Fear is real. And we all have experienced it.
The definition of fear is an emotion experienced in anticipation of pain, danger or the unknown. The key word here is anticipation.
We talked about two scenarios.
The first is when we personally are experiencing fear.
The second is when we are in a conversation with someone who is experiencing fear.
Fear knocks on the door of our hearts all the time. What do we do with it? How can we keep the door of our hearts closed to it? How can we speak the "Language of the Believer" when conversations (nowadays) always seem to turn to something to be afraid of.
Here are my notes from last week.
Before we met last week I asked a few gals if there were any fears that sneak up on them (anticipation of pain, danger or the unknown). Here is what they shared:
Something happening to my husband
Something happening to my kids
Being financially destitute
Not having a spouse.
Not doing everything God called me to and created me for.
Family members that don’t know Christ.
A family member dying without Christ.
Losing my job.
Getting old and not being healthy.
Getting old and being alone.
The good news is if we feel afraid we are not alone. In fact, if we have ever been afraid we are in the company of the spiritual giants of the Bible. As I searched my Bible it seemed every person I came across was afraid during his or her life. How do I know? Because God, an angel or someone else was telling them "Do not be afraid".
Adam, Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Hagar, Ruth, Joseph's brothers, Joshua, Mary and Joseph, the Disciples, John, Paul, Herod and more were afraid. Following are a few verse references.
Genesis 3: God said where are you… Adam said I heard the sound of you walking in the garden and I hid myself because I was afraid.
Genesis 15:1: [Abram Promised a Son ] After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great.”
Genesis 21:17: God heard the lad crying; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter with you, Hagar? Do not fear, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is.
Exodus 14:13 [The Sea Is Divided ] But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever.
Ruth 3:11 Now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence.
Genesis 26:7 When the men of the place asked about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” for he was afraid to say, “my wife,” thinking, “the men of the place might kill me on account of Rebekah, for she is beautiful.” [God talking to Isaac]
Genesis 32:7 Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed; and he divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and the herds and the camels, into two companies;
Genesis 43:18 Now the men (Joseph’s brothers) were afraid, because they were brought to Joseph’s house; and they said, “It is because of the money that was returned in our sacks the first time that we are being brought in, that he may seek occasion against us and fall upon us, and take us for slaves with our donkeys.”
Matthew 1:20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
Luke 1:30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God.
Matthew 8:26 He *said to them, (disciples) “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.
Mark 6:20 for Herod was afraid of John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. And when he heard him, he was very perplexed; but he used to enjoy listening to him.
Acts 18:9 And the Lord said to Paulin the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent;
Acts 22:29Therefore those who were about to examine him immediately let go of him; and the commander also was afraid when he found out that he was a Roman, and because he had put him in chains.
Revelation 1:17 [John] When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last,
Fear should be re-named “inter-fear”
Fear is constantly interfering with our PEACE, especially in this season of unknowns. So what in the world can we do with it? Of course we know we are to hand it over to our Savior. But maybe that can be hard sometimes. So we are going to look at a tool called "Reframing" that can help us "be strong and courageous" like Joshua (check out Session 2 where we focused on Joshua crossing over the Jordan).
In Joshua 1:3-9 God said wherever His people put/set their feet they would be on land that God gave them. He gave them dominion over that territory. When you have history over a territory you ave nothing to fear. God has given us victory and dominion over territory, and He waits for us to walk in that victory.
Reframing is our ability to look at exactly the same situation (that made us fearful) and see it from a different perspective ( as we stand firm, victorious and brave).
Our minds are powerful. The Bible says we have the mind of Christ. Can't get more powerful than that. (1 Corinthians 2:16)
We can have control over your thoughts. The Bible says we can take thoughts captive. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
If we have control over our thoughts, then we can choose which perspective we should take.
Key Points in Reframing For Yourself - When you Feel Fear
Get a piece of paper out and draw a line down the middle of it.
On the left column write down your thoughts and feelings. This helps us to clarify and understand what is really going on. There may be loads of things going on and this process will help you unjumble it all.
Title the right column - "But the truth is...". Truth always brings victory.
The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy… he always tries to get us to imagine the worst possible outcome so that we become fearful.
We'll talk more about this when we are together.
Key Points in Reframing - When Listening to Someone Express Fear
Don't send them a video sermon to watch --- talk to them and listen, listen and listen some more. People are desperate to be heard.
Validate what you hear. The worst thing we could ever say is "Don't worry about that" or "There is nothing to be afraid of". When we do that we totally ignore the person's real feelings. Saying something like "I hear you" or "You are really afraid about _______" validates that you are listening and that the person is feeling a real emotion - not something to just stuff away and pretend it doesn't exist.
Pray in your heart for God's perfect words to say. And it doesn't have to be a lot of words. Proverbs 17:27 says A truly wise person uses few words.
Sure seems like right now in the "COVID world" everything seems to be awful. And it’s easy to get into the “awfuls” in our own head or in conversations with others.
I saw this and it was awful.
I heard this and it was awful.
I read this and it was awful.
We awfulize everything…but this is not the language of the believer.
The language of the believer is …
The truth is God works all things together for good.
The truth is God never leaves me.
The truth is God is in control.
This week we are going to talk about ways to reframe our thoughts using Scripture and also redirect and help others reframe fearful (or awful) thoughts in our conversations.
These are some of the Scripture we will be looking at:
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment (torment NKJV), and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthenyou and helpyou; I will uphold youwith my righteous right hand.
Dt 31:8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.
Romans 8:37 in all these things I are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
Joshua 1:9 Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go”.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Thanks for joining me on this sweet journey in God's Word.