Thursday, April 7, 2011

Fear Not: Part 6

(If you missed the earlier posts in this series, here they are: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.)

We weaken fears with faith by talking to God and we weaken fears with faith by talking to ourselves, in other words, by thinking about what is true.  “Whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, worthy of praise-think about that.  Practice that and the God of peace will be with you.”  Do you see what the Apostle Paul getting at here? We weaken fears and anxieties by thinking, or talking to ourselves about what’s true.  

This kind of thinking is not some sort of power of positive thinking. This isn’t just trying to make yourself feel better by repeating, “Don’t fear!  Don’t fear!  Don’t Fear!” This kind of thinking is a way of fighting for faith in who God really is. 

But what if we do try to think about truth and we find that it’s just not doing anything for us-that it’s making no difference?  You know, “I’ve tried.  It didn’t work.”  Ever been there?  When fears and anxieties threaten to overwhelm us, it can be really hard to believe the truth. When we feel like the truth about who God is really isn’t helping us, that should be like a warning light.  “Alert!  Alert!  Something’s not right.  Check your heart!”  If we’re not believing that God is who He says He is, we’re doubting Him.    

Ladies, I just want to pause for a second and say again that some of the situations you’re facing right now are really absolutely frightening, more than I can understand. When fears and anxieties seem to be closing in all around us, believing that God really is our loving Father who will strengthen us and help us does not come naturally.  If you’re having a hard time believing the truth about God in the midst of your scary circumstance, that’s not surprising.  That’s especially true because our fears lie.  I’ve seen this over and over again in my own life; fears lie and their lies seem so believable when I’m afraid.

We’ll talk about this more specifically in a little bit, but right now, I just want to encourage you-this is why we desperately need the Holy Spirit’s help; we are so quick to doubt God.  We need to go to Him, just like Paul exhorted us to in Philippians 4.  We need to cry out to Him to help us believe. “I do believe, Lord help my unbelief!”  It may also be helpful to include others, asking them to remind us of what’s true about our loving father that is with us.  And it’s also really important not to just read scripture, but to preach it to ourselves and to keep preaching it to ourselves rather than listening to the lies that whisper and sometimes SHOUT in our hearts.

Martin Loyd Jones, a Welsh preacher that lived in the first part of the 20th century explained it this way:

“The main trouble in this whole a sense is this, that we allow our self to talk to us instead of talking to our self. Am I just trying to be deliberately paradoxical? Far from it. This is the very essence of wisdom in this matter. Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?”

“You have to take yourself in hand, you have to address yourself, preach to yourself, question must go on to remind yourself of God, Who God is, and what God is and what God has done, and what God has pledged Himself to do.”

We’re constantly talking to ourselves.  Thoughts go through our head all day long.  But are we talking to ourselves about what is actually true? In the midst of being afraid, it’s not easy to believe what is true about God and to think about those things-that's why it's called a fight.  It really is a fight for faith.

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2 Responses to “Fear Not: Part 6”

  1. Excellent reminders.
    I just read those quotes, I think, in a book the ladies of our church are going through called, "Overcoming Fear, Worry and Anxiety" by Elyse Fitzpatrick.

    Great pictures, too!

  2. That picture of Addie cracks me up!