Tag: fear

Fear vs Faith

“I was afraid…”  These are some of the first recorded words that Adam said to God.  And if we’re looking at scripture, it’s usually the first thing angels say when they appear to men: “Fear not.”

Fear has been a part of the human condition almost from the beginning.

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There are a lot of things that cause fear in our world today.  People are afraid of being alone, or of not being accepted, afraid they won’t measure up to their own or others’ expectations.  Basic fears of losing something you have, or never attaining something you want.  Rejection, poverty, illness, vulnerability, death.  Loss of something treasured: youth, health, money, status, a relationship.

Some fears are even of fear itself.  Unfounded.  Faceless.

I love acrostics.  They’re a word play that uses the letters in a word to make a point.  So FEAR could be:

False Evidence Appearing Real

This is especially true of those things we worry about happening in the future because we can’t see all the pieces clearly.  We make guesses or assumptions and base our actions, our fears, on what may not even be true.

What are you are afraid of?  Is it something that keeps you frozen, unable to act?

Here’s another set of acrostics someone told me for FEAR:

Forget Everything And Run

or

Face Everything And Rise

While often my gut tells me to Run, my spirit calls me Rise.  It’s kind of like when you hear two separate voices – like the little angel and devil figures in cartoons that sit on your shoulders and give you opposing opinions.

When you Run, the Everything eventually catches up with you.  And you end up having to handle it anyway.  Often by then, it’s an even bigger mess.

adventure-1807524_640But when you Face Everything, remember that you are not alone.  You have resources you may not have considered.  And you don’t have to deal with everything at once.  Plus, you can ask for help from other people.  No doubt you already know people who can support you, encourage you, who have been through something similar and can coach or guide you.

The Rising gives a sense of confidence that builds as you do handle things.  And results in courage to keep you going.

FAITH can help dissolve FEAR.  In a way, it’s the opposite of Fear.  Fear can paralyze you with inaction.  Faith can move you forward.  While Fear focuses you inward, Faith helps you see beyond yourself.

Faith can be:

Feeling As If There’s Hope

And when your hope is in God, your hope is strong and true.  He is able and willing to care for you in any and every situation.  He is bigger than any problem.  Calling out to Him connects you to the Creator of the Universe!  The One True God.  The Everlasting Father.

So, what are you afraid of?

Call out to God and tell Him all about it.  Romans 8:31 says “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Isaiah 41:10 says “Do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

Stand with Him.  Face Everything.  And Rise with Him.

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I pray you will reach out to God with every fear.  And that with God at your side, you will sense His presence, and Feel As If There’s Hope.

And in that Hope, You will Rise!

I feel like a boat…

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Oh Lord

I feel like a boat

heading into a storm

fearful of what lies ahead

yet knowing I was built to withstand exactly this:

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the high winds

the deep swells

the powerful surges of waves

that will crash around me

and wash over me

and test the limits of the strength of my construction.

I know I was made, created, put together by the powerful hands of a carpenter who knew beforehand the purpose of my life, the places I would go, and the perils I would face. Knowing all this, the Carpenter lovingly chose the wood perfectly – to match the force of the stresses that would be brought against it. Because that is the mark of a good and wise carpenter.

And He carefully and meticulously fashioned my shape: my bow, my stern, my hull, masts, even my sails, to create exactly the boat He envisioned.

rough-sea-2624054_640The strength of a boat is only put to the test by the strength of the storms it battles and survives. We never know how strong the wood, the construction is, until it comes through a storm. The strength is there all the time. But the demonstration of that strength, is in the storm.

 

I don’t know my own strength. But my Carpenter knows. He made me. He crafted me. He built strength into me that will only be demonstrated by the storms I weather. So, with confidence, and faith, I will enter the darkness, the winds and waves, the rain and thunder and lightening. And I see my deliverance on the other side. Where the waters are calm. And the winds are favorable. And the sky is blue. And my Carpenter (who is my Creator, my Heavenly Father, my Savior, and my Lord) stands smiling. Because He knew all along.

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“The Lord is faithful. He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you…they will not sweep over you.” Isaiah 43:2

The Weeds are back!

Just when I think the lawn is greening up and looking alive, I realize the green I see is mostly weeds! They probably never left but just lay dormant until Spring’s rain and sun coaxed them out of hiding.

One way to deal with weeds is to poison them. But if the weeds are in or near areas of desired vegetation, the poison will kill the good plants too. So the solution is to pull the undesirable weeds out of the places where desirable plants are growing.

I’ve learned two good steps in getting rid of weeds like this: prepare the ground, prepare yourself.

1 – Prepare the ground. In order for the ground to be willing to give up the weeds, it must be prepared in advance. If you go out and mow or just start pulling, you’re liable to only get the weed tops. When the roots remain, all you’ve done is stimulate the plant to grow more vigorously! It will come back again and again, each time more hardy than the last.

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So a day or so before the uprooting, the ground needs to be thoroughly soaked and maybe tilled a little. Then loosen with a pitchfork of sorts to break the hold the cemented soil has on the roots. When this is done pulling up weeds and getting the roots is more successful.

photo by samanthas

2 – Prepare yourself. This step is intended to protect you during your weed-pulling excursion. Sunscreen or protective clothing may be desired to limit the sun’s burning ultraviolet rays. There may be strategically located places on your body that are exposed during the squatting and bending hours of pulling weeds that burn very quickly and can leave you hurting when the work is done. Also, a mat or pad to kneel on or lean down on can save your lower back from the discomfort of bending at the waist.

Use a hand tool to break up the earth when it seeks to hold the roots tighter than your own arm strength. The final protection: appropriately thick or leather gloves to give you the firm grip you need to get leverage on the weeds as well as protect your hands from thorns and stickers.

Prepared in this way, you can enjoy a wonderful experience of clearing an area of ground to allow grass or new plants to take root. And they can grow unencumbered by the choking demands of unsightly weeds.

And so it is with life.

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Weeds of bitterness, jealousy, shame, anger, and fear can ruin your enjoyment of life. They can get a stranglehold on your sense of peace and destroy your attitude of Christian love. They show up as ugly and undesirable feelings, as cross, unkind words, as unloving attitudes. But you can tackle them!

Following the same guidelines as for gardening, you can have a beautiful, healthy, enjoyable life, growing in peace and joy.

1 – Prepare the ground. Spend time in prayer asking God to go before you and to be at work in the situation causing you pain. He may choose to change the circumstances, but He may also choose to change something in you. Be willing to accept what God tells you is needed. Ask Him to work in the circumstances and in the lives of any people involved.

If you need to go to someone and talk to them, ask God to safeguard the time set aside for the meeting and prepare their hearts to help you remove the weed between you. Also ask God to send the Holy Spirit to be in control and guide both your words and their responses.

2 – Prepare yourself. Go forward in the full armor and protection of God. To be cleansed in His perfect forgiveness, confess any sin in your life. Be especially specific involving the “weed” situation you are working on. Ask for and accept His forgiveness, cleansing you from your sin, guilt and shame.

Then prayerfully ask for God to give you His perspective on the problem. He may want to teach you something through this difficulty. Ask for His will to be done in the situation. Ask God for wisdom to show you how to get a grip on and remove the root of the issue. And put on the armor of God found in Ephesians 6 to protect you from anything that might keep the “weed” alive in your life to defeat you.

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You may discover that the biggest, meanest looking weeds give way easily when God has prepared both you and the ground.

Don’t be afraid to tackle the weeds!

 

Keep pulling on them and working the ground till they give way and are gone! In this way, you can be a victorious Christian, enjoying the fruits of the Spirit taking root and growing unencumbered in your new, weed-free life!