Many people suffer from fear, anxiety and worry. This affects us in different ways and at different times. I’m not worried about speaking in front of hundreds of people but other people would be. I don’t like going to the dentist though – but others don’t worry about it at all. And fears can come and go. We also live in a world where the media and business can use fear for their own ends. Sometimes it’s best to step back, turn off the media and get things back in perspective. What we listen to and think about influences us, so try to replace fear with positive thoughts instead.
A wise writer called Solomon once wrote these very profound words: “Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.”The Bible, Proverbs 12.25
Maybe you need some encouraging words to cheer you up – read on. Or maybe you can bring some encouraging words to cheer someone else up!
Fear and feelings
Fear can be a good thing – it keeps us on our toes, helps us avoid danger and makes us cautious when we need to be. But when fear dominates people or paralyses them from doing or saying anything, then it becomes unhealthy.
A man called Claude Ely wrote this about fear:
“Fear is a liar with a smooth and velvet tongue
Fear is a tyrant, he’s always telling me to run“
Sometimes when we talk about our fears we become aware that they aren’t as bad as we think. Most times the fear of something is far worse than the actual thing we fear. But for some people, speaking about their fears only empowers the fear. So we need to know ourselves and do what is best.
We also need to know that our feelings aren’t always the truth. We don’t have to live by how we feel.
Think about what you’re thinking about
Very often when we feel fear we can over-think it and end up becoming what we fear. So an important thing to fight fear is not to give it our time. There is a famous phrase that says we become like what we think about or spend time with. So if we want to fight fear, we can choose not to think about the thing that worries us. Easy to say and hard to do, right?!
Here is a secret: a lady called Joyce Meyer who is a speaker says that we don’t have to let fear stop us. Sometimes we can do things afraid.
Another secret is that we can go and do something for someone else. As we help others, we can see our confidence grow and our fears subside. But positive thinking and right actions only get us so far.
God is with you – if you ask him
Here is something that God says in the Bible:
“Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.“
If you think about the Middle East and shepherd with his sheep, the shepherd’s rod (stick) is there to help guide the sheep and to fight off attackers. Fear is like an enemy when it messes up our lives and it’s good to know that we can ask God to fight off fear with his rod / stick. One thing we can do is speak what God says out loud or even talk to fears from what God says. Here’s what God says in the Bible…
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.”The Bible, Philippians 4.6-7
But what if your fears are about something really serious like an illness or a broken relationship and you just can’t seem to escape the fears? Of course like anything else, when things are broken, it’s good to get some help to fix them. You may need to talk to a doctor or a psychiatrist or some counsellor who can help you through.
And whatever we face, it’s good to know that we can ask God for his help and even for him to bring healing. God is not distant, he’s not a myth or for ‘weak’ people, he is someone who wants to help you and set you free from the things that destroy you and ruin your life.
“I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
He freed me from all my fears.”
So just ask God today to free you from your fears.