August 20, 2021
Why Are We Afraid?
Have you noticed lately, especially since COVID, how easily people share their shortcomings? Until 20 years ago, people were reluctant to share their struggles and inner skeletons. But with Y2K stress, the recession of 2008, many famous people admitting their failures, and then with COVID causing everyone some level of distress, loss, and uncertainty, people now readily confess suffering from all types of physical, material, and emotional problems. It doesn’t take much prodding to learn their education was hijacked, employment stressed, experience financial struggles, have some anger, frustration or hurt, lost a loved one, because of COVID had minimal socialization, or that they are self-centered and entitled and feel everything should revolve around their needs. People will even tell you they are “not that smart.”
While we readily admit dysfunctional behaviors, we are usually reluctant to share the core issue leading to the dysfunction. One of those core issues is that we are cowards. People don’t like to let on that they are afraid of anything. Of all our human frailties, cowardice seems by far the least popular. Yet we all struggle with feelings of inadequacy and insecurity. Consequently, we experience small and large fears regularly: fear of rejection, other’s opinions, losing control, discomfort, pain, or incompetence. The list is endless.
Fear gets in the way of so many things in our lives. But this is not how God wants us to live. Fear shows that we doubt God’s sovereignty, His love for us, and His power over our problems. We have to remember, He answered our biggest fear and concern: we were headed for eternal damnation because of our sin until He sent Jesus to die for us. God has an answer for every predicament, need, and struggle … even our anticipated suffering.
Pray for and develop courage from God. He is the only true and lasting source of real, triumphant courage. Then you will free yourself from the fears that keep you from God’s peace and joy. You see, God’s word speaks clearly to us about the need to be brave, to “fear not.” This message is contained in virtually every book of the Holy Bible. When we really put on the full armor of God and actually use it, bravery is an automatic outcome.
What concerns you? What are your worries and deep fears? Why? What do you need to believe differently about yourself, and especially about God, for your fear to go away? Problems usually result from distorted or inaccurate views/beliefs about what is painful, how much pain you can handle, and the power, promises, and peace God provides when you are in pain. By beliefs and views, I am not talking about what you intellectually know, but the beliefs that lie beneath your actions.
Today, identify some of your vulnerabilities and fears. Take God’s promises seriously. Make your decisions today based on accepting that God’s promises are true. See how acting on His promises affects your vulnerable spots. He can soothe you more than food, drugs, alcohol, pornography, hitting someone, having a tantrum, wallowing in self-pity, etc. You need to choose many times a day between God’s protection or the world’s for your safety. Whether you trust in God and experience true peace and rest, or your trust in the world while living in fear and constantly fleeing is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, on the outside I am tough, but on the inside I am so stricken with fear. I am such a coward. God, please give me courage. I need courage in all aspects of my life. I need courage to do good and to resist all forms of evil. I need courage to follow Your commandments and to overcome my rational and irrational fears. Lord, give me the courage I need to win the struggle against neuroses and anxieties. I need Your courage to overcome my addictions and to persevere though the storms in my life. Give me courage to give witness to Your truth, Lord, and to do great things in Your name. Father, I pray that all in the Stepping Stones community gain Your courage and lose their fear. Remove their fear, Father, and give them Your peace … the peace that surpasses all human understanding. I pray in the name of my rock and refuge, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” John 6:20
After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” Genesis 15:1
Every man will sit under his own vine and under his own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken. Micah 4:4
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.” Revelation 1:17