Fear. Many people are living in a period of complex demands. Life is fast, full, dangerous, stressful and risky. Anticipated negative changes or real disappointments do happen. Health reports, bad memories, uncertain outcomes, relational conflict, financial pressures. Are you familiar with fear? I am. Fear is normal in our complex society. When fear hits it can have minds running scared, hearts pounding, palms sweating, mouth dry. Fearful thoughts can make our behaviours become despondent or aggressive. If that fear lasts, people are left feeling wiped out, in despair or sorrow where the hope of our faith feels weak and God feels distant. We need help at that point. Comprehensive resources are available to help us all, here in Canada. Here are some practical, spiritual faith life tips for faith over fear.
6 Sequential steps to soothing your soul:
1. Get physically comfortable. Remove distractions. Get alone and quiet. Settle into a soothing setting, such as the natural surroundings of water or gardens and trees. Take restrictive clothing off, like ties or shoes, even socks.
2. Control your breathing. In a comfortable posture, close you eyes and count deep breathes. For example, take twenty-five (25) breathes counted as three (3) seconds inhale through the nose, three (3) second hold, three (3) second exhale through the mouth.
3. Pray for forgiveness and help.
(a) Say out loud, to God, that fear is sin. Fear is functional unbelief in God’s love and care for me, as his Beloved Child. “Heavenly Father, I confess the sin of fear. I am sorry for not trusting your promises and so I now need your forgiveness secured in the cross. Please stop these negative thoughts and remind me of the truth. Help me find the path out of this.”
(b) Say out loud, to God, that trust is worship. Practice your faith by declaring trust in the truth of God’s promises. Believe the truth. He is powerful, present and providentially in control. “Dear Heavenly Father, I believe the truth that you are powerful, present and providentially in control of my life. I trust you during this time to protect my heart and mind as well as give me the path of escape. Please help me now.”
4. Pray through Biblical Promises. Read the Bible slowly, softly, reflectively, audibly to yourself. Allow the Bible to re-orient your thoughts to God’s thoughts. If you like to journal, then write the negative thought and replace it with a Scriptural truth. Thise step can provide the pathway forward for you to take from fear to freedom. Write down ideas about what to do if they come to you.
Try these verses, which helped me this week:
2 Timothy 1:7, “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
Psalm 56:3, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”
Proverbs 18:10, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.”
2 Corinthians 10:3-5, “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,”
Psalm 20 & Psalm 107.
5. Connect socially. Whether you tend to be extroverted or introverted, try calling or visiting a friend to share what truth you have learned and pray the Scripture into your life together. Social isolation can be needed, but excessive withdrawal can be deadly. Social involvement can be good, but also can be draining. See how you feel and do what you need to do everyday. Go to church if you can. See friends, family and neighbours. You are not alone. A lot of good advice comes from other people. Be discerning.
6. Take care of your body. Sleep enough, eat well and be active in the gym or outdoors. Get fresh air. There is a mind, body, emotion connection. Physical self-care helps. Take vitamins, and stay hydrated, etc. This will help you live day to day with greater confidence and energy if you have responsibilities to carry out.
These 6 practical steps matter, but we cannot do the spiritual job in our own strength! The Lord Jesus Christ, my hero, faced his fears with Spiritual weaponery and courage. As God, he was still prayerful and Spirit-empowered to fight the devil, engage hostile men, endured the cross – all with a sense of trust in God. That overcoming life is possible for us in Christ by his Spirit with his arnour (Ephesians 6). Would you like his help?
Next time you feel fear, be soothed by God’s promised, peaceful presence. Practice your faith with these steps including Scriptural prayer in a comfortable setting. You’ll know Christ better in the process of feeling better.
Faith. When we are walking in courageous and confident faith, according to our identity in Christ, amazing things can happen as God works his plans through us! Ephesians 3: 11-12: “This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.”
What are you afraid of? Would you like Jesus to help you with your confidence?
Remember Psalm 56:3, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”
Fight fear with faith. 🙂