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Sunday, June 03, 2012

What Are You Afraid Of?


Last week I began a series dealing with anger and its components. Today I continue with the first component, FEAR. Recently I played a board game called Scattegories with a group of my patients. One of the categories was "What are you afraid of". We had to write a word with a designated letter. We came up with all sorts of things including, jellyfish, jaguars, Jaws etc. That was easy to do because it was just a game. But in the game of life, can we state our fears so easily and simply?

The Bible has a lot to say about fear. It has its origin in anxiety, when a person feels afraid of something which has not yet taken place. I remember years ago when one of my teenaged sons was causing me a lot of anxiety. I don't think there's any fear that can equal that which a mother feels when she sees her child going  down the wrong path. I would wake up during the night wondering where he was and I couldn't go back to sleep until I heard the door open and knew he was home safe. If you've ever been there you know what I'm talking about.

One morning I woke up and fear overcame me in such a powerful way, even though my son was home. My heart pounded so hard I thought it would  jump out of my chest. I took up my devotional and read it without focusing on what I read. Then I opened my Bible to read the scripture that went with the devotion. Immediately, my eyes were drawn to Jesus' words in Mark 5 : 36: "Be not afraid, only believe." I stared at the words and they seemed to stare back at me. At that moment I felt the Spirit of God so strongly in the room, it was as if I could reach out and touch Him.

After that day, every time fear overtook me, I would recite those words, "Be not afraid, only believe." They have brought me comfort, peace and calmness as only the word of God can. As my fear diminished, so did my son's bad behavior. So I ask you today, what are you afraid of? Are you like I was, afraid your children will come to harm? Afraid of losing your job, your home, your spouse? Whatever it might be, Jesus says, "Be not afraid, only believe." Believe that He is in control. Believe that His eye is on the sparrow and He is watching over you. Believe the promises He set forth for you in His word. Study and memorize them.

The Bible says, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1 : 7). Like anger, fear used wrongly can destroy you.  Jesus said, "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10 : 28).  As long as we fear - reverence, obey, follow - God, we'll have nothing to fear.
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