Posts Tagged ‘fear’

colossians3_1-2

Colossians 3:2 (NIV) “Set your minds on things above, not on
earthly things.”

God tells us to think about things above. To me that means to think
about Heaven and what it is going to be like for us someday. Those are
good thoughts. In Heaven there will be no more tears, sorrow, death,
sickness, panic attacks, fear, anxiety, or diseases. We will have strong, healthy,
brand new bodies.

God doesn’t want us to dwell on our feelings. Do you know that your feelings
can’t hurt you? When we dwell on them we increase the amount of adrenaline
that is released in our bodies and other uncomfortable feelings crop up. God
doesn’t want us to go over and over again in our minds how someone has hurt
us. He doesn’t want us to worry about tomorrow and the things we will have to
face. He doesn’t even want us to be consumed with getting material possessions.
God knows that these things are not healthy for us to constantly think about.
Setting our thoughts on things above also means to think about Jesus, what
he is like and all about his life while he was here on earth.

Many times in the past when I could not go to sleep, I’d make myself think
about Jesus instead of concentrating on the noises outside. I’d start with his birth
and try to remember all I could about him; how he taught and healed people,
how he died and rose again. I never got through his whole life because
somewhere along the line I’d fall asleep.

You see, that was far better for me to think about then to fret over the next
day, or about myself and my feelings. Isn’t it wonderful how God helps us to
know how we should think?

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romans12_2
Romans 12:2 (NIV) “Do not conform anymore to the pattern of
this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you
will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing,
and perfect will.”

Someone once said, “If you were to be arrested today for being a Christian
would there be enough evidence against you to convict you?” We Christians
don’t have to do the things we did before, we don’t have to follow the crowd,
we can be brand new.

For myself, after I became a Christian I lost the few friends I had, because
they did not understand me anymore, because I had changed. I knew I was
different because their foul language and bad behavior bothered me and it never
did before. When they would take the name of Jesus in vain, it was like a sharp
knife stabbing me in the heart. The good news is that God gave me another
group of friends who are really much better for me.

Today’s verse says, “be transformed!” We do this by renewing our mind, by
rejecting old patterns of thought and concentrating on new ones. I’ve found that
to renew my mind I must keep in the Word. As I read it, study it, and meditate upon it, it sinks down into my being and actually does renew my mind. It is a process. As it takes place, I discover what God wants for me.

God wants good things for all of us, just as any good father would want for
his children. When Christ comes in, instead of living just to please ourselves, we
begin to please him and lift up others.

God wants to help us fight fear and anxiety. His Word is full of suggestions
for achieving good mental health. Search and find a promise for yourself
today. Then claim it and stand on it. He is faithful!

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Philippians 4:13 (KJV) “I can do all things through Christ who
strengtheneth me.”

Isn’t it great to know that “I can do?” Oh, how we need to remind ourselves of   philippians4_13
that one. I’d like to give an example of how doing things became a problem for me.

Before I had panic attacks if someone would ask me to go to the store to get a quart of milk, I’d say, “No, problemento!” I’d just go and get the milk and come
back with a smile on my face.

After I started having panic attacks, my friend would ask me to go to the store to get a quart of milk. I wouldn’t answer right away. After all I had to
analyze the situation. My mind would jump into full gear; Why am I being asked? Doesn’t she know it’s hard for me? She could do it easier! Okay, I should do
it…but,…what if the car breaks down? Let’s see, who lives on the way to the store? I could go to the Riley’s for help. Ahhh, but they have that biting dog, Rex.
Okay, maybe the car won’t break down. Let’s see…what is it doing out? Is it going to rain? It’s hard to drive in the rain! What time is it? What if people are
just getting out of work and there is a lot of traffic? What if I get in an accident?
Oh, I hope there isn’t a long line in the store!

On and on my mind would go thinking the worst and blowing the whole
thing way out of proportion. I’d finally simply refuse to do the errand.
Today, if the same situation comes up I can simply smile and say, “Sure,
need anything else?” I don’t worry about having a panic attack or about all the
other details. I can now simply function in a normal manner again. Praise God!
Isn’t that wonderful? You may ask, “What made you turn around?”

At first I was doing everything in my own strength. I was self-sufficient. I
could depend on me! I was young, strong, and able. I was smart and could figure
out anything. There was always an answer.

Then something happened. I’m not sure what it was. I lived under a great
deal of stress for many years and was always a “nervous” person. Possibly, and
this is only my guess, my body chemicals slowly changed to the point that I
began having panic attacks. At any rate, I did begin to have them. They ruined
my life for a very long time, and I was living in a situation where I could not do
things. I had to depend on others. Instead of “I can do!” it was, “But, I can’t.”
Have I said that phrase a lot!

Then, I received Jesus into my heart. I studied the Word. It became clear to
me that he wanted me to depend on him alone. I found this scripture: “I can do
all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.” (Emphasis mine). I can do! I
can do! I took hold of that promise. I’d pray and claim it, then allow Christ to
accompany me to the store. He helped me, he gave me the courage and strength
to reach out again, and the best news of all, I slowly got better! I had begun to
focus on things other than my feelings.

As time went on, more time elapsed between each panic attack. I believed that
God readjusted the chemicals in my body back to where they were when I was
healthy.

I’m thankful with every ounce of my being that I found a way to get better.
Thank you Jesus! I can do!

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john-1633

John 16:33 (NIV) “I have told you these things, so that in me you
may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I
have overcome the world.”

What a powerful scripture! This would be a great one to memorize.
Are you full of fear? Does anxiety and stress rule the day? If so, God
has given us an antidote for it. The opposite of fear is peace. God wants us
to be

We live in a world full of trouble and tension. We need to work to make
enough money to live on. The children need new school clothes so we need to go
shopping. The house needs painting, and the car waxing, and there is not enough
time before the winter weather sets in. Johnny needs to be taken to his football
practice, and Susie to her friend’s house. The traffic is bad, and you are late again
to work. The boss gives you “the look.” All the tension and stress of the world
pulls at us. What is the answer?

The great news is that Jesus Christ overcame the world. You see, Satan is
god of this world, but when Jesus died on the cross he defeated Satan.
As we live in this world and face our daily tasks let’s take time to give our
problems to God. He is strong and able to shoulder them. He knows all about our
problems and knows the solutions to them.

My life used to be saturated with fear, but Jesus came in and overcame it.
What a Savior! Now when I feel anxious or fearful about some situation I
remember this scripture and know that God has gone before me so I can have
peace instead of fear.

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Panic Buster

Now you can read my book Panic Buster for free.  I would welcome any comments or questions you may have as you study through this helpful book. May God bless you as you do so.

This book is in the .pdf format.  You can read it with Adobe Reader.  Please click on the link below to read. Or, you can right click and download.

panicbusternew9-16

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2timothy1_7

Spiritual Depression: #5 “Fear of the Future,” a sermon by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones.

 


 

My thoughts:

Doctor Martyn Lloyd-Jones continues his sermon series on “Spiritual Depression.”  This time he addresses the issue of fearing what lies ahead, based on 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Every person who has had panic attacks or suffers from stress and anxiety should have this scripture memorized.  I can remember so well the first time I came across this scripture.  What stuck out for me that day were the words, “and of a sound mind.”

“You mean Lord, I do have a sound mind? You mean I am not crazy?  You mean I am not losing my mind?”  Those where my thoughts at the time.  I truly thought I was losing my mind and when I did I would never recover.  Oh, how scary that was.  Have you ever thought like that?

What comfort in those words that came from our Lord through the Apostle Paul.  It was something that I could hang onto.

Also, I thought, “If God did not give us a spirit of fear, then where did it come from.”  I knew I was fearful of almost everything.  I reasoned that the fear I was feeling must be coming from the enemy.  You know what? I was right.  Dr. Jones tells us in this sermon that the devil is relentless to discredit the name and work of God.  That he works to bring us down.  He doesn’t want us to be successful and do the work we are called to do.

Instead of a spirit of fear, God gave us a spirit of power.  That’s the Holy Spirit that lives in a Christian and gives us the supernatural power to do the things we need to do.  Also, He has given us a spirit of love.  That is the love of Christ in us.  This enables us to love others and do for others.

Last by not least is the spirit of a sound mind.  Oh my, that’s wonderful!  With a sound mind we can have self-control.  We can have a disciplined mind, and be wise in the ways that we think and act. Just think of it; your mind doesn’t have to control you!  You can control your mind!  That is self-control.

I want to also talk a little about the fear of the future in another sense.  I can remember when I started to get well that I was afraid of getting well.  Can you believe that?  Who wouldn’t want to get well?  I wanted to but I thought if I did get completely well then my life would have to change a lot.  I had stayed at home for years not even free to go out of my house without having a panic attack.  I’d have to get a job, drive again, be around other people.  To me those were very scary things.  No, it would be more comfortable to just stay as I was.  But, is that what God would want for me?  I had to get a grip on myself and tell myself that God would not let me down.  That He was in control and whatever the future held He would see me through.  It happened that way.  I did get better and I did make a lot of changes in my life, but God took me though it all step by step and day by day.  He did not let me down.  I did not have to fear the future in getting well again.  And, you don’t either!

I encourage you to listen to this sermon.  Dr. Jones really explains why we think the way we do and how we can change.

By the way, if you’d rather you can buy his book, “Spiritual Depression,” by going here:

Spiritual Depression book

I sent for it myself and am enjoying reading parts of these sermons over again as I try to digest it all.  Also, I don’t get anything if anyone buys this book.  This is just for your information.

 

 

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Dread

Does the word dread ever enter your mind or conversation?  It does mine. Sometimes when I’m tired I dread having to go to the store for groceries, or I dread the housework facing me that day, or I dread an appointment; especially the dentist or doctor.  Sometimes I even dread having to get up and start my day. I thought to myself, “Why do I dread things?”  “What is dread anyway?”  So, I looked it up in the dictionary and here is what I found: Dread: “To be in terror of; fear greatly.  Fearful anticipation.”

Wait a minute!  Fearful anticipation!  What?  I thought fear was out of my life.  I didn’t know that dreading something was being fearful.  So, is it sinful to dread things?  I don’t want to sin against God!

I looked up “fear.”  Here are some synonyms for fear:  anxiety, dread, panic, trepidation, worry, stress.  Oh no!  I’m not liking what I’m reading! What does the Bible say about anxiety?

matthew6_27

Mat 6:25-34 MKJV Therefore I say to you, Do not be anxious for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? (26) Behold the birds of the air; for they sow not, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them; are you not much better than they are? (27) Which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his stature? (28) And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They do not toil, nor do they spin, (29) but I say to you that even Solomon in his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (30) Therefore if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much rather clothe you, little-faiths? (31) Therefore do not be anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, With what shall we be clothed? (32) For the nations seek after all these things. For your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. (33) But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. (34) Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow; for tomorrow shall be anxious for its own things. Sufficient to the day is the evil of it. (Emphasis mine)

In these verses I count the phrase “do not be anxious,” three times.  Just think about it, these words came out of the lips of Jesus himself!  Amazing!  And, when He says something we can take it to the bank.  This is a command!  Do not be anxious!  There is no other way to look at this than anxiety (and all those other terms we use, like dread, and fear) is  sin.  In these verses Jesus Christ has told us not to be anxious about anything:  our life, our immediate needs, and our future.  If I dread things then I am also being anxious, and anxiety is definitely sin.  I need to confess to God that I have sinned and repent of it.  Repent means to turn away from.  I need to turn away from any dreadful thoughts and turn them over to God.

Doubt

Doubt and dread are first cousins. What is doubt?  Doubt is to be unsure, or distrust, or something uncertainexodus6_30 or unsettled.  Yes, when we are uncertain and unsettled in our minds about something than that thing becomes bigger than us and we begin to dread it.  Our minds go over the situation time and again, and sometimes we blow it out of proportion. We doubt that we can do the thing that lies before us, or we feel it will make us feel uncomfortable, and we dread it more and more until we are paralyzed.

Jas 1:6 MKJV But let him ask in faith, doubting nothing. For he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed. (Emphasis mine)

Picture the waves of the sea crashing upon the seashore.  The wind drives the waves against the shore and then back out to sea again to be driven in again.  We are like a tiny boat on that sea and when doubt enters our minds we are tossed all about not being able to make decisions or function.  We need an anchor.  The Bible is our anchor and we can find our answers there.  Don’t be tossed about by everything you hear or think.  The mind is the devil’s playground, and dread and doubt can keep us from doing the work God has called us to. Satan is happy when we are full of worry and stress.  Are you experiencing this?  Is there something you know God wants you to do but you are full of dread when you think of doing it?  Cheer up!  There is an answer.2 Timothy 1;7

Discipline

So, what is the antidote for dread and doubt?  It is another word that starts with “d.”  It’s discipline. According to the dictionary discipline is, “training that develops self-control.”  That’s it!  We need to discipline or train our minds in order to be in control of our thoughts.  “How do we do that?” you may ask. Let’s look to our anchor the Bible for the way out of the storm. Do you know that God loves us so much that He told us what to even think about? It’s true!

Php 4:8 NASB Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. (Emphasis mine)

It’s right there in the Bible.  We have to discipline our thought life.  Think about what you think about! Examine your thoughts according to Philippians 4:8.  Are you thinking rightly? Or, are your thoughts anxious?  If you catch yourself thinking about something you truly dread, or perhaps a doctor’s report you are about to receive, then check out your thoughts.  Are you blowing them out of proportion? Are they true?  Or, are you jumping ahead to the “what ifs,” or “what might be.” These words are also a picture of Jesus.  He is all of these things.  Set you mind on things above.

Col 3:2 NASB Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

Our minds can be renewed.  As we study, read the Word and pray God will renew our minds and it will change us.  We don’t have to be the way we used to be.  We don’t have to think all those awful thoughts that drag us down.

Rom 12:2 MKJV And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to prove by you what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God.

Deliverance

Deliverance is to “set free.”  I like those words.  If I can just get my mind to be rid of any fearful, dreadful, anxious thoughts, than I would not feel stressed and I’d be free!psalm3_8

2Co 10:5 MKJV pulling down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought into the obedience of Christ; (Emphasis mine)

Let’s not be captives of our thoughts!  Let’s be free! Who is in charge?  You or your mind? Take control and set yourself free.  God says in the above verse that we can take captive every thought.  If He says we can than we can!  With God’s help, prayer and keeping in the Word we can be disciplined and overcome dread and doubt.

How do we do this?  Here’s how.

Php 4:6 MKJV Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. (Emphasis mine)

Checking your thoughts and then prayer.  Ask God for help, and be thankful.  Tell Him things that you are thankful for.  He is waiting.  He is right there all the time ready to help us if we will only call on Him.

psalm34_4

If you change what you think about do you know what will happen?

Php 4:7 MKJV And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Isn’t that wonderful?  We can have a peace which we cannot even describe.  I know this is possible because I’ve had this peace.  I still have to be careful every day and monitor my thoughts according to Philippians 4:8.  I can’t let them get away from me.  It is very easy to fall back into the bad thought habits that were once an everyday part of me.  I must be on guard.

In summary we see:

Dread: It keeps us from doing God’s will in our lives.

Doubt: When we doubt we are not trusting.  It is Satan’s tool to trip us up.

Discipline: Be aware. We need to break old bad thinking habits and acquire new ones according to the Word.

Deliverance: Depend on God to set us free.

If you have trouble in this area I would suggest you take a 3×5 card and write out Philippians 4:8. Put it where it is easy for you to see or get too.  You could place it on your desk, in your purse, on your visor in the car; wherever it is handy for you. It would also be a great scripture verse to memorize so you wouldn’t have to depend on finding your card.  Also memorize Philippians 4:6-7

philippians4_6-7

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