Fear as a Believer
As a believer and follower of Jesus, we will experience both victory and defeat when fighting fear. Each day we must battle this together with other believers and ask for forgiveness when we fall down.
Lamentations 3:22-23 'Because of the Lord ’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. '