Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Fear is the other side of the coin. It is still evidence of things not seen but it is what we hope won’t happen.
For purposes of this article, we’ll use FEAR as an acronym for
Deep rooted fears, often the result of emotional neglect in childhood, can overwhelm us. Some common themes are fear of failure, rejection, exposure and abandonment. Those fears can be trap doors, leading to hours, days or weeks of negative thoughts and feelings about oneself. In which case, it is appropriate to add an “S” to fear. This “S” stands for spiraling.
Our fears come from the distortion of our identity as being made in the Image of God. In 1 John 4:1-6 we are told that we are not to believe everything we see and hear (or think and feel in this case) but to test and see if things are true or false. Truth is from the Spirit of God and lies are from the spirit of the antichrist.
Further down, in 1 John 4:16-19, it talks about knowing and believing the love God has for His children and how that love casts out fear.
So how do we break free from fear’s grip to living and reveling in God’s love? We PRAISE!
Philippians 4:4-7 tells us to rejoice in the Lord always. Paul tells us do not worry or be afraid of anything or anyone but instead through praying and requesting WITH THANKS, tell God what we want and need. The result is true peace, that is independent of our circumstances, and will protect our feelings and thoughts.
We are often told to pray and praise but do not always know what steps to take. I’ve turned praise into an acronym so there are concrete steps to overcoming those fears.
Praising God –
God told the Israelites over and over again to celebrate the times He delivered them. He told them to tell their children about it so they didn’t forget. God knows that we are quick to forget the good things. Keep a journal, a memory box, a friend, whatever! Always remember the things that God has delivered you from. Thank Him for those things. Then thank Him for what He will do for you. God’s promises are faithful. If He has told you something will come to pass, it will! His promises in the Bible are accurate. Write them down. Rehearse them. Tell others.
Recognizing feelings –
Did you know that recognizing emotions is a learned skill? Those who were not taught that their emotions were valid or whose emotions were denied, may not be aware of how they actually feel. Even those who are comfortable with their feelings, rarely check in to see how they feel. Take a moment. How do you feel right now?
Asking questions –
Feelings are often avoided because they’re considered “bad.” Instead of deciding whether a feeling is good or bad, use it as a signal. Ask the feelings to give you more information. Where is this coming from? What am I afraid will happen? Why? What does it mean if this happens? Is this feeling telling the truth? Can this feeling hurt me?
Inviting help –
People hate asking for help. They feel weak or needy or selfish. Not asking for help almost guarantees remaining stuck. Remember darkness is the domain of the enemy. Bringing things into the light is how we overcome them. Start by asking the Holy Spirit for help. He already knows what’s going on and He is eager and waiting for your request. He is the very essence of God’s love. He is also our Comforter, Encourager and Helper. He is NOT tired of you. Similarly, there are people that can help. Friends, family, church, counselors and coaches are great people to lean on. Online forums or support groups can be very helpful as well. Find those you can trust with your heart. They will not be perfect but they will listen and honor you and not put you down.
Seeking truth –
All truth is found in God’s word. What does the Bible say about your fears? What does God say about you? Has this happened before? What was the outcome? Fear is like a shadow that makes things seem much bigger than they are. Truth is the light to show reality.
Expel fears –
You don’t have to submit to fears. One of the reasons the Enemy attacks us as children is because at that time we have limited knowledge and understanding. We are dependent on our parents and caregivers for survival. Fears that began in childhood can take us right back to feeling powerless. But as Christian adults, we are now in control. We can give fear the boot. We have the power to choose what we attend to and focus on.
Philippians 4:8-9 tells us to focus on things that are pure and lovely and just and praiseworthy. All the examples that we have of those who have followed God – Jesus, biblical figures and those in our personal life – we can identify and practice those things. Paul says that when we do, the God of peace will be with us. Again, we see the promise of peace.
Finally, in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, we are told that we fight spiritually to destroy all thoughts and beliefs that contradict God’s word.
The Bible would not tell us that we could do these things if it were not true.
I’ve created an mp3 download about using P.R.A.I.S.E. to overcome F.E.A.R.S. Listen to it in your car, on your computer or on your phone.
Blessings, peace and grace to you.