How to overcome fear

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Fear is such a natural part of being human that it has become accepted it as normal, and no wonder with all the bad news that goes around in the world these days.

Various dictionaries define fear as a very unpleasant or disturbing feeling caused by the presence or imminence of danger; a state or condition marked by this feeling; a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

Note that fear is a feeling, yet it is a destructive force by itself — much worse than the danger it usually predicts. Your health, marriage, relationships, career, etc., are all in the crosshairs of the devastating power of this invisible monster. Fear is a twisted form of faith that always takes you backward instead of forward, while robbing you of the good things in life that make your time on earth pleasant and fruitful.

Worst of all, perhaps, is the fact that most of what we fear never happens, but while it dominates your mind it establishes itself there and creates a path for future thoughts to travel by. The anxiety that follows cancels the potential to enjoy a fulfilled life.

How do we beat this mental enemy? The quick and easy way is to medicate it, but that only creates dependence that nobody wants. Thank God there are better ways to overcome it!

First of all, for us Christians, there is God’s Manual for a wholesome life. The Bible teaches us how to live by faith in the goodness, love and care of our heavenly Father. He even made unshakeable promises that we can anchor our faith to, such as:

Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:34

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 understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6,7

You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.
Isaiah 26:3

It is also wise to view all things in the light of God’s character, for He never changes His mind: He said what He meant, and meant what He said.

Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89

God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? Numbers 23:19

Our Father in heaven is loving, compassionate, generous, and caring. He knows what material we were made of and that we are not perfect, yet He chose to adopt us as His children (Ephesians 1:5) with the responsibilities that go with it. He even loved us when we were still sinners in rebellion against Him:

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth. Psalm 86:15

The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. Psalm 145:8

And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 1 John 4:16

Always remember that fear is based on circumstances that is subject to change, but faith rests on truth that never changes. Truth triumphs over circumstances!

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31,32

Be aware of these promoters of fear:

Lies
This is still the devil’s preferred method of intimidating and manipulating believers. He is not called the father of lies for nothing. Satan is a professional who has been around for millennia and he knows how to do it well. Remember, everything that contradicts God’s Word is a lie.

Rumors
The grapevine is the devil’s media outlet which he uses to instill fear and doubt in God’s children. Believe nothing without first having it confirmed by at least two truthful sources — and seeing what the Bible has to say about it.

Misinformation
Information that is only partially true or accurate, is misinformation. Once again, sharp discernment can save you more grief than you can ever imagine. The devil is out there, going around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Propaganda
Propaganda always has a hidden agenda that seeks to control you; it is nothing but creative lies that appear as truth. This mischief maker is on the rise in our day, and is defined as statements that are often false or exaggerated, and are offered to benefit a hidden cause, a political leader, a government. Always fact-check everything for yourself before believing it.

Disinformation
This twin brother of misinformation deliberately spreads false information covertly, often using the rumor mill, to influence opinions or obscure truth.

Never receive counsel from unbelievers or people of little faith. There is simply too much at stake for you and those who depend on you. The world needs men and women with strong minds that can keep a cool head while everything around them crumbles. Tough days are ahead for those with feeble minds, who are unable to stay the course in a broken world. Time spent renewing your mind to the truth about you, your identity in Christ, God’s love for you and feeding your faith is an investment that will certainly yield excellent dividends.

Fear is a fiery dart sent your way with the single purpose of defeating you. These are thoughts that contradict God’s Word. Such thoughts never come from God! If you allow them into your mind, and meditate on them habitually, they will eventually form a stronghold that dominates your thoughts. The good news is that there is always freedom available in Christ:

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strong-holds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:4,5

Note that the attack comes in the form of arguments, reasoning, and debating the knowledge of God — which is His Word. This is what happens when you entertain thoughts that are not in agreement with the Word, until it becomes an exhausting struggle in your mind. Depression, anxiety, despondency, and complete hopelessness begin to set in. However, the devil doesn’t have to have the last word! We have mighty weapons that can tear down strongholds.

The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, is what Jesus used when the devil came against Him. He simply said, “It is written!” And that is what you must do too. Find out what the Bible says about your situation and say, “It is written,” then quote the applicable truth straight from the Scriptures.

Look back over your life and consider all the times when you experienced fear, and see how much of it actually materialized. Don’t be surprised if you find nothing at all. Then use that testimony to build your faith in God and His love for you, to cast it away from you. The shield of faith will stop every fiery dart.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

Look where the overcoming power is: love and a sound mind. A sound mind is one that is aligned with the thoughts of God, which are recorded for us in the Bible. But a mind that dwells on lies, entertains it and defends it as reality, is a weak mind. Strong minds boldly declare the Word of the Lord!

Can two walk together, unless they are agreed? Amos 3:3

Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us. 1 John 4:17-19

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