Tag: God

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!

Where do your tracks lead?

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Walking around the lake in winter is very different.  Things that are easily noticeable in most seasons may be covered in snow.  The plant life that is visible looks barren.  There are fewer types of wildlife, and those that remain behave differently.

Circling the lake today, I was amazed at how many tracks were clear in the freshly fallen snow.  Mine were the only human footprints, but there were many solitary and group trails that led in one direction: toward the water.

The path the ducks and geese took to get to the water was made plain in the snow.   I had never wondered about the specific route these birds take to the water, but with tracks in the snow, it was easy to follow their exact steps.

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I wondered if the snow was a hardship for the birds.  Were their feet cold as they stepped through the wet, frigid moisture?  Did they hurry to get to their destination?

 

 

Did the slips I could see on the steep slope into the water upset them?  Did they squawk when they slipped?

Many people would agree that regarding weather, cold and snow are a hardship.  In our lives though, there are many kinds of trials to be endured.

Oddly enough, like those ducks leaving footprints in the snow, we leave the most visible trails when our paths take us through hardship.  Others can see our actions and our path more clearly when they trail through hard times.

It presents a challenge to be more careful of our steps.  As a Christian, my real help comes from God.  But is that the first place I go in difficult times? Or do my footprints show confusion, heading in many different directions?

Like the ducks, in fair weather, we can do many things that don’t leave a trace.  But in difficult times, our every step leaves a clear trail for all to see.

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What do your steps show?  Where does your trail lead?  If others follow it, will it lead them to God?

Whatever your hardship, God is your very present help.  Turn your steps heavenward.  And lead on!

Use your Panic Button

panic-button-1375953_640Wouldn’t it be great if we all came equipped with a “Panic Button”?

We could press our buttons to send out a message that says, “Please come quickly, I need help.”

 

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I remember when cars first came out with built-in car alarms and that button on the key fob that said “Panic.”  A small, black piece of plastic housed the advanced ability to lock and unlock your car doors from a distance, and set or set off  the alarm.

If you pressed the button a loud, fairly high-pitched sound came from the car that people all around could hear.

There have been times when I sounded the “Panic” button just for fun, and times when I needed help in locating my car in a large parking lot.  Thankfully though, I have never had a real emergency where I needed to use it to summon police or other assistance.

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But it started me thinking . . . What a wonderful gift it would be to have the assistance we need at the push of a button.

How many times have you really needed some help, but didn’t ask someone?

 Do you keep piling on responsibilities until you are at your breaking point?  A lot of us do.

Do you try and make it look like you have it all together and are in control, when nothing could be further from the truth?

Do you just collapse in a heap feeling overwhelmed and hopeless?

The truth is, we all DO have amazing resources we can use as “panic buttons.”

call-us-1817506_640More often than not, people you have met and connected with are ready and willing to help you when they can.  And it is totally OK to ask for help.

You may need practice saying the words “I really need some help.”  Or “Can you help me?”

Practice by saying it to your children. It will teach them that it’s ok to ask for help, and will also give them the joy of being able to help you.

superhero-2503808_640Practice by saying it to your husband or wife. The truth is, they WANT to help you; to be your Superman, your Wonder Woman, your hero.

Practice by saying it to a friend.  You’ll be surprised how willing people are to help you if you ask.

But your best resource is God.  In the Psalms, the Bible tells us He is our ever-present help in trouble, our refuge, our strength.  Psalm 46:1

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We need only call out to Him.   Romans 10:13 tells us For everyone who calls upon the name of the LORD will be saved. 

If you don’t have a personal relationship with God, know that He loves you, and He is waiting to hear from you.  He will not force His way into your life, but will wait for you to ask Him to come in.

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You can do that in a simple prayer.  Prayer is just talking to God.  Sometimes out loud, sometimes silently in your heart.  You can do it on your own, any time, and He will respond.  You can also talk to a pastor or Christian if you want to know more or have questions.

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As our Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ knows what we need, and is waiting to be asked for His help.  We are also told that He grants wisdom to all who ask in faith for it, and that when we call on Him, He will answer us and tell us great and marvelous things which we do not know.

He has resources that we can’t even imagine.  And He wants to give us good things.  He has a plan for our lives, to prosper us and not to harm us; to give us a hope and a future.

It’s OK to call for help. Ask friends, they will respond to you.

Push your button.

Call on the Lord.

He will answer.