A HOPE-FILLED YEAR....
To walk in faith & hope we have to deal with the issue of fear. (Obviously I’m not talking about the healthy fear which keeps us safe, or the Biblical fear of the Lord.) Fear is actually a different sort of faith – faith in negative outcomes, faith in lies presented by the Evil One, faith in an adverse future.
Once we see that fear is actually a form of faith, it sets us free to choose to put our faith in something positive rather than in something destructive. We choose to put our faith in God who is good, & who is good to us all the time.
Fear attaches itself to mental pictures, often related to past experiences. Perhaps we have a memory of a time when finances were tight, and then push that picture onto our future, fearful that it will be like that again. Perhaps the image of an embarrassing social situation experienced in the past dissuades us from accepting invitations in the present. These fears are bondages which stop us living life to the full.
Sometimes these mental images are caused by news items or television dramas. Living in a fallen world, we are surrounded by negative images which the evil one can use to create fearful pictures on the screen of our minds. It is impossible to totally shield ourselves from these, without retiring to the desert, but we can take steps to protect ourselves from their destructive consequences.
HOW DO WE DEAL WITH FEAR?
These are the steps I take:
- Recognise fearful thoughts. Take some time alone with God & ask Him to show you the fears in your life.
- Find out God's promise for that situation. Search the internet for ‘Bible verses about finance’ or whatever the issue is. Copy & paste them onto a word document, then print them out to have to hand.
- Repent. When we believe a lie we sin against God who is good, and we need to ask His forgiveness. The word ‘repentance’, in the Greek, means to change your way of thinking. We choose to align our thinking with the Lord rather than the evil one.
- Declare the truth out loud. Thank God for His promise to provide for your needs.
TIPS FOR STAYING FREE
Unfortunately, freedom from fear is a journey not an event. The steps above secure your starting point, but the only way to stay fear-free is to keep walking!
- The evil one presents us with a constant stream of negative images. We have a responsibility to combat them through feasting on the word of God, until His word, His viewpoint, directs our thinking.
- A practical aid in this is to record scriptures on to an Mp3 player, and listen to them often, until the word takes root in us. We should accompany the word with declaration, speaking out the truth over our lives, and those of our friends and families. What we say is important.
- In addition it is also important to feed our minds with good mental images. For example, Deuteronomy 31:6 says, ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.’ As well as learning this verse & declaring it over ourselves, we need to make a mental picture of Jesus accompanying us through the day, so that what we see, hear & speak lines up with what God says.
If we persevere, an attitude of faith and hope will become our natural habitat, and fear will have to slink away….
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