Overcoming Our Fear

Several months ago, I wrote about my struggle to cross a bridge. This is a fear of mine I had to work through.

There are times when we can move through a fear and easily reach the other side. There are other times when it is a struggle and we have to keep working through the steps to overcome our fear.

When we reach the other side we are a different person

One reason some fears are easier to overcome than others, is because some fears have greater strongholds on our lives than other fears.

But, we can overcome our fear and reach the other side. We will find we have changed from the inside out and we’re different people.

Maybe your fear isn’t walking across a bridge, but public speaking or fear of failure or spiders or the dark.

Take a deep breath and say a prayer. Then try to speak to a group of people {nursing homes are a great place to start}; try a new venture; stare at a spider or if you’re really brave hold it; or turn off the lights for a minute. How do you feel once you’re on the other side?  You came through it and even if you never do it again, you know you can do it if you have to.

What does the Bible tell us about fear?

  1. “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.”  {Proverbs 12:25}
  2. “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.”  {Psalm 94:19}
  3.  “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” {2 Timothy 1:7}
  4. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”  {Joshua 1:9}
  5. “Humble yourselves, then, under God’s mighty hand, so that he will lift you up in his own good time.  Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you.”  {1 Peter 5:6-7}

Take the time to meditate on these promises, while giving your fear to the Lord.  What fears has He helped you overcome?

Working Through Our Fear

I have a friend who is afraid of water. She refused to go near a pool.  Finally, after years of talking about it, she changed into her bathing suit.

Slowly, after much encouragement she put her foot on the top step. It took an hour to get her down the steps and to the shallow end of the pool. We were never able to get her past this point, but I was proud of her for taking so a bold and proactive step to even get in the pool.

She had to work through her fear and while we worked on each step, we discussed why she was afraid of water and how this effected her life.

Sometimes we need to be pushed through our fear

Working through our fears is not easy, but to move through them and past them, this is exactly what we have to do.

How do we work through our fear?

  1. Pray and give the fear to the Lord
  2. Take the time to work through the fear and issue. The answer or the fix is not going to happen overnight. It took a while for it to become a stronghold and will take even longer for the stronghold to be released, but it will never be released if we don’t work through it and ask the Lord for help.
  3. Take a break from whatever is holding these emotional ties. In time, it will provide new perspective.
  4. Talk it out with a friend or a counselor who will listen, but will also be honest.
  5. Ask for accountability in overcoming the issue or working through the problem
  6. Exercise is a great way to clear the mind and help us to see things different and it is good for both the body and the mind.
  7. Stop thinking about it by reading a book, taking a nap, going for a long drive, enjoying a hobby or learning something new.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  {Isaiah 41:10}

To work through your fear, why not work through each of these seven steps. How have these steps helped you work through your fear?

Discovering What is Holding Us Back

Last week, we discussed recognizing our fear.

I don’t know about you, but I have allowed my fears to hold me back and to keep me from living the best life the Lord has for me.

What is holding you back from reaching the other side?

This has effected my life in many ways, including my health and self-confidence.

I have had to dig deep to discover what is holding me back.  I took the list I made last week of my fears and I began to ask myself:

  1. How is this effecting my life?
  2. How has this taken a hold on me?
  3. Why am I allowing this to continue to have a hold on my life?
  4. How has this fear taken a hold on my life?

After all, why am I afraid when I should be trusting the Lord and giving my issue to Him.  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”   {Philippians 4:6-7}

I hope you will also take the list you made last week and ask yourself these same questions.  What is holding you back?

Recognizing Our Fear

For too long I have allowed fear to run my life and have a firm hold on my life.

Most of my fears are unfounded and unrealistic, but they are also very real.  I’ve allowed them to take hold of me and to hold on too fast, the way weeds overtake the garden.

Our fears are larger in our minds than reality 

One of the biggest steps I’ve made is recognizing the fear and that it is there.

“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.”  {1 John 4:18}

I made a list of the areas in which I was fearful and why I was fearful.

Do you know what I discovered?

  1. What I am afraid of has already happened. The past is using fear to hold on to me.
  2. This fear is preventing me from moving forward and accepting the best the Lord has for me.

How has fear overtaken your life?  Take a few minutes to make your own list.