So, I guess you could say there has been a lot going on in the world lately. COVID numbers are rising. The elderly are more isolated. Election results are being contested. People rioting or not rioting. Lots of unrest in our government. Does the media tell the truth or lie? Who do we believe? Who can we trust? These issues have become so overwhelming and a bit frightening. They make you want to hide, eat, drink, take drugs, fight or say hurtful things because of everything going on. People are confused and upset to say the least.
I decided last week, that regardless of what is going on, I am going to have to wage war on an issue that I have struggled with most of my life. This issue has plagued me more than any other issue. And that issue is fear. I am sick and tired of it and maybe you are too. I am sick and tired of what it does to me and what it does to others. I see it controlling me and so many other people right now. Any decision… any one makes… based on fear… is never a good decision. Read that statement again. NEVER MAKE A DECISION BASED ON FEAR!
We all need to make good, sound decisions based on facts and what God says is true. Our decisions need to come from truth. Our lives need to be based on truth. And the only person in this whole wide world that tells the complete truth is God. So, I have made my mind up that I am going to wage war and ask the Lord to help me find His truth in my life. This is going to take time, prayer and whole lot of help from the Holy Spirit. I am ready for a change. How about you?
Let me start out with a scripture that we can cling to in this battle. “The Lord is indeed going before you—He will be with you; He will not fail you or abandon you. Do not be afraid.” Deuteronomy 31:8
The Lord is going before me and you. He is with us. He will not fail us or abandon us. We shouldn’t be afraid. Some of you might be thinking, “Easier said than done.” I get that. Sometimes it is almost impossible to not be afraid. That’s when the truth must overcome the fear. That’s when you say a verse like this over and over again until you start to believe it. That’s when you turn to God and say, “Help me with my unbelief!” (I have had to do that many, many times.)
No matter what is happening right now or what evil you see or what is plaguing you, God is working and in control of what is going on. I have had to stop watching and listening to the news. I have to realize that the news isn’t always telling the truth. (I know. SHOCKER!) The news can’t be our truth. Social media can’t either. We are all flawed and sinful people. So, when you are filling your mind with news from flawed and sinful people, you are asking for trouble. I am not saying don’t be informed, but ultimately we have to live by truth. And I think when we base our lives on what we are hearing and seeing instead of God, we tend to leave Him out of the equation. I know I do. We start belittling what He can do and what He is able to do.
My mom, who is isolated in assisted living, reminded me the other day. We must walk by faith and not by sight. Wise words to remember. I am finding that I must increase my faith so I can do that. I am reading and studying like never before. I am bound and determined to base my life on the truth that comes from God’s word.
I read these words by Craig Groeschel the other day. “Because of who you are—my God, my King, my Savior, I trust you. Because you are sovereign over the universe, I surrender my will to you, every part of me.” Let me share with you the meaning of sovereign. Supreme, absolute, unlimited, unrestricted, unrestrained, unbounded, boundless, infinite, ultimate, predominant. That’s who God is. God is all those things! He is more than able to handle everything that is going on. I need to remember that and maybe you do too!
Fear corrodes our confidence in God’s goodness. Fear makes me forget what He has done in my life and how good He is. “When fear shapes our lives, safety becomes our god. When safety becomes our god, we worship the risk-free life.” Lucado That statement hit me in the gut. I hate to admit it, but I pray a lot to be kept safe. Now I know that isn’t a bad thing to pray, but if it becomes a god to me, then it is bad. Because I was abused for so long, I have craved safety. I like feeling safe. Again, not a bad thing, but I can’t let that be more important than doing God’s will.
Jesus says these three words more than any other statement in the Bible—“Don’t be afraid.” There must be a reason why he says it so many times. Let me share a few verses with you.
“So don’t be afraid. You are worth much more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:31
“Take courage. I am here.” Matthew 14:27
“You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed.” Matthew 24:6
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me…I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” John 14:1.3
I am clinging to these verses right now…especially, Matthew 24:6. My courage has to come from God. My mind has to focus on who God is and what He is capable of doing. I can’t look at the world and the way it is. Satan is being let loose right now. He is wreaking havoc and pain. But, I must remember that God is in control of even that. There is a plan and a purpose in all of this. I have to admit that I am ready for God to kick Satan’s butt! I am ready for God to show His glory! Can I get an AMEN???!!! (AND BELIEVE ME…HE WILL!)
Here is something to think about. “Jesus doesn’t condemn legitimate concern for responsibilities but rather the continuous mind-set that dismisses God’s presence. Destructive anxiety subtracts God from the future, faces uncertainties with no faith, tallies up the challenges of the day without entering God into the equation. Worry is the darkroom where negatives become glossy prints.” Lucado
How often do I dismiss God’s presence in everything? How often do I forget that He is in control of my future—your future? How many times have I taken my eyes off God when I watch the news or listen to people predict the outcome? That’s what we like to do—guess what God is doing and try to figure out what He is going to do. I have to quit doing this because I am driving myself crazy!! Are you doing the same thing too? We almost have to be blind to the world in order to be sane.
“Let us therefore boldly approach the throne of our gracious God, where we may receive mercy and in His grace find timely help.” Hebrews 4:16 Notice the phrase “timely help.” In His time. We have to wait for Him because He has the best timing in the world! I admit that waiting for Him to act can be brutal sometimes! Sometimes I scream for Him to move! I beg for Him to act! But thank heavens I can trust that He will move and act when it is the best time and not when I want Him to!
If fear is plaguing you right now, go talk to God. Look at His word and find verses you can pray or look at throughout the day. I have given you a few already. I know things don’t look good right now. But, we do have someone who is in control of all of it. Stop trying to figure out what He is doing and focus on Him. Focus on His goodness and trust His timing. I know it is hard! I don’t like thinking someone other than God is in control of me. I don’t want the government or the news to tell me what to think. I want God to do that!
Let’s be honest… There is a war being waged right now between good and evil. We must decide which side we are going to be on. I am going to be on God’s side. I am going to fight for my faith and what God wants in my life. Evil is more prevalent than ever before and that stirs up our fear because we sense it. We see it. We have to be warriors for God. We have to stand for truth. We have to set our differences aside and love like never before. We need to rely on the Holy Spirit to give us the strength and the courage we need. He will do that for us. We need to keep our eyes focused on Him and not the world.
I am here to encourage you to stay strong! Let’s kick fear in the butt! Let’s count on God to do His thing and we will do ours…trust Him…rely on Him…keep our eyes on Him…read His word…count on Him to act…pray like never before…stand for truth!!!
“For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” 1 John 5:4-5
“I told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!” John 16:33
Oh friends, how my heart aches for truth! My heart aches for God to move! I am going to claim these truths and count on God to help all of us in these trying times! Will you join me as we seek truth, fight for our faith and kick fear to the curb? I can’t wait to see what God does!
Until next time….
* The picture I used for this post is a good visual of me facing my fears. I didn’t mind climbing the tower, but when it came time to let go and go down, my fear kicked in. I was paralyzed by fear for several minutes. Thankfully, my family was there cheering me on! I was so glad when I finally reached the bottom!!!