Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Spirit of Fear

I don't often talk about my faith here on the ol' blog. But sometimes issues weigh heavily on my heart and I feel the need to write about it. And frankly, the older I get, the less I care what other people think about my beliefs. I never want to force my beliefs onto anyone else, but I refuse to hide them from people either. I suppose my past reluctancy to share my beliefs stems from the very topic I want to discuss today: fear.

I feel that the spirit of fear is overtaking us as a nation and as individuals. We live in a culture where all you hear on the news or read in the papers is doom and gloom. Especially now, the only thing you hear around the water cooler is how the market is crashing and people are going to start losing their jobs, etc., etc. It's no wonder that the general public is running around like chickens with their heads cut off, screaming, "The sky is falling!"

Fear is the great destroyer. It wraps its bloody fingers around hope, faith, and love and strangles the life out. Fear erodes relationships; eradicates dreams. It stops at nothing to eliminate all that is good in this world. If you are not equipped to fight back, it will destroy you.

Our God tells us to [b]e on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. (1 Corinth. 16:13). He assures us, over and over in the Bible, 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. (Isaiah 41:10).

The spirit of fear is not of God. He does not want us to worry, but trust that He will provide us with all we need. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7).

Your father knows what you need before you ask him. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today's trouble is enough for today. (Matthew 6:8b,34).

Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest. (Luke 12:25-26).

Why, then, do we continue to let fear sap our strength and crush our faith? Why are we allowing evil to pervade our daily lives and reduce us to panicky fear-mongers? Why do we continue to believe the lies that fear whispers to us every day?

It is up to us, as children of God, to fight back against the spirit of fear. He has equipped us:

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:6-8).

Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the Lord your God who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. (Deuteronomy 31:6,8).

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:10-18).

If God is for us, who can be against us? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8: 31b, 35, 37-39).

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. (Psalm 46:1-3).

If your life has been invaded by the spirit of fear, I urge you to turn to God and his goodness. He will give you strength and peace. He will provide you with what you need. All you need do is ask.

Turn your fear to hope and your worry to praise! He is with you.



*uncorked said...

You're so right about turning into a nation of fear. It's giving me constant heartburn. While I'm not necessarily with you on the religious-y part, I think the message is a good one.

Madhu said...

So true.. the minute we start worrying about life, is when we stop living it. I totally understand your concept of faith.. Keep spreading the faith..

Andrea said...

Hi there! I just found your blog today though Better After. Love all of your projects by the way. I am so glad that I stumbled upon your blog, God knew I needed to hear this today! How refreshing it was! Take care ~ Andrea

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