Afraid? – Know the Steps to Fight the Fears of Life

What are You Afraid Of?

Are You Afraid when the Water Roars? A Studio 1-37 Original ImageDo you ever find yourself afraid? Maybe you remember Adam’s response to God, ”Because, I was afraid?” It is said that the proclamation, ”Do not be afraid.”  is made in the scriptures almost 100 times. From the angels’ mouths, it came to Abraham, Moses, Mary, Joseph, and shepherds on a hill. We see the words written for Paul in jail, the women looking for Christ’s body at the tomb, and the disciples in a boat during a storm. It seems humans are constantly afraid and need assurance to move forward in life.

In the world of psychiatry, our fears seem to be unlimited. A Peanuts cartoon illustrates this best as Charlie Brown goes to Lucy for a nickel’s worth of psychiatric help. She looks to pinpoint his specific fear. She says, ”Perhaps, you have hypengyophobia, the fear of responsibility. Charlie Brown says no. Lucy then suggests ailurophobia, the fear of cats but Charlie Brown says no that it isn’t it either. So, Lucy says, well, maybe you have pantophobia, the fear of everything. Yes, says Charlie Brown, that is the one!

It does seem like sometimes we are afraid of everything, perhaps even ourselves. We are afraid of the future and the past. Life itself can strike fear yet so can death. All of this reminds us that being afraid is basic to who we are as humans. Every person and every Christian must fight their own fears. So, is life doomed to this continual experience of going from one fearful and stormy situation only to find another one? If fear is overwhelming us from the top and the bottom is there any peace in the center?

Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. Psalm 42:7 (NIV)

Storms on Storms

When the storms of life appear on top of one another we can lose sight of the light that God provides. Our perspective quickly changes with our fear to the point that it takes control instead of God. We become like the character Pancho Sánchez in the classic work by Don Quixote. Sánchez hangs in fear from the ledge of a window all night long, too afraid to let go. However, when the morning light breaks he discovers that his toes are only an inch off the ground. Pancho needed the light to conquer his fear.

We, too, need the light, the light of God, to conquer our fears. For when we know how to follow Him, we can get through the days and nights of storms as He pours out His unfailing love upon us. The storms don’t disappear and sometimes they may even strengthen but God provides a way for us to step across if we know and follow Him. We must, however, know where to step.

Learning the Way

Three ministers spent their day off fishing together in a small boat. As they reached their selected fishing spot, not too far from the shore, one of them realized that he had left his tackle box on the dock. So, he stepped out of the boat and walked on the water to the shore. As the sun began to break open from the clouds, the second one decided he needed his faithful fishing hat he had left in the car. He, too, stepped out of the boat and walked on the water over to the shore. When they both returned, the third minister, who had watched this remarkable demonstration with his eyes wide open and jaw dropped, told himself, ”My faith is as strong as theirs. I can do that too!”

So, he stepped out of the boat and promptly sank to the bottom. His two companions dragged him out, but once they got him on board, he was strongly determined not to be shown up. He stepped out once more but immediately sank again. As his friends pulled him out, he sputtered, ”My faith is as strong as yours. Why can’t I walk on the water?” His two companions looked at each other and then one said, ”We’d better tell him where those rocks are before he drowns himself.”

Finding the Steps

Knowing where the rocks are or how to follow the path of God through faith creates a life in which being afraid will not overwhelm you. For it is only then that you can trust fully in Him. Realizing that life depends solely upon God is the first step to follow. For those who seek and understand Him will find eternal life and the way to peace, knowing that He is in full control no matter the storm’s strength.

Keeping your focus on the record of God’s goodness is another step to weathering the storm. When you concentrate on His provisions and ability to provide and help, your mind removes the present situation. It is important to realize that even when there appears to be no relief in sight, God understands your deepest misery.

Knowing and trusting that God always does what is right is the key to entering the center of the storm where it is calm. This isn’t to say that God does what you think is right but that through and by trusting and believing in Christ that He will work all things out in the best way even when you don’t understand them.  Submitting to Christ’s way of doing things and recognizing that He is in control is the way to the storm’s center. His ways are not ours but His plan is always the best.

So, challenge yourself to not be afraid. Allow your convictions to carry you through all the storms even when those storms are one on top of another. Your motivation is found in knowing that God holds a record of goodness from the beginning of time and He is in control. There is both comfort and peace simply by trusting in His unfailing love.

Love in Christ,

E.J.

Postscript

Miracles are not a contradiction of nature. They are only in contradiction to what we know of nature.

St. Augustine

Extra Study

Psalm 88:7, Isaiah 55:8 ”“ 9, John 2:3, Romans 8:28

What are your thoughts? Join in the Discussion

Have you ever found yourself afraid to move forward? Are the storms of the present coming at you from the top and bottom? Join the discussion on overcoming fear by sharing your thoughts on trusting God, no matter what.

How God is working through your life?