Facing Fears Productively – Part 1 of 2

I shared this in the past when the recession was on the horizon.  We have a new kind of fear developing these days with groups/peoples/factions seemingly stirring up hatred and separation.  This quote “Today the nations of the world may be divided into two classes — the nations in which the government FEARs the people, and the nations in which the people FEAR the government.” by      Amos R. E. Pinochet could be applied to our country and the people which the government fears, and the government (real and future) which the people fear.

Fear is nothing new. Recession/election/conflict woes just give us an opportunity to be honest about a lack of trust. We can be comforted – many famous people have also had fears:

Biblical characters across the spectrum experienced fear. Moses begged God to send someone else, saying he did have not the tongue to speak well. David – the King – murdered to cover the fear of discovery of his sexual sin. Abraham, father of nations, fearing for his life, lied and encouraged his wife Sarah to lie and say she was his sister.

Sarah continued the cycle – fearing she would not have the child God promised, she took into her own hands the resolution of that promise – with repercussions that are still evident today.

The television show Fear Factor exposed many natural reactions to external fears or phobias of “creepy” natural phenomena, fear of height, etc., and many currently “famous” people have found acceptance sharing their fear of flying and other social fears.

My fears also have been evident from time to time. I love being impulsive and daring, but I still have many limits:

  • what I think I can learn (or can’t learn)
  • the height I will climb
  • where I will travel
  • what I think I can do – or cannot do

 

Now didn’t that word limit soften what I’m really identifying! I need not fool myself because while some limits exist (such as travel funds) the limits above are of my own making – and have one thing in common – fear.

Limit – is probably the common denominator in recession and government control fears as well. My pension has been cut – I have been limited in my ability to pay debt, to eat out, to vacation, to give. Will I be able to… gives rise to worry, which turns to fear.  Some government(s) or parts of government(s) demand more and more control over the people and their personal lives.  Another form of will I or my children be able to…can also cause anxiety

We all have fears.   It is said more people are like Moses, fearing public speaking more than spiders or snakes! Where do all these fears come from?  2 Timothy 1:7 tells us where fear does NOT come from – “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and a sound mind.”

Did you see that? Fear is not from God. The common denominator of my limitations is that they are based on fear, fear is not from God and therefore those “limitations” are not from God.

Over 60 times the scriptures command us “fear not” and “do not fear” – followed by encouragements such as

for I AM your shield, for I have, for I am with you

for God has heard – and stand by and see (what God will do)

What causes you anxiety?  Are these things you can give over to God – to trust God to handle on your behalf?

Where or to whom is the first place you run when you are anxious or fearful?  It is interesting and challenging to read about the Bible characters like Moses or David and see what they did when things got rough.

What Bible character comes to mind when you feel or think about fear or anxiety?  Where did they go?  What about God turned their thoughts around?

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