Jan. 12 - David Mabry - Sinking Fear, Part 2 - Fear of Circumstances
Every now and then we may find ourselves in a situation where we’re truly scared. We may be afraid of what others think, afraid of losing control, or afraid of bad things, like pain or even death. In these situations our natural reaction is fight, flight or to freeze. Many people live their lives seeking pleasure in order to avoid pain or fear, but that fear causes us to avoid more than we should and often leads to missing out on opportunities.
God is continually placing people and opportunities in our path and there are times when our fear may prevent us from entering into that situation. But we don’t need to let those hindrances stop us from serving God. He always provides us with an answer. Next time you feel fear taking over, try this:
Embrace struggle and difficulty. Instead of resisting the situation and being unwilling to accept the struggle, lean into it and acknowledge that times are hard.
Remember God’s faithfulness and His bigness. Think back on all the times where He came through for you, when He delivered far beyond your expectations. Journaling these experiences may be helpful. If your discouragement and negativity are clouding your memories, borrow other people’s stories. Spend time in scripture, as well as sharing and praying with a small group.
Ask yourself if you’re giving undue worth to the fear. Remind yourself pain is not always bad or based in reality. In this sermon, David Mabry uses the example of hunger. When dinner is a few hours late and our stomach is aching and growling, we may feel like we’re “starving.” But are we really? Take a step back and see if this is really something worth directing your energies toward.
Surrender is the solution. Stop trying to control the situation and assuming you can fix it yourself.
a. Surrender to God’s sovereignty
b. Surrender to God’s plan
c. Surrender to God’s faithfulness
d. Surrender to God’s love for you
e. Surrender to God’s lordship over all things
Paul certainly knew about being face-to-face with fear. He encountered beatings, ridicule, rejection, imprisonment, and struggles of every kind. However his relationship with God was so strong and his faith so impenetrable that he was able to write this from prison:
Philippians 4:4-9 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 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.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
You don’t want to wait until the fear is upon you to call upon God. Cultivate a relationship with Him now so that when you’re up against the wall, you’re intimately familiar with His character and His promises. Then when struggles come, call upon Him confidently knowing He is with you every step of the way. Allow yourself to surrender to the God of peace.
Don’t face your fears. Rather face the God who faces your fears!