I was working with a second grader on bible memory verses yesterday and the question came up about any concerns that he could take to God in prayer and he mentioned hearing noises at night. While this may seem tame in comparison to other kids who are uncertain of their next meal or who live in fear of those in charge over them, but any fear is legitimate. We can and should take any of our desires and concerns to the Lord in prayer because more often than not, He deals with the heart of the issue. When was the last time you shared your deepest joys or concerns with another person or with the Lord in prayer?
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Psalm 56:3
Maybe it has been a while since you have been scared of things that go bump in the night, but what things cause to you worry or make you say ‘I hope that never happens to me.’ The list of things that people are afraid of is as long as your imagination. There used to be a show on TV called Fear Factor where they would put people in head to head challenges where there was an impending danger like crashing, falling from high places, drowning, or being surrounded by snakes or bugs. We can usually control most of these physical worries by avoiding situations where we would feel threatened or choosing not to watch scary movies, but other fears are not as easy to get away from. What are your greatest fears?
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. Joshua 1:9
The things that worry most of us are usually the things that are beyond our ability to control. These are usually dominated by fears of not having enough money, fear of failure or losing a job, of relationships and marriages falling apart, our health deteriorating or getting hurt, and fears of our kids running into trouble or turning out ‘bad’ just to name a few. We may feel much of our health is within our control (don’t drink, smoke, or engage in risky behaviors, etc), though much is not and is determined by genetics and other environmental factors. We even hear of those that fear they are trapped in the wrong body, or don’t respect life. Just read the news any day and we see stories of seemingly normal people who end up in tragic situations. It’s a wonder that any of us make it through any given day, but by God’s grace.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18
While we may not be able to abate all the fear in the world, God can. Though that usually starts with us. When there are things outside our control that worry us, the best cure is to give those concerns to God. When we fully surrender all these things to Him, in my experience, there is often an immediate peace that fills in where that worry formerly resided. It also deepens our faith when we start to trust God, not just with things outside of our command, but with everything in every area of our lives. Whenever those fears start to creep in again in new or familiar ways, we just keep giving it over to Him until it becomes our second nature. May you experience joy where there was once fear as you continue to trust Him more and more each day!
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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. Philippians 4:6-7
Yours in Christ,