What if my idea is rejected? What if I look dumb? What if I make a fool out of myself? What if…I really am a fool? What if homeschooling was the wrong choice? Have I ruined my kids? Is my kid doing enough? Am I enough? What if we shouldn’t have bought that house? What if our house doesn’t sell? Did I offend that person? Am I offensive?
These are all questions that have popped into my head at some time. No, not all at once! Here and there, probably over the past year.
The initial question itself is not necessarily bad. Questions, doubts, and self-reflection can be instrumental in growth and also show us where our insecurities are. Where do these kind of questions become a problem? For me, it goes wrong when the question sparks a fear or is generated by a fear and that fear goes unchecked. The unchecked fear might paralyze me from doing something important. Another fear might tempt me to do the opposite; a knee-jerk, sinful reaction. I’ve come to see that fear can either move me toward the Lord and others, or the exact opposite.
For the next four weeks, I’ll be focusing in on moving from fear to trust and Christ-centered courage. I’m not focusing on it because I have it figured out. Quite the contrary! The Lord is showing me that I need to make this a focus over this next year because it’s a great need in my life. I’m experiencing a great amount of change and fear of change for this coming year. I’m also becoming more aware of how fear is the root of so much of the sin I see in my life.
Do you sense that fear might be a problem in your life?
A first step in moving from fear to trust and Christ-centered courage is to Cooperate with the Holy Spirit in a three-step process of Awareness of a problem, Admitting a need, and Asking for help. Jesus promised us a helper, the Holy Spirit. Let’s make our first step be turning toward Him, our Wonderful Counselor. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” -John 14:26
-Awareness – We can ask the Holy Spirit to help us become more aware of our fears. I can usually spot my fears by paying attention to when I feel angry and when I sin because I’m angry. Anger is a secondary emotion to fear. Sin and anger in my life are usually alarm bells letting me know that I’m afraid of something. For example, there are times I’ve gotten angry with my children and have discovered that underneath, the fuel for that fire was that I was actually fearing that I was not a good parent. “…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” – 2 Timothy 1:7
-Admit to the Lord when you identify fear and talk to Him about it. If we are trusting in Christ alone for our salvation, we have access to Him. We need not be ashamed or afraid to share our feelings with Him. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7
-Ask for help. We can’t just erase our fears.They come up in us for a reason, and we need help to heal from them or to move toward trusting and going forward in Christ-centered courage. Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves. Before we go on to step two next week, let’s ask for His help in what lies ahead. “O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.” -Psalm 139:1-6 “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” -Psalm 139:23-24
Please join me over the next four weeks as I focus in on moving from fear, to trust and courage. I’ll be posting encouragement in this area once a week on my blog. The 4 practices for moving to courage and trust will be presented in the format of 1 practice per week. Later in the week, I’ll also share a STRETCH my F A I T H “Stretch of the Week” along with encouragement from God’s Word in the area of fear to all of my newsletter subscribers. If you’re not signed up for my newsletter, you can do it here:Wasteland To Graceland / Stretch My Faith Community Newsletter
When you sign up, you will automatically receive a free 30-minute stretch session on overcoming the winter blues as well as a free mini-course called Empowered by Truth.
Turning with you this week toward Jesus, and moving toward trust and courage! If you’re a newsletter subsciber, keep an eye out for my e-mail later this weekend that will include the “Stretch of the Week”.
I’m linking up with these awesome bloggers this week!