Posts Tagged ‘death’

Mister Woodpecker looking for a tidbit!

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Kim talked about having bad panic attacks when in a car.  She does pretty well at home but even the thought of going somewhere in the car starts her anxiety level to go up. This has become a serious problem for her and she can no longer enjoy taking rides or trips with her family. She struggles with this every day.

I’ve been reading some things by Jay E. Adams who is a highly respected Bible counselor.  In The Christian Counselor’s Manual, 1973 Zondervan Publishing House,  he talks about a man, Paul, who was afraid of driving over bridges.  It all started when he had a terrifying experience while crossing a bridge.  This was actually caused by a significant sleep loss.  After this experience whenever he approached a bridge he became uncontrollably fearful and agitated.  These later episodes were not actually from the previous sleep loss but stemmed from the fear of the previous experience.  Adams says, “He had associated the experience with  bridges, and in his anxiety over whether it would occur again while crossing the bridge, he had emotionally spiraled himself into a panic.” After that even the thought of crossing a bridge brought him a sense of apprehension. 

Most of us can identify with Kim and Paul’s problems. Paul’s sounds very much like what is happening with Kim only she has associated her bad experiences with a car?  She has had bad experiences while driving or riding in a car so now she gets nervous and starts to build up anxiety whenever she even thinks about going somewhere. She is anticipating panic.

Jay Adams said that the man “had to recognize certain facts and act in a Christian manner in accordance with them.”  We will look at some of them.  I’ve also added some of my own as I’ve gone through panic attacks myself. This my take more than one post, but here is part 1: 

1. His fear was real. 

There is real fear.  Paul’s was a fear of bridges, and Kim’s is a fear of cars. 

Maybe your fear is of the grocery store, bank, post office, driving, or something else.  I had many fears that kept me from living a normal life for many years.  I missed out on the most productive years.  I pray that you will learn something here that will keep you from following in my foot steps.

And, if you have already have had panic attacks for years don’t give up!  I truly believe that you can change too!  All with the help of our Wonderful Savior!  We just need to realize what is actually going on.

2. His fear was wrong and sinful.

We’ve talked about Dr. Claire Weekes’ books and how she taught acceptance.  She said we should accept those first feelings or symptoms and then kind of float through or past a panic attack.  I can understand what she is saying. If we get that first feeling then say to ourselves, “so what,” and kind of float by it we can sometimes keep ourselves from having a panic attack.  When we accept the feeling we don’t tense up so much and instead of tightening our muscles and bodies we relax a little bit and that takes the bit out of the attack.

I believe Dr. Weekes is a wonderful person and has helped a lot of people over the years.  I myself have all of her books in my library and they helped me understand the physical side of panic attacks.  I learned what was going on in my body when I had all those strange feelings.  This is good but it is not the total answer to being healed.  Her books are not written from a Christian perspective but from a secular world view.  Anyone can be helped to a certain extent from her books, believers and unbelievers alike.

But, as Christians we have something special.  God have given us the Holy Spirit to live within us and with Him all the power that we need to be overcomers of anything in our lives.  Our resources are different from those of the world.  We have the Word of God, the privilege of prayer, the Holy Spirit to teach and guide us.  I hope you realize how much more we have in Christ.  We are not the same as unbelievers and we do not have to live the same. 

Let’s go to the Word of God and apply what God says to our problems.

Psalms 1:1-2 NASB How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!  But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.

God tells us not to get our counseling from the world but from His Word.
We should love the Word and take delight in it.  Keep it in our hearts and think about it all the time.  

Psalms 73:24 NASB With Your counsel You will guide me, And afterward receive me to glory.

He will guide us as we follow His Word, and when we die He will receive us in Heaven.  That is wonderful!

Isaiah 9:6 NASB For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

Jesus is our counselor.  And one of His names is Wonderful Counselor!  How great is that?

We’ve learned in past posts that there are different types of fear.  We looked at; fear of the future, fear of man, and fear of death. These fears are sinful fears. 

But, we also saw there are good fears as well.  These are natural fears (which keep us from hurting ourselves) and most importantly the fear of God. These are holy fears.

Proverbs 29:25 NASB The fear of man brings a snare, But he who trusts in the LORD will be exalted.

Philippians 4:6 NASB Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

2 Timothy 1:7 NASB For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.

We can plainly see that God tells us in the Word that we are not to fear.  I remember when I first saw the verse “Be anxious for nothing…” It really shook me up.  Here I was an anxiety-ridden, wimpy person who didn’t dare to hardly exist, and He said “don’t be anxious?”  I was dripping with anxiety!

I put that verse in the back of my head for awhile and didn’t deal with it.  That was a mistake.  I wondered if it really meant what it seemed to.  It did. As I studied my Bible more I had to admit that worry and anxiety were indeed sinful.  That was a hard lesson for me. 

Matthew 6:27 NASB “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?”

Matthew 6:34 NASB “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

It is clear that God does not want us to worry and fret.  He is Sovereign and will take care of us.  If He tells us not to do something and we go ahead and do it, that is a sin.  I’m sorry, but it is true.

It means we are not to be anxious and we are not to worry.  They are both sins.  That is heavy stuff isn’t it?  It is a hard pill to swallow, but when we face it head on in Truth we will become overcomers.

Wayne & Joshua Mack in The Fear Factor, 2002 Hensley Publishing, said this, “The root meaning of phobo, the Greek term for fear, is “flight.”  That’s the nature of fear.  Fear causes us to run away from things that frighten us.  And fear becomes sinful when it causes us to run away from the things God has commanded us to do.”

He goes on to tell us that fear is the opposite of power and is the same as weakness.  When we can’t use our gifts and when we are not fulfilling our responsibilities and obeying God’s commands we are weak.  I can certainly identify with that.  I was so weak and fearful that I did not do anything constructive for a very long time.  I could not even go to church let alone be a helpful person there.  I could not have a social life.  I could not work.  I could not live a fulfilling life. I could not help others very much for a long time. One plus, I did pray a lot for others.  It took me a long time to learn the things I’m about to share with you. 

We will close on those thoughts for this time.  But, I want you to know that there is hope for you.  You can learn how to overcome those awful panic attacks with the help of our Mighty Savior.

May God richly bless you today!

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Pretty Bird!

March2008 006

In my last post in this series we talked about the fact that we can change bad habits.  When we become a Christian we are literally changed as the Bible says we are  new creations in Christ.

But, we still seem to have a backpack full of old habits that we carry around.  We saw from the Bible that we have to “put-off” off bad habits and “put-on” new acceptable ones.  Hopefully you made a list of the things you need to “put-off” and what you need to replace them with, and are working on them.

I’ve been reading a wonderful book by Wayne and Joshua Mack called, The Fear Factor, What Satan Doesn’t Want You to Know.  Now that I’ve finished it I can highly recommend it to you.  It isn’t about panic attacks specifically, but is about how fear can cripple anyone even if they don’t have panic disorder. So, even when we are overcomers of panic attacks we need to know how fear can still control us.  This book is loaded with good mental health and is truly biblical.

If you are interested in purchasing it you can go here:  www.mackministeries.org

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.

Our bad fear habits do not come from God.  I used to think that Satan causes them, but I am now of the opinion that even though Satan likes us to be fearful, he doesn’t keep us that way. We cannot blame him.  If you think about it, there is only one devil and he cannot be everywhere at once like God can, and he doesn’t know everything like God does, and he is not all powerful like God is. I believe he has bigger fish to fry than us, like the leaders of enemy nations, for example.  So, what causes us to continue to fear in an unhealthy way?  I believe it is those old fear habits that we have carried over in our way of thinking.

Today, I’d like to talk a bit about the different types of fears we encounter.  We made a list of them awhile back.

When I had panic attacks I had many fears.  In fact, in my book, Panic Buster, I had a list of 28 different fears. Those were the ones I could think of at the time, there were most likely more.

I want to try to put some of those fears and some of the ones you gave me in categories so that we can see more clearly what is behind our fears.

Fear of the future, fear of death, and fear of man are some of the main categories of fear.  I looked over our lists and come up with the following: 

Fear of the future:

Isaiah 41:10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

So many of our fears can come under the heading of “fear of the future.”  If you think about it any fear that has to do with the future even if it is a few hours away can come under that heading.  For instance: fear of going to the store, fear of leaving the house, fear of the weather, fear of losing control, fear of going crazy, the next panic attack. dying and leaving children without a mother (this is also fear of death), stroke, heart attack, blood clots, (health problems),  feeling disconnected from yourself,  fear of the unknown, fear of aging. Any time we put off doing something because we are fearful it could be the fear of the future.

Why should we be anxious and fearful of things in the future when we have God on our side?  We don’t realize that He is big enough to handle all of our anxiety. 

1 Peter 5:7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.

Psalms 32:7 You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.

Psalms 143:9 Deliver me, O LORD, from my enemies; I take refuge in You.

Why are we afraid of the future?  We shouldn’t be.  After all we are in God’s hands.  This is sinful fear.  And, we must repent of it and then go on with God.

Fear of death:

Hebrews 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Many of our fears also come under the heading of fear of death.  Some are: passing out, driving, bees, crossing the street, someone in the house, the dark, losing control, bathtub water, gas fumes, tornados and blizzards, flying. 

The “bathtub water,” one was one of mine.   You might ask why that?  Well, to me it felt like I might go under the water and drown.  It was especially fearful if I was alone.  I know that was in irrational fear.  So many of them were.  Also, if a bee came around I took off in my own flight.  I was so afraid that it would sting me and I would die.  But, I’m not even allergic to them.  

It seems strange now that I could have been so afraid of such things.  I thank God that he has erased most of this from my memory.  I don’t think about all this usually, only when I’m trying to write.   Crossing the street was another big one for me.  I had to cross to get the mail.  I’d wait and wait then suddenly dash across when I thought the way was clear.  I lived in the country so there wasn’t really much traffic.

That was another irrational fear.   

Fear of man:

Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

Wayne Mack says, “The fear of man is a broad biblical category for many specific sins.”

Dr. Ed Welch says speaking of fear of man, “it includes being afraid of someone, but it extends to holding someone in awe, being controlled or mastered by people, worshiping other people, putting your trust in people.”

We might not recognize this fear as much, but it is there.  Fear of people, crowds, witnessing for Christ, doctors, dentists, talking to people, being honest, telling about our fears.  I remember hiding my fears from my family and doctor.  I did not know what they would think of me.  I also became very dependent on other people instead of God.   I had the fear of man.  That was behind my fears in this area.  Do you sometimes not do something or say something because you are afraid of what others would think of you?  We’ve all done it.  If this is one of your habits you need to work on replacing it with good ones. 

Fear of God:

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Someone  said “fear of God, seeing and hearing Him.”  Guess what?  That is a good fear.

There are both holy fears and sinful fears.  We have to distinguish between the two.

Blessings,
Bonnie

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