Welcome to another post in The Summer Sizzle Blog Hop Series.
It is an absolute blessing to introduce you to my friend, Valerie Murray. I am so very thankful God brought her into my life.
If you’ve been visiting Counting My Blessings for a while, you know I’ve had a long hard journey through decades filled with fear. You know that quote of C. S. Lewis that says,“Friendship … is born at the moment when one man says to another “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .”? That was my experience meeting Valerie.
One of the many things I love about Valerie is that she’s a fighter. She’s fighting her fear with faith and she’s a beautiful kind caring encourager who will inspire you to fight your fear as well.
Please make her feel welcome and take a few extra minutes to visit her at Cord of 6 and on social media listed below.
5 Things You Need to Know about the Way Fear Lies to You
I wouldn’t do that if I were you. What if something bad happens? What if? How would you live with that kind of gut-wrenching pain? It’s WAY too risky. Someone could get hurt. You’ll look stupid. Make a fool of yourself. People just aren’t going to like you. Who do you think you are?
Fear is deceptive. The feeling of fear is so uncomfortable, it begs us to turn around and run as far away from it as possible!
I’m not referring to healthy fear that serves to protect us from harm. Instead, it’s the kind that retreats from growth, that pulls in and steps backward.
Subconsciously, it forms habits and pathways of thinking that leave permanent imprints like stamps in concrete. We start telling ourselves lies and cement them into our way of living.
Are you listening to the lies of fear or the truth of faith?
1. Fear says you’ll be safer and happier if you avoid taking risks.
It wants you to bypass anything bringing apprehensive feelings to the surface. Protect yourself through avoidance.
Faith trusts in God’s sovereignty and control.
It believes nothing happens that’s not first filtered through the hands of a loving, all-powerful God. It holds onto the hope that when tragedy strikes, God is still there, still good, still loving and still taking care of you.
Faith recognizes that joy is unearthed in the personal and spiritual efforts found in the hard work of trading fear for faith.
Faith says,”I will be ok because I have Jesus.”
He is before all things and in Him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:17)
For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him. (Colossians 1:16)
2. Fear distorts reality by magnifying the level of actual danger a certain activity has.
In my pursuit to overcome my fear of driving on freeways, I decided to look up what percentage of the US population dies in car accidents each year. Every time I drive on freeways, it feels as if I am very likely to get in a car accident.
According to statistics, I only have a 1% chance of dying while driving on the freeway. Only 1%! And yet I live as if I’m going to die every time I get on the onramp. My fear greatly distorted the amount of risk involved.
Faith chooses to believe truth and doesn’t allow feelings to control behavior. It uses a sound mind.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy: 1:7 KJB)
3. Fear gives you a false sense of control.
When I decide not to drive to the out-of-town baby shower or go the birthday party that requires traveling on 3 unknown freeways, it feels like I’m controlling my own safety. It feels like I’m preventing something bad from happening. I feel a false sense of control.
But in actuality, I’m being controlled by fear. I’m doubting God’s sovereignty that I’ll be ok, even if an accident happens. And I’m inhibiting the growth of relationships and connection to others in the process.
Faith understands there’s freedom in surrender–in opening my clenched fists and exposing the very fear that Jesus wants to remedy.
4. Fear doubts God’s love by focusing on the pain and sadness in difficult circumstances instead of the hope that’s found in Jesus.
When a child dies, a friend has a brain aneurysm, gets cancer, killed in a car accident — this is where I really get stuck. I begin to get lost in sorrow and I become afraid of living. Afraid because if that happened to me, I don’t even know how I’d be able to breathe. And what if I didn’t want to?
But Jesus always offers hope even in the most excruciating circumstances. And I’ve seen that hope when all hope should have been gone. And it’s real. That’s what we need to remember. What we have to grab hold of.
Hope is the anchor for the soul. And we need to grab onto it!
Faith takes hold of the hope found in Jesus when sorrow floods our heart.
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It entered the inner sanctuary behind the curtain. (Hebrews 6:19)
5. Fear says you’ll never be able to change.
You’re stuck in your ways. The cement has dried. It’s too late for you.
Faith believes that with Jesus, all things are possible!
Faith: Jesus looked at them and said,
With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God. Matthew 19:26
God loves you enough not to let you stay in darkness. And if you decide to trade your fear for faith, He’s not going to leave you alone.
You’re not forever stuck in concrete.
With Jesus, there is a way out. It may not be an easy way to freedom. There may be some chipping away at the raw places where fear’s roots have been planted. But once the roots are loose, you will gradually be able to taste the freedom of fully trusting in God.
What fear are you struggling with today? How can you let your faith be bigger than your fears?
Valerie Murray is a wife of 21 years and a busy mom to 4 energetic children. She writes at ValerieMurray.com about keeping faith and family strong through Christ. Her heart’s desire is to offer hope to others and declare the glory of God in her life through her writing. Her mission is to offer encouragement to struggling marriages, overwhelmed moms and people striving to face their fears and know their worth. Coffee, chocolate and a good movie always makes her happy! You can find her on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Instagram & Google+.
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