On Fear and Anxiety

Anxiety and fear have been rearing their unwelcome presence in my life again the past several months. I HATE it!

Rather than suffer silently I have been crying out to God and looking to His word in scripture for help.

There are some wonderful devotionals and study guides available though the UVerse Bible app. I’m currently enjoying “Getting Free from Fear & Anxiety“. I’m sharing an excerpt below, plus a link if anyone is interested in diving a little deeper.

Getting Free From Fear & Anxiety

https://www.bible.com/en/reading-plans/33548

Honesty is vital.

Has anyone ever asked how you were doing, and you said, “Good!” even though you were clearly not “good?”

Psalm 145:18 says, “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”

This Scripture says God will be near to those who call on Him in truth. It does not say He will only be near to those who call out to Him with the perfect, positive things to say. Sometimes, we are in so much pain that the only way to call out is in pain-filled truth. And God is okay with that. He knows what we are thinking, and He still loves us immensely.

Our beautiful Jesus came in the flesh and experienced the pains of life. (Hebrews 4:15) He can empathize with our weaknesses, as well as our temptations.

God is not afraid of our questions, doubts, anger or fear. He knows us better than we know ourselves, and He wants us to be honest with Him so he can heal and help us!

God does not want us to be robots. Yes, His heart is for us to grow and become more like Him, but He is not withholding His love and attention while we are in process. (Psalm 103:8) He loves us deeply. It is His kindness that leads us to repentance and change. (Romans 2:4)

Challenge

Be vulnerable and honest with God; He is a good Father! He meets us right where we are, with love and understanding. I want to challenge you to get real with the Lord about your fears and anxiety. He knows where they are coming from. He knows what you are going through and loves you the same. He longs for an intimate relationship with you.

Prayer

Father, I am so glad I don’t have to try to deal with fear on my own. You are on my side. Hebrews 4:16 tells me I can run to the throne of grace. You are my help.

* Bring your fears, cares, and anxiety to Him. Pour out your heart to Him. He loves you more than you can comprehend.

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Staying Connected to God

There is a theme running through different words I’ve read the past few days: staying close to the Father. This encouragement from God through Marsha Burns fits perfectly with my last post on 11.23.20

November 24, 2020

SMALL STRAWS IN A SOFT WIND by MARSHA BURNS

When you are overwhelmed and undone, take the time necessary to commune with Me. Do this regularly for the sake of sanity. Take a breath and release all tension and stress as you rest in My presence. Come to the place that is above and beyond the worries of the day. Be at peace. 

Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

https://ft111.com/

Peacemakers Needed

God spoke through the prophet Hosea, revealing that His people “…are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6

Ignorance is not bliss in God’s kingdom. Not knowing God and not knowing His way of doing things is, by default, opening the door to a world of hurt & suffering.

Right now in the U.S., we are witnessing some of the most turbulent & rancorous times in our country’s history. You don’t have to look very far to find angry, vocal & enraged people expressing themselves in angry & violent ways. This leads people with opposing ideologies to rise up with an equal amount of anger & rage in response. Or – in reaction to is the better phrase. “In response” implies thoughtful consideration. That’s not what we are witnessing.

Somethings gotta give.

Or more correctly, someone’s gotta give…an inch (or more)…toward reconciliation and peace.

Here is one of those deep scriptures, that if you breeze right over it, you miss what God is revealing:

For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” James 3:16

Slow down. Now re-read the verse: where envying and strife is

What happens when envying (jealousy, desire for something that someone else has) & strife (vigorous or bitter conflict, discord, or antagonism) are present?

There will be confusion and every evil work. The New American Standard Bible says it this way, “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.”

You can see this playing out in social media, in politics, in race relations. The anger & constant strife has lead to increasing rage, destruction and violence. Civility has seemingly left the building!

As Christians, we are not to emulate the behavior of people who do no know God. Paul wrote to the Corinthian church that they were, “… still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world?

You can’t be a light to the world if you are still acting like you live in the dark.

Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:9

We can be at peace because Jesus gives us His peace. Peace is a by-product of trust. We have the privilege of going to God and PRAYING ABOUT EVERYTHING (Philippians 4:6)

We can shut the door on confusion & other evil, destructive influences in our life by staying out of strife and resisting envy, jealousy & selfish ambition.

It is a choice. Everyday. Sometimes multiple times per day. Choose to be at peace. Ask God to lead you away from the temptation to react and be argumentative. Turn off the TV if you have to and avoid strife-ruled people. Then go a step further and ask God to bring peace to your family, your community, our country. This is exercising your God-given ability to be a peace-maker, as all of God’s children should be.

When Fear Threatens

It’s on my heart to speak to anyone suffering from fear, in whatever form it takes: anxiety, worry, terror or dread.

The following scriptures came to my mind today. They are gold to me…precious in their truth because the Lord gave me these passages to fight with when I was going through fearful situations:

Psalm 112:7-8 Living Bible (TLB)

He does not fear bad news, nor live in dread of what may happen. For he is settled in his mind that Jehovah will take care of him. That is why he is not afraid but can calmly face his foes.”

Settle it in your mind and heart that your Father loves you & will take care of you, no matter what. I want to pair this scripture with a well-known passage from Exodus 14 (Good News Translation)

When the king of Egypt was told that the people had escaped, he and his officials changed their minds and said, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites escape, and we have lost them as our slaves!” The king got his war chariot and his army ready. He set out with all his chariots, including the six hundred finest, commanded by their officers. The Lord made the king stubborn, and he pursued the Israelites, who were leaving triumphantly.[a] The Egyptian army, with all the horses, chariots, and drivers, pursued them and caught up with them where they were camped by the Red Sea near Pi Hahiroth and Baal Zephon.

10 When the Israelites saw the king and his army marching against them, they were terrified and cried out to the Lord for help. 11 They said to Moses, “Weren’t there any graves in Egypt? Did you have to bring us out here in the desert to die? Look what you have done by bringing us out of Egypt! 12 Didn’t we tell you before we left that this would happen? We told you to leave us alone and let us go on being slaves of the Egyptians. It would be better to be slaves there than to die here in the desert.”

13 Moses answered, “Don’t be afraid! Stand your ground, and you will see what the Lord will do to save you today; you will never see these Egyptians again. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and all you have to do is keep still.”

You know the rest. If you don’t, click here for the full account of the parting of the Red Sea. Sometimes all the Lord wants from us is to be still, in faith, believing that He will handle whatever is seeking to steal our peace & joy.

Blessings!

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