“IF YOU ARE ALWAYS AFRAID AND ANXIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING… THEN, THERE’S ONE ANSWER TO IT… YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN GOD.”
Those were the words that struck me hard when our pastor was preaching during our Sunday service. This month was full of fear and anxiety. To name some reasons are my concern to Marawi city, near my hometown, was attacked by heartless Maute group, next, I was waiting for a very big news in school. There’s not a day that I think of what could happen in the next few days. There are nights that I feel hopeless and sad and afraid. There are days that I doubt His greatness. There are days that I think I deserved to be punished because of my wrong doings. Days passed by, the burden became more heavy that I can no longer bear. So, I poured out my heart in prayer.
Here’s what I learned from my reflection: God does not want us to live in fear. Fear definitely does not come from Him. It’s this world that teaches us to fear. The things that we see in movies, newspapers, and books are what make us afraid. The things we hear people say and see them do causes us to have fear. The enemy can make us afraid of everything, including our future. It wears us down worrying that something we fear is going to happen anytime and anywhere of the day. BUT we don’t have to be tormented by fear.
There are two kinds of fear: godly and ungodly. We must pray that we live in godly fear, which is good, and not give place to ungodly fear, which is tormenting.
One of the most common types of ungodly fear is the fear of man or a fear of rejection (one of my greatest fears). It’s a trap we can fall into without ever realizing it. In order to protect ourselves from it, we have to care more about what God says than what anyone else says. WE must look to Him for approval and acceptance and not to people. If God does not have first place in our hearts, we are constantly fearing, like myself. I admit my relationship with God that time was shaky. I was giving more time with my studies than my quiet time with Him. That’s why with a single petty problem, I freak out and get worried A LOT, I get paranoid A LOT.
But remember that the Word reminds us that fear of man brings a snare, however, for those who trusts in the Lord shall be safe. There are so many things to be afraid of in this world. Sometimes all it takes is one news report to fill us with fear. Our imaginations alone can frighten us. TRUST ME. I hate my imaginations. I can make a horror movie in just 10 seconds.
So, there are 4 good ways on how to get away with ungodly fear that I would like to share to you.
Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
1 Peter 5:7 “Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”
These are one of my favorite verses and these are famous ones, too. Many people memorize it wholeheartedly but when fear strikes, it is easily forgotten. Everyone feels afraid at some point-whether it is an anxious feeling in taking an exam or a phobia. Any change, even positive changes like marriage or a promotion, can prompt feelings of fear. But it just depends on how you respond to that fear. To me, when I am afraid, I immediately pray to God because pouring out my emotions to the One that loves me so much is very comforting. Talk to God about your fears because He cares and He will without a doubt is ready to help you and guide you. I consider this as a blessing because it draws me closer to Him.
So when you’re afraid, always ask God to guard your heart and mind from the spirit of fear. Ask him to take that fear and replace it with His perfect love. Go back to His word. Cling to His word and His promises. Get hungry for His word. God is powerful and when you ask Him to take that fear from you, He will deliver you from it.
CONTROL WHAT YOU RECEIVE INTO YOUR MIND.
This week, I kept on entertaining thoughts from different people about how afraid they are on what will happen in the future. Some people are sharing me “What if” stories like what if we fail or what if our final exam grades weren’t enough. I kept on entertaining negative thoughts that also heightened my fear in failing. At times, I try to get away with it by watching tv but when I watch, I see many bad news and it adds more to my burden. So I decided to lock myself in my own room and spent my whole day listening to praise and worship songs, talking to God in prayer and meditating His word.
You see, the things of the world often make us afraid. Your fear depends on what kind of input you are receiving from the world. If you are a kind of person who listens to negative thoughts, watch scary movies or frightening television shows, or anything that’s not good to us then you better decide to stop it now or else it will add on more fear and it doesn’t even help at all.
Do whatever you can to stay close to God. Fear disappears in the presence of the Lord.
BE IN THE WORD OF GOD.
Many times in my life when I am afraid, I found that all fear left me just from reading the Bible. In Medical school, it is filled with pressure and hardship and when I feel like I’ve been choked by all the circumstances. I try to pause for a while and then open my bible to read scriptures that encourage me. When I do, I tend to forget all my problems and my fear. Knowing what God’s Word says about our fear and the promises He has given us can make all the difference. In the face of fear, speaking the Word out loud is a powerful weapon against it, too.
LIVE IN THE FEAR OF THE LORD.
The more you get to know the Lord and understand who He is, the more you will reverence Him and fear His displeasure. This is called the fear of the Lord, and it makes you want to obey Him. It’s what draws you closer to God and increases your longing for more of Him. It makes you forget all the things that cause you fear, because they pale in comparison to His awesome power. When you have the fear of the Lord, you fear what your life would be like without Him.