Dealing with Fear

Overcoming fear

Jesus taught that we need not be afraid. I fully admit there are times when I do feel afraid though – but I have learned what to do with the fear.

If we live immersed only in this world, quite honestly, there is a lot to fear. This world is very uncertain. However, when one derives life from another world – one that is unshakeable – then fear has little to cling to, or at least for very long.

This other world Jesus called “the kingdom of God.” He assured a confused Pontius Pilate that he WAS indeed a king, but his kingdom was not of this world.

Jesus MANIFESTED his kingship of this other world as he healed the sick, cleansed the lepers, opened the eyes of the blind, restored hearing to the deaf, drove out demons, raised the dead, and preached good news to the poor.

Because of Jesus, the kingdom of God is now a PRESENT reality. It is deeper, higher, broader, and in every way superior to this world of our senses. It is available NOW – not just in heaven.

We enter this kingdom, and it enters us, as we entrust ourselves to Jesus Christ and begin to follow him.

Reading in the Gospels, one is struck by the MANY times Jesus urged his disciples not to be afraid. Jesus completely understood our weakness and vulnerability to things outside our control.

Jesus also knew that in the kingdom of God we have nothing to fear – NO HARM CAN COME OUR WAY.

“Wait a minute,” you may be thinking. “All kinds of hurtful things happen to Christians, even martyrdom – how does that square with not being harmed?”

The distinction is this: everyone in this life gets hurt. Hurt has to do with suffering and pain. Harm has to do with DESTRUCTION. That, Jesus promised, will NEVER come our way, even if cruelly martyred for our faith.

We tend to view life in tombstone fashion: we “begin” at date of birth and “end” on date of death. God, on the other hand, views our life now as just the beginning phase, the purpose of which is “training for reigning.”

As my mentor Dr. Dallas Willard used to say, “What God gets out of our life is the kind of person we have become. His goal is that we become the kind of persons he can trust to do what WE want into eternity.”

The gymnasium for “training for reigning” is the testing (and strengthening) of our faith through HARDSHIP.

Jesus strongly rebuked our “fear of man” and urged us, if we are to fear at all, we should fear God – who certainly could send us to hell – yet this same God is aware of every sparrow that falls to the ground, knows every hair on our head, and because he is our heavenly Father, he WILL protect us.

Our job is to seek God’s face, before all else in life – THEN everything will be provided.

Are you feeling afraid right now? What can you do about the fear?

KEEP TELLING YOURSELF THE TRUTH. God can be trusted.

TAKE OFF YOUR WIDE-ANGLE LENS AND USE YOUR CLOSE-UP LENS INSTEAD. When afraid, we tend to scan far and wide tormenting ourselves with the “what if?” questions. This only magnifies the fear. Instead FOCUS on the very near and the manageable.

READ PSALM 23 and PSALM 91 and take them to heart.

DO YOUR DUTY IN SPITE OF FEAR. The devil uses fear to paralyze and keep us from doing God’s will.

ASK GOD TO LIFT THE FEAR as you move forward in obedience.

HARNESS YOUR THOUGHTS to this present moment – and keep harnessing them.

ASK OTHERS TO PRAY FOR YOU.

HUMBLE YOURSELF BEFORE GOD and he will raise you up.

FIRMLY COMMAND THE DEVIL TO LEAVE YOU ALONE. If you belong to Jesus Christ, you have this authority. Do it out loud, with conviction, and insist on it.

PRAISE GOD WITH YOUR VOICE and sing love songs to him from your heart.

THANK GOD FOR EVERY SINGLE THING. Your cup of coffee. Your breakfast. Your health. Your salvation.

MEMORIZE THESE WORDS OF JESUS: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27

ENTRUSTING YOURSELF TO JESUS CHRIST IS THE VERY BEST THING YOU CAN DO. This seven-minute video will lead you to accept Christ, if you are interested.