Fear is a sneaky little devil. More accurately, fear is stirred up by the sneaky little Devil himself. We know we shouldn’t be afraid, yet it’s so easy to give in to fear. After all, there are so many things to be afraid of. In today’s world there is no scenario where we are ever perfectly safe. We’re in danger constantly – danger caused by other people, danger caused by the weather and natural disasters, danger caused by our own bodies and the diseases they hold…
I could go on, but I think you get my point. Danger is literally lurking around every corner. Yet God tells us not to be afraid. “Fear not!” He whispers in our ear. It’s hard to hear Him over the noise that is our everyday reality. So He speaks a little louder, “Fear not!” We still don’t hear Him so He shouts, “Fear not! I am with you!”
I’m reminded of the old Verizon commercials, “Can you hear me now?”
“Yes God, I can hear you. But I’m still afraid.”
What do we do when the fear won’t let up? What do we do when our brain tells us that we don’t have to be afraid, yet we can’t catch our breath and our heart tries to jump out of our chest? What then, God? How do we make it stop?
I don’t know about you, but I get really angry when I let fear win, when I let Satan win. He’s such a jerk! How can we get control over the fear and not let it affect us?
When we can’t shake the fear, even after praying, it’s time to bring in the reinforcements. Asking others to pray for, and with, us is a powerful thing. You don’t have to live in fear alone. Ask a friend or family member – or several friends and family members – to pray as well. There’s power in petitioning God together, being united, and lifting each other up.
The second thing we can do is turn to God’s Word for encouragement, truth, and hope. God’s words of encouragement to the people of Israel are also words of encouragement to us today. Isaiah 41:10 (The Message) says, “Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.”
The last, and perhaps the most illogical, thing we can do is rejoice. The Apostle Paul encourages us in Romans 5:3-5 (NLT):
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Are you living in fear? Are you ready to tell the Devil to “Shut the heck up!”? Let’s start by praying together.
Dear Lord God, I’m so scared. I know I shouldn’t be, but I am. I feel so helpless; things are spinning out of control and I can’t stop any of it. I don’t know what to do. I can’t breathe, I can’t function, I’m stuck. I’m stuck in this horrible place and I need You. I need Your help desperately God! Will You take the fear away and fill me with Your peace? Will you help me to remember that I’m not alone? Will You give me strength? Will You help me? Please hold me steady and keep a firm grip on me. Help me to endure this trial. Give me strength of character and a confident hope in You and the salvation found in You, Lord. Thank You, God, for loving me so much. I love You too and I trust You with my life and the lives of those I love. Amen.