Summary: This continues our topical excursion in our Judges Series this is the 4th of 7 messages on the subject.
Judges Series #13
“Facing Fear” Pt 4 (Trust More Fearless)
Everyone experiences fear from time to time. Fear is a tangible involuntary reaction to a perceived or actual threat to my well-being that is either present or potential that requires some sort of intentional response. We live in a scary threatening world. Threats assault every aspect of our life all through our life. Our emotional well-being, our livelihood, our physical safety, our spiritual well-being. One phone call can disrupt our whole system. A single event can change the course of our whole day and even life. Endless possibilities for harm lurk at every turn.
The Bible records hundreds of threatening events that stirred fear in those living it. Fortunately, it also records numerous principles that enable us to not eliminate the threats but face the fear. So far, we have suggested two stages in dealing with our fears.
The first thing to do is to analyze the fear-triggering event.
Is the threat real or imagined?
Is the threat in the present or am I worried about some future possible threat?
What are the chances of this calamity happening to me?
Is there anything I can do about it?
If I can’t do anything about a situation, worry and fear is not going do anything either.
Real threats require specific action.
Imagined threats require renewal of our thinking and perspective.
The Second step is to consider an intentional response.
We need to train our thinking with the principles of the Scripture.
We need tune our hearts to God’s specific direction and application of those principles.
There are times we need to stand up against the threat I the strength of the Lord.
Other times we need to remove ourselves from a threatening situation.
God may call us to wait for His timing.
Due to our lack of genuine trust, we may become paralyzed from doing anything.
Continual worry and fret about the real or perceived threat is never healthy.
We need to do something.
5. Faith -- TRUST
The primary response to fear must be faith.
By faith, I mean trust and obedience. Genuine faith always includes intentional action. I intellectually grasp the truth I emotionally embrace the truth. I willfully act on the truth. A healthy response of trust comes from the assurance of God’s person (Our Infinite God can deal with anything and has promised never to fail us), an awareness of God’s presence (He has promised never to leave or forsake us) and a grip on God’s promises (He has promised to perfect us). Repeatedly, God encouraged people in fearful circumstances to take courage and not fear base on the person, presence and promise of God.
FEAR REDUCING LOGIC
We serve an all-powerful, all knowing concerning past, present and future things and an ever-present God who is fully capable of addressing ANY fearful circumstance in which we may find ourselves.
Nothing happens in life that He does not skillfully and sovereignly orchestrate to accomplish His higher purposes.
He declares His unconditional love for us.
He promises NEVER to leave us or forsake us. He is with us.
Knowing these indisputable facts enables us (like it Jesus did) to continually entrust our souls in both the good and bad circumstances of life to a faithful Creator.
Jesus preached that people should not fret about the future because God cares deeply.
Rather, they should keep His kingdom and living a godly life at the top of their priority list.
Other Bible passages link other actions related to fear.
6. Pray with Thanksgiving
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, 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 comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7
A few observations!
The focus on what we should do is clear. Rejoice realizing the Lord is near. Let your resulting anxiety-free state be evident by our refusal to worry about ANYTHING.
Instead, Paul instructed them to pray about EVERYTHING.
The alternative to anxiety and worry is prayer.
The more vital our communication with the God is, the less anxious our life.
Think about it.
Being in direct communication with the all-powerful, all knowing, everywhere present loving God when a threatening circumstance arises obviously diminishes the sting of the threat.
Talk to God about your feelings of anxiety. Let Him know how you feel. Be sure you express thanksgiving for the faith building opportunity. It is harder to be fearful and anxious when thanksgiving occupies our conversation.
A peace from God that defies human logic appears; a peace that garrisons, guards, protects your HEART (feelings) and your MIND thinking by reason of you connection to Jesus.