Everyone I have consulted, interviewed, or visited has experienced fear.
Fear is one of the biggest obstacles right now.
Fear provokes violence and leads to suffering. With fear comes envy, and fear eats away at friendship. Fear distracts us from what we are doing, makes us look for something that we are supposedly missing. Fear casts a shadow of doubt over love and keeps us from being sincere. Fear destroys relationships, whispering to us to run first so that we are not abandoned. Fear blurs the Foundation of our communities, putting swagger and false smiles on our faces. Fear keeps us up at night. Fear throws us from experience to experience. Fear steals our peace and threatens to Rob us of the abundant life promised by Jesus Christ.
Everyone gets scared. The media is literally drowning us in fear. The world is already sinking. And, sadly, our souls are also filled with fear.
The Bible tells us again and again not to give in to fear. God speaks through the prophet Isaiah (43 Chapter 5 verse): “Do not be afraid, for I am with you». Yet too often we are caught up in a quagmire of fear, and we no longer remember what it feels like not to be afraid. And instead of living the life that God calls us to, we are looking for something small, understandable, tangible, and not scary.
“Holed up in the trenches” during my spiritual battles, I have formulated the following five tips for dealing with fear, and I am in a hurry to share them with you:
1. Don’t forget to breathe
When we are afraid, the adrenaline in our body increases, and it is good if at this moment we need to collect ourselves and fight back against the enemy. But if the situation requires calm, increased adrenaline harms not only your health but also your relationships with others.
As corny as it sounds, it works: when you’re scared, stop and take a deep breath. If the threat in front of you is not physical, but you are still afraid, just freeze in place and look your fear in the eye.
Avoid completely immersing yourself in your worries and fears about the future. In the gospel of Matthew (Chapter 6: 34), this is what it says: “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of its own: it is enough for each day of its own.»
2. Compare maps
Before driving through unfamiliar terrain, you need to understand exactly where you are. Do you know how to show tourists the way on city maps with red flags: “Are you here”? So you should first consult the voice of God in the Navigator, and then, understanding where you are going, press the gas pedal.
Challenges and traumas of past years often seem to hold us even now. When deciding how to respond to the next doubt, make sure that it is the specific situation that scares you and not fears based on what you have previously experienced.
Noticing that fear is taking you by the throat, stand “on both feet”. Ask God to help you see the situation as clearly as possible and distinguish real objects from the ghosts of them. Focus on what is happening here and now. Don’t let worrying about what will happen (or may not happen) tomorrow sink you under it.
Remember, the words of God to us are a lamp to our feet and a light to our path (Psalm 118: 105). When God lights our way, he doesn’t always “turn on the high beam.” But It is always with us, giving us enough light for the next step.
3. Define your role
Figure out what the situation that scares you requires of you. Ask God what actions he expects you to take in this case.
Can you do something about the fear you are experiencing now? Do you control a car that has run off the brakes, or are you sitting in the driver’s seat in it? Was the open Gestalt a cause for concern? Isn’t it worth looking fear in the face with faith and courage?
Life is full of situations where you are required to act, but this does not mean that the victory will be yours. This means that it is time to get rid of the illusion that your entire life is controlled only by you and allow God to show His power. Millions of people around the world have learned this simple prayer and recite it when the situation comes to a standstill:
God, give me reason and peace of mind to accept what I cannot change,
the courage to change what I can,
and the wisdom to distinguish one from the other
Many things in our lives cannot be kept under control, and it is very important to make the right choice of response to a particular situation. In short, it is up to you to begin, and up to God to continue.
4. Help someone other than yourself
Manage your worldview by “capturing every thought into obedience to Christ” (2 Corinthians Chapter 10 verse 5). Get away from the habitual thoughts that give rise to fear.
It is easier not to think about bad things when your mind is busy helping someone else. Fear narrows the horizon and blinks your vision (horses on parade often have blinkers placed over their eyes so that they are not distracted by others). Consumed by our fear, we can think of no one but ourselves. The best way to avoid self-obsession is to think about how you can help others.
Strive to make the world around you a little better. This does not mean that you should immediately sell the estate and distribute everything to the poor. Sometimes it is enough for a person to have someone smile at him, tell him how to finish the table in Excel, hug him just like that – and immediately like the sun came out.
But do good to others without going to the other extreme – hiding your head in the sand, ignoring the water that is sinking your boat. Be kind to others, guided by the desire to share God’s love and giving yourself a break, a shake, so that you do not go so deep into yourself that you will not come out again.
It is also possible (and necessary) to distract yourself by working on mistakes that you made while you were fighting your fears. If you’ve offended someone, makeup. If you have said something stupid, apologize and explain how you felt. By sincerely asking for forgiveness, we take away fear’s destructive power over our relationship.
5. Develop a thank-you habit
Fear is the certainty that everything will be bad. Fears are divided into two types: to lose something and to receive something.
To deal with these feelings, learn to give thanks. Thank God for what you have now. We always have something that we like, for which we can say “thank you” to God. Yes, it may seem difficult from the outside, but no matter what happens to us, we can always find something that will be a testament to God’s love for his people. Even when the answer to the prayer-petition has not yet come, you can spend time in prayer-gratitude for His goodness, faithfulness and presence in our lives.
By developing an attitude of gratitude and contentment, we are slowly but surely moving our train of thought from the rails of worry to the path of God’s peace. God, through the Apostle Paul (Philippians 4: 8-9), promises: “Finally, my brothers, consider what is only true, what is just, what is just, what is pure, what is amiable, what is glorious, what is only virtue and praise. Whatever you have learned, received, heard, and seen in me, do it, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Fear is the problem. It is an insidious and unreliable emotion that steals our peace and threatens to Rob us of the abundant life that Jesus Christ promises us.
If we are in Christ, we are not slaves to fear, but children of God. He alone is our master and deliverer from fear. Resist the fear and use the tips in the fight against it: don’t forget to breathe, check your cards, decide on a role, help someone other than yourself to develop a habit of gratitude.
Using these tips, you will not only be able to successfully deal with your fears, but you will also become more aware of the presence of God in your life and find his peace.