Fear and worry. They come upon all of us at one time or another. Most of the time I think we deal with them and move on. However, we can become enslaved by them. They can totally consume and immobilize us, keeping us from living joyful lives. This can feel like a terrible weight on our mind, body and soul. How about you? Are you fearful and worrisome?
Healthy fear can be a good thing. It can keep us aware and sometimes safe. We need to feel fear when we are heading toward a dangerous situation. On the flip side, we can also let fear control us – our emotions, our actions, our words, and our relationships. This is an unhealthy fear. Often though, we are fearful of something that does not really threaten us. That fear can be overcome.
What about worry. Are you a worrier? Do you know someone who is a worrier? I have a close family member who worries about everything. We hesitate to share news that this person might think is something to worry about because it would consume. Worry can be taken to the extreme where it kind of paralyzes you from enjoying normal things life has to offer. I have found in my life that most things people worry about never happen. Sounds like wasted energy, doesn’t it? Here are wise words we should take to heart and practice: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Philippians 4:6-8
What does God say about fear and worry? I did a quick search and found that God shared in His Word over 100 times these phrases: Do not fear; Do not be afraid; Do not worry. Here are just a few examples. When you are feeling fearful or worrisome, let these verses speak to your soul. Believe them. God’s Word is Truth!
“The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Psalm 118:6
“So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:6
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we pray, “Abba, Father” Romans 8:15
“Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34
“…do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time, you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” Matthew 10:19-20
“…do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.” Mark 13:11
“Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.” Luke 12:22-31
With God’s help, we can overcome unhealthy fear and worry. While we can’t take fear and worry away from anyone else, we can share with them what the God who created us says about it. We can listen and offer positive words. We can pray for and with them.
We will all continue to deal with fear and worry in this life but what a blessing it is to have peace as we process it and give it to God. We can’t explain this peace, but we can experience it.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27