fear

The Key to Having Peace, Joy, and Supernatural Strength

 I have found that all too often professing Christians give lip service to the word of God. Why do I say that? Many Christians say they believe God is sovereign, good and trustworthy, but they don’t really believe that. If they did, they would experience the peace, joy and strength that are promised to those who fully put their trust in Him. How do I know that? Because I was one of those people who professed a belief in God but my life belied my words; the fruit of my life then was anxiety, stress, exhaustion, and lack of inner peace and joy. God was a slice of my life, but He wasn’t my life! I have experienced the difference between saying I believe in and trust God, and truly trusting Him and living in complete dependence upon Him. It’s like the difference between an empty cup and a cup that’s not just filled with but actually overflowing with peace, joy, and supernatural strength!

My life has radically changed since I surrendered it to the Lord over 25 years ago. Before that I would have said that I believed in God’s Word and in Jesus as my Savior. However, I didn’t really know God or His word and my life sure wasn’t focused upon Him or upon doing His will. My life was 'me' focused, it was all about doing 'my' will and living for my pleasure rather than 'God focused', about doing His will, and living for His pleasure. That kind of living led me to where such a lifestyle will always and inevitably lead—to stress, worry, and fear because eventually you find out that there are things in this world that are WAY beyond your ability to control! Like job losses. Broken relationships. A poor health diagnosis. Loss of loved ones. And as long as we are deceived into thinking we are in control of our lives and that we know what is best for us, we will be in a state of striving to control what we cannot, and therefore we will be unable to experience the peace, joy, and rest that God longs for us to have. Peace we can have through Jesus regardless of our personal circumstances, and regardless of what is going on in our nation or the world. That kind of peace can only be found by putting our lives into God’s far more capable hands, and trusting Him for every aspect of our lives. 

I discovered the key to experiencing peace, joy, contentment and supernatural strength when I finally came to the ‘end of myself’ and cried out to God, telling Him I was done living my life ‘my way’ and that I was ready to live it ‘His way’. I chose to take refuge in Him and to submit to His authority over my life; as I did, I found that He can be depended upon for He is sovereign, all wise, all knowing, faithful and true, and always at work for my good. When you know His character, you will trust Him fully, and when you trust Him fully, you will experience His perfect peace.

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]. Isaiah 26:3 Amplified

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This verse emphasizes that in order to experience perfect, constant peace that your mind must be steadfastly fixed upon the Lord. It is not glancing at the Lord every now and then; it is keeping your gaze upon Him. And it is having the confident expectation that God WILL do what He says He will do! It is knowing that God cannot fail, for His very nature is love, and love never fails! (John 4:8; 1 Corinthians 13:8)

 God has never once failed me since I have put my trust in Him! I have found that as I have kept my eyes fixed upon Him and counted on His faithfulness and His goodness-- even when I haven’t understood His ways-- I have been flooded with His peace. 

 Over the last year and a half my husband and I have faced a situation that we would never have chosen. Had we gone through this same set of circumstances before we surrendered our lives to the Lord, I am certain we would have been ‘basket cases’; FULL of worry, anxiety, and fear. But I can attest that when we learned of the situation, our initial response was, ‘This didn’t catch God by surprise even if it did us.’ Then we prayed together and declared, ‘We can trust the Man Who died for us to give us everything we need!’ (Romans 8:32) And He has! We not only have had peace, but we have also had joy in the midst of this trial. We rejoice in knowing God can be nothing other than faithful, for that is His very nature! It is truly the trials of life that stretch our faith, and reveal what we really believe. I am so grateful for this time of testing and ‘waiting upon the Lord’! We have gained a deeper revelation of God and His totally trustworthy character, and we have grown deeper in love with Him! 

 Our daily ‘bread’ has been His Word that has nourished us. Matthew 6:11; John 6:33

 God has been our refuge and our strength, our very present help, and the Rock upon whom we have leaned for strength. Psalm 46:1 

Our eyes have been fixed upon Him, knowing He is the Author and Perfecter of our faith. Hebrews 12:2

 Our lips have declared His praises and made us aware of His Presence, for He inhabits the praises of His people. Psalm 22:3

 Our ears have been attuned to hearing His voice giving us His direction as to what we should do. Isaiah 30:21; Proverbs 3:6

 We have tasted and seen that the Lord is good and that blessed are those who take refuge in Him! Psalm 34:8

Not long after I gave my life to the Lord someone asked me what my favorite verse was. I remember telling them it was Isaiah 40: 31. I had head knowledge of the verse at that time, but now I have experienced the truth of this passage that assures us that when we know we have no strength apart from Him, that He will give us His strength and renew us by His power! He has been so faithful to do this for me, and I want to testify to His goodness, and to not only the peace and joy that is found in Him, but the strength that is found in Him as well!

 Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become tired or grow weary;
There is no searching of His understanding. 
He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who has no might He increases power. 
Even youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him]
Will gain new strength and renew their power;
They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun];
They will run and not become weary,
They will walk and not grow tired. Isaiah 40:28-31

 Are you experiencing the ‘peace that surpasses all human understanding as you keep your heart and mind on Christ Jesus’? (Philippians 4:7) Have you experienced the joy of truly surrendering your life to Christ, of totally trusting Him and allowing Him to ‘take over’ your life? Are you weary, and do you need the strength that is found in Him alone? 

 Lord, I have been guilty of saying I trust you when in fact I have been putting my trust in myself and in my way of doing things rather than really trusting You. I long to have the peace, joy, contentment and strength that is found when my mind is steadfastly fixed upon you and continually expecting you to do what only You can do. Help me to truly ‘let go’ of thinking I am in control or that my ways are higher than yours, and by your grace at work in my life empower me to completely release my life into your unfailing, loving care! Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief! And give me an insatiable desire to be in your Word so that I might grow in my knowledge of You so that I can know that You are always faithful and true! Amen 

 If you would like to know more about surrendering your life to God and how to be set free from fear, worry and anxiety, please reach out to us at https://www.trueviewministries.org/contact

Written by Julie 

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?

The World's Greatest Need

What is the greatest need facing our world today? Securityfrom terrorists? Solving world hunger? Clean water for all? Economic, political or social stability? Solving ‘climate change’?  I believe the greatest need of our world never makes the list of any polls and isn’t even on the radar for the vast majority of people.

 The greatest need facing the Church, our nation, the world, and the greatest need of all of us as individuals – has been, is now, and always will be, to be consumed by ‘the fear of the Lord’.

 God’s word to us today is the same as it was to the people of Israel as recorded in the book of Deuteronomy 10:12:

…what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all of your soul. (ESV)

 What does it really mean to ‘fear the Lord’ and why is that so important?

 According to Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary, it means:

‘A holy awe or reverence of God and His laws, which springs from a just view and real love of the divine character, leading the subjects of it to hate and shun everything that can offend such a holy being, and inclining them to aim at perfect obedience.’

 To ‘fear the Lord’ means to honor Him and to have a reverent awe of Who God is:  to acknowledge that He alone is God; that He is Sovereign and worthy of our worship and obedience. It’s recognizing that God sees all and knows all, that His ways are so much higher than the ways of man and that He should be feared because He holds the power to send people to eternal glory or judgment.

Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.  (ESV-1st Chronicles 29:11)

 Fearing God includes such a reverential respect for the Person of God and His holy character that you recognize that His will and His ways are perfect, which leads you to be for what He is for, and against what He is against. 

To fear the Lord is to hate evil. (ESV-Proverbs 8:13)

 To ‘fear the Lord’ includes fearing the wrath of a holy God Who hates sin and is going to bring eternal judgment upon those who refuse to repent and put their trust in the atoning work of Jesus who died on the cross on their behalf. 

 Fearing God means taking Him at His Word–knowing that it is impossible for Him to lie– trusting that He will accomplish everything that He says He will do.

 The root of the crisis we are in is that we live in a generation that by and large does not know the Word of the Lord, what He requires and the consequences of disobedience. It is imperative that we know what God’s Word says, and that we obey it.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you [the priestly nation] have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you that you shall be no priest to Me; seeing you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children. (ESV-Hosea 4:6)

In a world where most people live meaningless lives and question what their purpose is, God gives vital instruction:

Fear God and keep His commandments for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13) 

 When we fear God—when we love, honor, respect, and adore Him, we will desire to obey His commandments.  And when we obey Him, we do not need to be in fear of His punishment or of the wrath that is to come upon all those who are disobedient and unrepentant.

 Over and over scripture records that there are blessings for individuals as well as nations that fear God, and punishment for those who do not.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage! (ESV-Psalm 33:12)

 America was preeminent in the world and experienced the gracious hand of God’s blessings when we feared Him and depended upon His grace and mercy to sustain us. I remember when most families attended Church together and had a family altar time, when the Bible and the Ten Commandments were taught in our public schools, and schools were opened with Christ-centered prayer. The removal of prayer in 1963 and the Ten Commandments in 1980 from our public schools paved the way for the spirit of lawlessness that abounds in today’s public square. We now live in a nation that embraces that which God calls ‘evil’, and spurns that which God calls ‘good’ (Isaiah 5:20) and we are under God’s judgment for forgetting Him.

 Like the Israelites who were promised blessings if they feared and obeyed God and curses if they disobeyed Him (Deuteronomy 28), we too can be assured that we’ll receive blessings if we fear God and curses if we fear anything more than Him.

 Oswald Chambers wisely said, “The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God, you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God, you fear everything else.”

 Jesus’ words ought to penetrate our hearts, especially as we witness the persecution of our brothers and sisters across the globe:

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (NIV-Matthew 10:28)

 So how is ‘the fear of the Lord’ obtained?

 1) By hearing God’s Word

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (ESV-Romans 10:17)

·      Are you daily in His Word, listening to what the Spirit of God is saying to you through scripture? Do you obey His Word? 

2) By asking God to fill you with the ‘fear of the Lord’

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. (ESV-Matthew 7:7)

·      Have you asked to be ‘consumed by the fear of the Lord’? You can ask Him now!

How can you help others to have the fear of the Lord?

1) By sharing with them the truth of Who God is as revealed in His Word and through the Person of Jesus Christ. 

·      Are you regularly sharing the gospel with others or are you allowing the ‘fear of man’ to keep you silent? Ask God to give you His love for others and boldness to share the gospel.

2) By praying for them!

·      You can know you are praying God’s will when you ask Him to consume the people for whom you are praying with the fear of the Lord. 

May God pour out upon us, our children, and their children ‘the fear of the Lord’ and lead us to walk in the ways of God for the glory of His Great Name!

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?

The Raft

When I remember my childhood many memories come to mind. Some tug at my heart with a longing for those days of simpler times. One memory that all of my brothers and sister will remember is that of my fear of putting my face under water when I was 5 years old. I had not learned to swim yet, and the idea of submerging my body let alone my face under the water of a pool, lake or ocean was something that I planned to avoid at all cost. There are family movies that will always be there as a humorous testimony to this fact. 

 I can easily picture myself on a beach in Florida with my family when I was 5. I was happily running along the shore letting the waves wash over my feet. I remember bravely running into the ocean to the depth of my knees, and running back to the safety of the shore. We had rented a raft and my siblings were riding it on the waves. I remember my father coaxing me to ride that raft in the shallow water. This idea was very scary to me… if I fell off, I would surely go under the water! My father persuaded me to give this dangerous feat a try. He told me that I would be alright, and that he would be there right beside me the whole time. I trusted my dad and I climbed on the raft. He pulled me out to a very treacherous depth of about 2 feet. He then turned the raft to face the beach, and when the next small wave came… he let go! The raft picked up speed as my father ran right beside me.  In my panic the raft flipped over and the water splashed my face. My dad was right there to hug me…but I was mad! I felt betrayed, I had trusted him and I fell off!

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 Recently one of my siblings included this home movie clip on a DVD of old home movies. This clip shows me clinging to that raft and my father running right there beside me. I can watch myself fall, and Dad swoop me up. I was unharmed but mad, and dad was comforting…but surely amused by my response to him. It is funny to watch this memory from my past. I remember the promises of my father. He told me that I would be alright, and that he would be right there beside me. He had kept those promises! I am reminded of my Heavenly Father’s promises to me in my life. He has told me to “be strong and courageous”, “fear not” …and He says “I will never leave you or forsake you!” How many times does God repeat these promises in His Word? Time and time again He reminds us of His love, and His presence in our lives. We splash along through life and go through situations which look so deep and dark to us, yet to our heavenly Father they are not even 2 feet deep. We cling to our rafts and ride through the salty waters of this life and He is always there running right beside us.   

My dad did not prevent the fall, but he knew that I would be fine…and truly that is exactly what he had promised, ”You will be alright, I will be right here!” Sometimes it seems like the trials of our lives are like the waves of the sea. We go through calm times, but rest assured in this life there will some bigger waves… some bigger than we would ever choose to navigate. It is a comfort to know that we have a loving Father who runs beside us through them all. He never promises that we won’t fall off our raft and get a face full of water. He does promise us that we can trust Him to be there, to help us through rough times with His loving comfort and strength. The things that look so huge in our perspective must look like those 2 foot waves from His. There is nothing bigger than my Father. However if we run away in our disappointment, we will miss out on His comfort and strength, and we will not be ready for the next wave. I am so thankful for my earthly father who so faithfully modeled my Heavenly Father’s love for me!        

Written by: Guest Blogger Jeanne East

“…fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

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?

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?

Your Focus Determines Everything

I remember as a child the first time that I went to the eye doctor.After getting my eyes examined and putting on my first pair of glasses, I vividly recall that what previously appeared to be merely a blanket of green was transformed into individual blades of grass.It was breathtaking to see a new world emerge in front of me as I gained a clear and true focus of reality.

Similarly, once I learned to see life through the lens of God’s Sovereignty it changed everything about how I perceived life.  

For example, for those of us who live in the Eastern part of the U.S., it has been raining “cats and dogs” almost non-stop the past several weeks. I’ve heard grumbling about the amount of rain and cloudy days that have impacted family vacations, gatherings, and 4th of July celebrations.  There’s a time when I would’ve been complaining too…but God opened my eyes to see that nothing happens without the Lord orchestrating it.  And if He has orchestrated it, I can trust that it is always for my good and for His glory! (Romans 8:28) So now I look for a reason to praise God in all circumstances—even in the storms of life. 

I praise God for the reality that He alone can make a rainstorm. 

I praise God that we are not experiencing drought or famine.

I praise Him for the lush greenery that covers the land.

I rejoice that the torrential rains bring to mind The Great Flood and Noah’s Ark, a reminder of God’s merciful heart in choosing not to destroy the earth, and salvation of Noah and his family because of Noah’s righteousness, from whom we have all descended.  

I praise God that He has revealed to us what it will be like when Jesus comes again to Earth. Jesus stated, as recorded in Matthew 24:37-39, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”

What a blessing it is to know that in these days of turmoil that the God Who created the world and knows and controls its beginning and end has revealed to us in the bible what is to come.  Seeing life through the lens of His Word gives me hope, peace, and joy knowing that I can trust that the One Who created this world and gave me life in Him is at work even now to bring about the end that He has planned since the beginning of time.

Like a magnifying glass, what you focus on will expand. If your focus is only on your circumstances, you will easily succumb to grumbling and even fear. If however your focus is on God and on His Sovereignty and goodness, your focus will lead you to trust in Him and to experiencing peace and joy regardless of the storms of life.

Are you full of fear or faith? On what are you focusing? On your circumstances, or on the One Who controls every circumstance and Who is at work bringing all things together for your good and the glory of His Name?

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?

Are you BOLD in the Spirit?

   When you come before the throne of God in prayer, do you come with confident boldness or with caution and timidity?

   Recently I was hospitalized with necrotizing fasciitis (otherwise known as “flesh eating bacteria”) in my left arm.It was an intense experience full of pain, drama, and unknowns.With loss of life or limb brewing in my body through this deadly bacteria, I knew it was not a time for timid prayers!It was a time for audacious trust in the LORD.I determined I would trust in the LORD, regardless of what experts, conventional thought, or all other circumstances had to “say.”

      I went before the throne of God with every promise, every verse, every bible story I knew that talked about trusting in Him and His faithfulness.There was NO other way to get through it, than to trust in Him who is “The Way.”

On several occasions I was overcome with fear, like a wave of insecurity and doubt engulfing me.The fear had a voice of its own and would say things like, “the infection is going to come back” and“God didn’t heal you completely.” In these dark moments I had to press in and pray bold prayers of faith that gave me the holy power to resist the devil.

Do you dare to ask God for what you really want?Do you reference His promises to you as His child in scripture?

I would pray a prayer like this to help me overcome the fear that taunted me:“Father God, you know all things.Your Word says that you will ‘never leave me or forsake me’; that you cause EVERYTHING to work together for the GOOD of those who love you.I love you, God.I don’t know what you’re going to do, but I trust in Who you are.You are for me and not against me.I pray for complete healing.”

I will forever be grateful to my brothers and sisters in Christ who joined with me in holy, audacious prayers before the LORD.I was blessed, encouraged and strengthened by your prayers!

By God’s grace I was completely healed.I had a “flesh eating bacteria” that ate nothing!Miraculous indeed!By God’s grace, doctors were able to save my life and keep my entire arm and hand intact.

If you’re experiencing fear or doubt, I encourage you to go boldly before the throne of God.He is good, and you have been made worthy by the blood of Christ.

“One of the most essential qualities of the faith that is to attempt great things for God, and expect great things from God, is holy audacity.Where we are dealing with a supernatural Being, and taking from Him things that are humanly impossible, it is easier to take much than little, it is easier to stand in a place of audacious trust than in a place of cautious, timid clinging to the shore.” ~From Days of Heaven Upon Earth

     If the circumstances in your life appear to you to be insurmountable, I encourage you to go before the Lord with bold, audacious prayers, trusting in the promises of God Who specializes in the impossible!

Written by Jamie Shaver

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?

Flinch-Proof Your Faith

“If I profess, with the loudest voice and the clearest exposition, every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christianity. Where the battle rages the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle-field besides is mere flight and disgrace to him if he flinches at that one point.”  Elizabeth Rundle Charles

Flinch: verb

1. to draw back or shrink, as fromwhat is dangerous, difficult, or unpleasant.

2. to shrink under pain; wince.

Are there any parts of your Christian faith that make you wince?

Do you ever wish you could take an eraser to certain verses in the Bible?

I can tell you that the times I’ve “flinched” in my faith have been times when I’ve feared man more than I’ve feared God.

I shrunk under the fear of possible rejection.

I found it easier to draw back from an unpleasant conversation than state the truth from God’s Word.

Upon doing the following I began to notice that I flinched less and less in my faith:

  • Participated in an “in-depth” bible study that helped me understand WHO God is, so I no longer winced at those tough verses in the bible.Instead, I began to understand them in the full context of the Scriptures and character of God.
  • Prayed that God would enable me to share His truth with love.
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Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

 When you boldly speak His truth, and people reject you; remember they are also rejecting Him who sent you, for you are never alone.God never flinches.

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?