Fear

The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.                  Psalm 23:1 (NIV)

Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Don’t tremble with fear.

I am your God. I will make you strong, as I protect you with my arm and give you victories.                             Isaiah 41:10 (CEV)

There is much in this world to bring fear into my mind and spirit.

nuclear meltdowns

wars

tsunamis and earthquakes

violent crimes

cancer

There is little that I, as an individual, can do to insure myself against such vehicles of fear – except that I choose faith.

Christians often quote Jesus’ promise that if I have only mustard seed-size faith, I can move a mountain (Matthew 17:20). When I am being beat up and screamed at by fear, my faith seems tiny – like a seed. And choosing faith seems so weak and “last resort”.

Spoiler Alert! You may not want to hear this!

Bible history seems to show me that God will allow great difficulties in my life to get me to the point of turning to Him and relying on Him. It’s my nature to try to figure things out in my own mind and make plans with my own reasoning. Believing and relying on God whom I can not see with my eyes and argue (I mean, discuss) face-to-face, is problematic. Doing it my way…well, how’s that working for me so far?!?!??

Fear is strengthened by isolation and lies. Fear will grow in size when I think that I must face my situation alone or refuse support because I don’t want to appear weak. My problem becomes worse when I listen to those who live in the drama and negative.

Winning over fear is choosing to focus on the truth and standing together with those who love me and believe with me. There is strength in numbers! The truth is that I don’t have control but the One who does – won’t let me go. No matter what is next, Jesus is there before me. God promised that before I even call on Him, He has responded (Isaiah 65:24).

Do I hear the voice of fear try to blindside me with the idea of death? Death is not the end of my life but the real beginning. When fear slithers into my life, may I stand firm and remember that if God is for me – no one can win against me (Romans 8:31). With God as my light and salvation, there is no one to fear (Psalm 27:1).

Contemporary worship music is my usual preference but when I am in a ‘season’ of trials and tests, this hymn, 1200-years-old, is the one that sings in my spirit and lifts my eyes to the LORD, my Strength:

Be Thou My Vision

Irish hymn, possibly from the 8th century

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee, Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle-shield, sword for my fight,
Be Thou my dignity, Thou my delight.
Thou my soul’s shelter, Thou my high tower.
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heav’ns Son!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my vision, O ruler of all.

 

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