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Daily Boost

  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


 

Daily Boost

January 30, 2014 - Banish Fear

By Jerry Scott

Ever had a gnawing anxiety drive sleep away and create a dread of tomorrow?

Sometimes anxiety is focused around a specific issue, such as getting on an airplane or undergoing a medical procedure. A worse form of anxiety is a general fear about things we cannot control in life, like aging, the economy, or environmental issues.

The worst anxiety is that which is not connected in any discernable way to specific situations and thus is much more resistant to relief. That kind of anxiety drives people to despair, into depression, and frequently is a cause of self-destructive behaviors — overeating, alcohol abuse, and sexual promiscuity among them.

Defeating anxiety includes becoming whole spiritually. With that spiritual element in focus, what can we do to chase away the terror?

First, accept your status as God's child. We are not orphans, scrabbling to deal with life, defensive and alone. The Bible says, "You should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God's very own children, adopted into his family — calling him 'Father, dear Father'" (Romans 8:15, NLT).

When we turn to Christ in faith and receive His gift of gracious love and forgiveness, God adopts us as His sons and daughters. Because of Jesus, we are loved.

Satan does everything he can to keep us from believing and receiving this truth. He attempts to keep us focused on our failures, hearing only the voices of our critics, seeing only the sorry and sad side of life.

That is why, when anxiety creeps up on us, we need to turn to the Word and to worship, praising God for His love. We need to personalize that love. "God loves me!" When we accept that, John tells us that "perfect love drives out fear" (1 John 4:18, NIV).

Second, talk about your anxiety with the Heavenly Father. Fear grows in the dark! When we hide our dread and attempt to be big and brave, the ache of terror takes hold deep inside of us. So the wisdom of the Word is "Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns" (Philippians 4:6, The Message).

When you're anxious, tell the Lord about it. Then, take the next step and find a fellow believer who can pray with and for you. We need brothers and sisters in the faith who know how to weep with us and, having met us at the point of our need, lift us up with sincere prayer into the throne room of God.

No Christian should attempt to live the Christian life alone. We need to support one another.

Third, evaluate the situation in ultimate terms. Ask yourself, from the point of view of someone who is redeemed in Christ, what is the worst that could happen? The Psalmist says, "In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" (Psalm 56:11). Again, this is much more effective when a trusted friend will listen, encourage, and keep your perspective on life in balance.

Fourth, do what's right! When anxiety threatens to move in and stay, we are tempted to seek a quick release. Tragically, what gives short-term relief often produces long-term destruction. We must tell ourselves to do the right thing — often, just because it is the right thing to do!

Once again, the value of counselors and friends comes into play. When we share our temptations, they become less attractive; the very telling can help us to see the folly of the proposed "solution" to our problem.

You and I are not the victims of our temptations. As believers, we are privileged to grab onto God's promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). God has promised to make a way for us to stand up in times of temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). Do what's right!

Are you anxious today? Don't let fear swallow you and destroy this day. Take the offense and engage that anxiety with the steps outlined above. Pray for and accept the confidence that comes with faith in God.

— Jerry D. Scott is senior pastor at Faith Discovery Church (Assemblies of God) in Washington, N.J.

 

 

 

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