faith and fear

Forgetfulness Causes Fear

I recently have found myself in a situation that can cause me to have fear and experience a certain level of anxiety.  I know that this type of worry is not pleasing to God.  When I begin to feel the fear rising, or I’m tempted not to even put myself in this situation and stay in the comfort of my home instead, I know that I must REMEMBER!   

Forgetfulness creates a lack of faith which results in fear, worry and anxiety when we forget Who God is and what He has promised.  Have you forgotten what God has promised?  Do you recall the words He has spoken to you from the Bible or in your quiet time with Him?  God often tells us to ‘remember’ in His Word.  We do need to remember.  Let’s look to the story of the disciples when they were in a boat with Jesus going across the sea of Galilee and believed they were going to die!

Jesus Stills the Sea

35 On that [same] day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side [of the Sea of Galilee],” 36 So leaving the crowd, they took Him with them, just as He was, in the boat. And other boats were with Him. 37 And a [a]fierce windstorm began to blow, and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already being swamped. 38 But Jesus was in the stern, asleep [with His head] on the [sailor’s leather] cushion. And they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are about to die?”  Mark 4:35-38 AMP

The disciples forgot…Jesus was in the boat and had told them they were going to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (Mark 4:35)   His word always comes to pass.  It is important to note that while they were enduring this storm and finally come to Jesus, they assume that he did not care about the situation.  Is that true?  Or rather is it true that as long as the disciples assumed control of their situation, Jesus rested? 

39 And He got up and [sternly] rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still (muzzled)!” And the wind died down [as if it had grown weary] and there was [at once] a great calm [a perfect peacefulness].   Mark 4:39 Amplified Bible (AMP)

As soon as they cast their care on Jesus and released control to Him, He cared for everything so they could rest in Him!  When they went to Jesus, He responded, and there was calm.  Imagine what life for Christians would look like if we all remembered, went to Jesus and believed His promises! 

Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character], Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].

We must remember that God has promised that He is with us (He’s in the boat), and that we will make it to the “other side.”

Written by Jamie

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How to Extinguish Fear and Feed Your Faith While Waiting for A Miracle

When I was a young girl and heard Bibles stories like God parting the Red Sea for the Israelites; David slaying the giant Goliath; Daniel surviving the lions’ den; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego coming out unscathed from the fiery furnace; Jesus healing lepers, paralytics, the blind, deaf, and dumb and raising the dead, I was enthralled by those stories of God’s miraculous power. I didn’t doubt for a minute God’s ability to work such miracles, and I vividly remember thinking, “How amazing it would be to be a part of such a story!” “I’d love to experience such a miracle in my own life!” 

Have you had similar thoughts? Maybe you’ve had friends or family who’ve experienced the miraculous power of God through something like healing from a life-threatening illness, deliverance from a drug addition, surviving a horrific car wreck, or a totally unexpected and positive overturn of their financial situation. Did you ever think, “Wow! I’d love to be a part of a miracle story too!” Or, maybe you’ve been the subject of one of God’s miraculous stories.

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What I didn’t take into consideration when I heard the Bible stories—and what you also might not have considered when you’ve heard stories of God’s power-- is that before a miracle can occur, the recipients of the miracles first must face a time of great trial, a testing of their faith, and the temptation to succumb to fear and doubt. For instance, the Israelites were fleeing a huge, well-trained army when they came upon the Red Sea where there was no apparent way forward. David had to overcome the mocking of his brothers and the entire Israeli army who wanted to undermine his belief that he would defeat the giant. Daniel had to contend with the continual envy of his peers who plotted against him. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had to decide whether they’d disobey and dishonor God by worshipping an earthly king, or obey God and face the real possibility of dying a horrible death in a blazing hot fire. Everyone whom Jesus healed beforehand had experienced the suffering of physical pain or the emotional pain of being an outcast. We all would like to be a part of a miracle; however, we usually don’t want to sign up for the circumstances that must necessarily precede the working of that miracle! 

I am waiting on the Lord to show Himself faithful in a situation in my life right now where a miracle is needed. I fully believe God is capable of working the miracle. But I am also keenly aware of the temptation to succumb to fear and doubt; I feel that I am living in a crucible where my faith is being tested and refined. I know that if I focus on the circumstances of my situation--the ‘what ifs’—I will be tempted to doubt God’s goodness or His miracle-working power. So as I wait upon Him, I have a choice: I can feed my faith, or I can feed my fears. I cannot feed them both as fear and faith cannot co-exist. You have the same choice. What will you choose?

·    I am choosing: To keep my focus upon God Who is the ‘Author and Perfecter of my faith’, and over and above my every circumstance. (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:12) I am praising Him for orchestrating the circumstances of my life so that my faith— which is more precious than gold— will be strengthened, and so that the stage is set for a miracle to occur! (1 Peter 1:7)

·    I am choosing: To rejoice in knowing that the trial I am going through is an instrument of God’s grace, and thank Him for this trial which was designed to test my faith, produce steadfastness in me, and cause me to grow more and more into His image, complete and lacking nothing. (James 4:2-4)

·    I am choosing: To praise Him for His faithfulness and love, and to thank Him for interceding for me, that my faith would not fail. (Hebrews 7:25; Luke 22:32)

·    I am choosing: To praise God for His perfect timing; He is never ahead or behind, but ALWAYS comes through in the ‘fullness of time’! (Galatians 4:4; Romans 5:6; 1 Timothy 2:6)

·    I am choosing: To praise God that His thoughts and ways are not my thoughts and ways, His are infinitely greater because He is infinitely wiser than I! (Isaiah 55:9)

·    I am choosing: To commit my will to God’s will, pray and pour out my heart to  Him, and listen to His Spirit speak to me! (Psalm 37:5; Psalm 62:8; Psalm 25:14; Daniel 2:22)

·    I am choosing: To trust in the Lord and not lean upon my own understanding, to look for every path God may open before me--and as doors open—make sure to inquire of Him whether that is the way He would have me to go. ( Proverbs 3:5-7; 1 Chronicles 10:14; 2 Samuel 5:19, 23)

·    I am choosing: To immediately renew my mind in the truth of Who God is and what He is able to do every time a fearful thought or doubt about God’s faithfulness arises! (2 Corinthians 10:5) Truth such as that God is with me at ALL times, that He will never leave me or forsake me, and that He is ‘mighty to save’! (Deuteronomy 31:6; Joshua 1:9; Isaiah 43:2; Zephaniah 3:17)

·    I am choosing: To trust in Jehovah Jireh, the God Who will provide for ALL of my needs according to His glorious riches (Genesis 22:14; Philippians 4:19) and Who knows me best, loves me most, and is ‘always at work for my good and His glory’! (Romans 8:28)

·    I am choosing: To feed my faith by reading the Bible daily, by reading devotionals like Streams in the Desert and My Utmost for His Highest, as well as biographies of heroes of faith to remind me that God is ALWAYS trustworthy and ALWAYS unfailing in His love. (Psalm 52:8; 85:7; 119:41; Revelation 3:7; 19:11)

·    I am choosing: To not listen to grumblers, complainers, faith and joy ‘robbers’. (Psalm 28:7; Nehemiah 8:10; 1 Timothy 6:3-5; 2 Timothy 2)

·    I am choosing: To share my need for a miracle with others whom I know will join with me in prayer and lift me and my need up to the Lord. (Exodus 17:11-12; 1 Timothy 2:1; James 5:16; Galatians 6:2)

Faith means taking God at His Word. As you feed your faith by reading the Bible -- the Word of One Who cannot lie and that is filled with accounts of His miracle working power—you will be convinced that NOTHING is impossible for God! (Numbers 23:19; Genesis 18:14; Jeremiah 32:17; Luke 1:37; Matthew 19:26) And I’m confident that your faith will result in you seeing the miraculous hand of God at work on your behalf, and you’ll find yourself at the center of your own miraculous story that will in turn build up the faith of others in the Body of Christ! 

What about you? Are you waiting upon God to act on your behalf in some situation in your life, or in the life of a loved one? How are you choosing to spend your time as you wait upon Him? Are you feeding your fears, or feeding your faith? Was there a particular choice (or choices) that I am choosing to make that God convicted that you need to be making as well?

Written by Julie

 

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God Speaks on Anxiety

What are you anxious about? anx·ious -full of mental distress or uneasiness because of fear of danger or misfortune; greatly worried; solicitous.

We cannot have both fear and peace at the same time.  Faith and fear cannot coexist.  You either trust God in this area of your life or you don’t.

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.

Do you know the love God has for you?  Do you believe Him for all things?  Do you love God with all your heart, soul and mind?

This is what God says about anxiety.  Meditate on these verses.

Jeremiah 17:8 - He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

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Please note that God is saying below “do not be anxious”…this is a command; not a suggestion.

Matthew 6:25 [ Do Not Be Anxious ] “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

Matthew 6:31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Matthew 10:19 When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour.

Mark 13:11 And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. Luke 12:11 And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say,

Luke 12:22 [ Do Not Be Anxious ] And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on.

Finally,

Philippians 4:6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Do not be anxious about anything…

Matthew 6:27

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

There is nothing that God wants us to be anxious about.

What should we do when we begin to worry?

1 Peter 5:7

casting all your anxieties on Him, because he cares for you.

Pray, cast your anxieties on Him, and meditate on His Word & character.  You can trust the man who died for you!

Written by Julie Van Gorp

Are you curious to know how much fear, worry and anxiety is impacting your life? Take our free quiz to learn how fearful, worried and anxious you really are?