Isaiah 12:2‘Surely God is my Salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD Himself, is my Strength and my Defense; He has become my Salvation.’
INTRODUCTION: FEAR IS PART OF LIFE
Life has many uncertainties as well as many unexpected and unforeseen aspects, and this can often leave us with a sense of foreboding and fear. Real fear has the power to protect us from danger and safeguard our lives. However, needless fear can often stem from our imagination and rob us of our strength and at times even paralyse us and hinder our progress. The question is how can we recognise the difference and live a life that is free from needless and unwarranted fears of other people or of things that perhaps we have no control over? I have discovered that in people’s lives there seems to be a progression in this area. It starts with a fleeting fear or concern about something we should attend to or be aware of. If we act at this point we can often deal with the issue and it can be resolved, or kept in its proper perspective. If we leave it unattended, the fear can become worry. At this stage the issue begins to plague our minds and causes mental distress. If this is left unattended, it can move into the dimension of anxiety. One of the most undermining aspects of anxiety is the self-doubt about our ability to cope with what we are facing. The question is how? How can we get victory in this area before it escalates and starts to debilitate us? I believe that there are things that we can give attention to and in so doing can learn to trust and not be afraid. In this way we can live in victory in this area.
MAKE SURE YOUR BUSINESS IS RIGHT WITH GOD
Perhaps this is the most important foundation and building block on the journey away from fear and worry. When we decide to live according to God’s ordinances and choose to do what His Word tells us to do, internal peace becomes the starting block of the way we live our lives. However, if we choose to do our own thing and live exactly how we want to live, then the foundation is unstable and the stage is set for uncertainty and this leads to fear. True freedom from fear starts when we live a life based on following God’s instructions. Let me give you an example: if God requires that we be honest and upright in all our dealings, and if we do this, fear will not be an issue. If, however, we choose to be dishonest and deal corruptly, then we will have to watch our backs and live with the fear that goes with that choice. When we know that there is no issues between us and the Lord, we can live with childlike faith and with the expectation that His provision and protection will accompany us. Then there is no need for fear as we are in right-standing with the ultimate authority and fear must leave us.
1 John 4:18‘There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].’ (Amplified Bible)
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