4. ANXIETY AND FEAR
Are you fearful or anxious? Does your stomach churn at the sight of challenges? Do you tend to withdraw from others or become reactive and challenge others when you are personally challenged? What’s behind it?
Most people don’t want to answer these questions, as there is a ring of truth to them. Anxiety and fear can keep you bound. This means unless there’s growth in you, you’ll continue to react to challenges as you have before.
The word fear stand for F false E expectations A appearing R real. What does this mean? Many issues you are anxious or fearful about simply will not manifest. They look like they’ll happen and often nothing comes out of it. Yet you tend to still react and then cover up your own reactions with anxious laughter, put yourself or others down, or ignore the upset you created by your own behavior. Let’s go deeper.
1 John 4:18 states “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” Wow!
What does this have to do with anything? This is about loving yourself before you love others! Does this mean you cannot love yourself or others with fear? No, it means when you love with fear it is based on a condition of yourself (how you or others measure up) or on the person you love. Would you like to change this?
When you consciously change how you think the way you feel also changes. This means for you to choose, regardless of how you feel, to change your thinking little by little; one step at a time. For example; “I do not like this person at all! I don’t like the way they talk, act, smell etc. I choose to focus on the reality they exist for a reason and I choose to respect them regardless of how I feel.” This includes yourself.
When you focus on the fruits of the spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23) the way you feel also changes.
When you change how you feel, it will change your life. It’s about choice again. Your thoughts, your beliefs; words you use and your conduct determines the future you are creating for yourself. You can choose to receive help to loosen your past condemnation, accusations and be free from oppression. The choice is fully yours to make.
Here are some points on anxiety written by Pastor John Piper, September 25, 1988
The root of anxiety is simply a lack of faith. The more anxious you are, the less faith you have
You have discovered just how many people battle with anxiety. It is how you deal (with) them that makes a difference
When you are anxious over something new, fight back with the promise “fear not for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God; I will help you, I will strengthen you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand” (Isaiah 41:10, NKJV)
When you are anxious about presenting something you can fight back with the promise “so shall my word that goes from my mouth; it will not come back to me empty but accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the things for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11)
When you are anxious of being too weak, you can fight back with “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9) and “as your days, so shall your strength be” (Deuteronomy 33:25)
When you are anxious about needing to decide “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye” (Psalm 32:8)
When you are anxious about someone’s words or actions against you, you can battle it with “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
When you are anxious about being ill, you can go against it with a promise “we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)
When you are anxious about getting old, you can battle it with “even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made and I will bear; even I will carry, and deliver you.” (Isaiah 46:4)\
Anxiety and fear are usually the signs indicating there’s much below the surface. Please read my further blogs on other issues you are dealing with. Think of these signs discussed as symptoms indicating there’s a deeper brokenness needing to be healed.
In my next blog I will discuss further the effects of anxiety, fear and rejection. Please contact me with questions or to arrange a complimentary first consultation.