Faith Column: Facing my fears
What is fear? You know it when you feel it, but putting fear into words is more of a challenge. Fear ranges from feelings of uneasiness to complete and overwhelming anxiety, and it can cause panic and stress. Fear relates to your concerns about the future. It is an emotion that causes distress over the possibility of pain, danger or other negative outcomes.
The triggers that cause fear may be real or imagined threats. For example, if you come face-to-face with a rattlesnake, you will likely have intense fear based on a real threat. When you contemplate recovery and feel fear over potentially being miserable without drugs, that is an imagined threat. Your mind is creating a scenario that could happen, and your brain runs with that thought, leaving you feeling fearful for your future.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
God doesn’t give us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
If you have never struggled with fear you won’t understand this to the degree that someone that struggles with fear will, but I hope and pray it will be beneficial to both. I personally have struggled with fear for a long time. I am not fearful of spiders or snakes; I do hate mice, but wouldn’t say it is a phobia or fear.
Some say the only way to overcome your fears is to face your fears.
- The victim facing their attacker
Face your fears – this is why you have shows on TV like “Fear Factor” So people will face their fears. Back in the early 90s I believe the shirt that every young man wanted was “No Fear” shirts. Fear is crippling to an individual! Fear paralyzes forward progress. For more than one reason fear can stop someone in their tracks and the person with them keep walking like its no big deal. Fear paralyzes people and it might look petty and foolish, but to the person who keeps on walking it is real to the one who is paralyzed with fear.
Look what Jesus says about fear.
Mark 4:40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
Jesus is saying there is a connection between my faith and my fear.
If my fear is up my faith is down and if my faith is up my fear is down. I need to keep my faith up!
I want to read you a story of out of the scriptures that maybe you haven’t read yet or maybe you have. A story that I encountered while reading a book.
2 Samuel 23:20-21 “There was also Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant warrior from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two of Moab’s mightiest warriors. Another time he chased a lion down into a pit. Then, despite the snow and slippery ground, he caught the lion and killed it. Another time, armed only with a club, he killed a great Egyptian warrior who was armed with a spear. Benaiah wrenched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with it.”
Benaiah runs and jumps into the pit where the lion is hiding. No matter if the lion is 150 pounds like the lions around here or 400 pounds like the lions in Africa nobody, wants to go into a pit with the lion on a snowy day.
Encountering a lion in the wild is typically a bad thing. Finding yourself in a pit with a lion on a snowy day generally qualifies as a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
Scripture doesn’t give us a blow-by-blow description of what happened in that pit. All we know is that when the snow settled, the lion was dead and Benaiah was alive. There was one set of paw prints and two sets of footprints.
Now fast forward two verses and look at what happens in the next scene.
2 Samuel 23:23 says: “And David put [Benaiah] in charge of his bodyguard.”
I can’t think of too many places I’d rather not be than in a pit with a lion on a snowy day. But you’ve got to admit something: “I killed a lion in a pit on a snowy day” looks pretty impressive on your resume if you’re applying for a bodyguard position with the King of Israel!
Most people would have seen the lion as a 400-pound problem, but not Benaiah. For most people, finding yourself in a pit with a lion on a snowy day would qualify as bad luck. But can you see how God turned what could have been considered a bad break into a big break? Benaiah lands a job interview with the King of Israel.
God is always using past experiences to prepare us for future opportunities. But those God-given opportunities often come disguised as man-eating lions. And how we react when we encounter those lions will determine our destiny. We can cower in fear and run away from our greatest challenges. Or we can chase our God-ordained destiny by seizing the God-ordained opportunity.
I don’t know what your lion is, but could it be if you can come up with a strength to face it maybe God has a plan to use you through it?
Where there is opposition there is always an opportunity.
Tony Bohrer is the pastor at Apostolic Lighthouse Church in Craig.
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