Overcoming Fear & Anxiety

Fear and anxiety are normal emotions. As normal as fear and anxiety are, these stress-makers shred our ability to be kind, caring, and compassionate people.

Fear and anxiety turn us inward towards ourselves. Satan can and will use fear and anxiety against us at every opportunity.

When we experience fear and anxiety, we must take a deep breath and think about Christ and His assurance to be with us. We must remember to relax and place these negative emotions in a proper perspective.

Fear is the negative emotion generated by a tangible threat. Anxiety is the negative emotion generated by an intangible threat. Fear is the result of something real. Anxiety is the result of something imagined. Anxiety causes an unsettledness within, often people can’t identify what they are anxious about. Worry is different, the object of their worry is identifiable.

When we are worried, fearful and anxious, we must remember to pray. Obviously, fear and anxiety take away your prayerful moods. However, God cares about your coming to Him in prayer, regardless of your emotions or your circumstances. Pray God’s word over every fear, worry or anxious thought. By doing so, we are promised in Philippians 4:6-7 that the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds.

Always remember that negative emotions are rooted in negative thinking. Emotions will not change unless we change our thinking. Scripture backs this up beautifully, “Anxiety in the heart of a man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.” (Proverbs 12:25).

Saturate yourself in the Truth of God’s Holy Word. Meditate on the rich promises that are part of your inheritance as a beloved precious child of the living God!

No matter how your feel right now choose to embrace the truth, strength and wisdom and peace of God by changing your spiritual focus from darkness to light. Let the One who counts every hair on your head comfort and fill you with hope for the future. His perfect love casts away all fear. Set your fearful thoughts on Jesus. He is the greatest mood stabilizer of all.

How Do I know If He is Truly Sorry?

Repeated apologies, promises never to do it again, remorse, tears, pleading for another chance are things repeat abusers say to those they hurt. Whether they are causing harm through emotional or physical abuse, committing adultery, being deceptive, lying, cheating, or are engaged in other destructive behaviors such as addiction, they may genuinely feel bad when exposed and confronted and offer appeasement for the moment, but nothing changes.

The behavior continues causing pain and destruction at all levels in families and relationships. That’s because God’s word says there is a huge difference between feeling sorry for what we do and repentance, regretting the wrongs we have committed and committing to change behaviors that bind and hurt others.

Worldly sorrow does not lead to the brokenness and humility needed to get the human heart to a place of genuine Godly sorrow and repentance before a Holy God that produces a desire to change. Worldly sorrow causes the heart to hardened and brings forth death in all areas of our lives, while Godly softens the heart and brings forth life.

If we continue to allow others to appease us with worldly sorrow, then we must understand that things will remain the same. This is called enabling. We can’t change another person’s heart but God can. Release them to God, guard your heart, and pray the Lord will orchestrate whatever needs to take place to produce Godly sorrow in someone who is hurting themselves and others.  That’s where true change begins.

You Complete Me

“You complete me.” Who can forget this famous line from the movie, Jerry Mcguirre with Tom Cruise that had the hearts of women young and old going pitter-patter bursting with the intoxicating idea of romantic, fairy tale love? As romantic and beautiful as that scene was, it is not real. Truth be told looking for another person to complete you is wrong. Not to mention it is not emotionally or spiritually healthy. Why? Because we are all desperately flawed, and people will fail us. But there is One who is without flaw and is able to complete us. “You have been made complete in Christ.” Colossians 2:10

If you’re looking for anyone or anything to fill and complete you other than Jesus, you will be let down, disappointed and blame others for your unhappiness. That’s because at the root what you are really looking for is to be loved and accepted, and only the love of God can fill the yearning in our hearts for love and acceptance that fills us completely.

God’s word says “You have been accepted in the beloved.”  Ephesians 1:6 Complete acceptance of who we only come when we can see ourselves through the eyes of Jesus – Loved, accepted, chosen, adopted, forgiven, redeemed! Don’t set others up for failure to do what only God is able to do. You will live with constant disappointment.  If you feel less than and think you don’t measure up get to the root! Live in the fullness of His love.

Authentic Love

He lies, you cry. He’s not sorry but says he is. He promises not to do it again, he does. You complain. He doesn’t change. Yet you continue to allow him to hurt you. Often going back and forth from feeling hopeful to despair, living life contingent on what he is doing or not doing. Your emotions are at the mercy of whatever is going on with him, and you’re always hoping that he changes and starts to love you how you need to be loved.  You might even be convinced that if he would just change, then you would be okay. That could not be further from the truth. No human being should ever have that kind of power and control over you, especially an emotionally unhealthy one.

God’s word says, “A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet” Proverbs 27:7. Modern translation? Bad love is better than no love at all.

When we don’t know our value and worth in Christ, it is almost a certainty that we have not experienced the love of God that fills the void, fully satisfies the longing heart, and makes us feel accepted and complete in Him. So instead, we go looking for it in all the wrong places, in all the wrong people, and in all the wrong things.

You are God’s beloved. His precious jewel.  Your precious Savior wants you to know your value and worth in Him, and experience the fullness of His love for you so you stop allowing others to hurt and mistreat His beloved child, and stop trying to get your need for love met elsewhere. Only God’s love satisfies.  You are loved beyond measure. Stop settling for the counterfeit.

The Balm of Gilead

Thank the Lord our faith depends on what HE can do, and not on what we can do. If you’re walking by faith with some things in your life right now, don’t stop, friends. Don’t let go of His outstretched hand.

All God asks is that we trust Him. Trust Him with all we have. Trust Him to fulfill all our needs. And allow HIM to be our All in all. Don’t let lose sight of the Truth.

God is a good God. His heart is pure. EVERYTHING He does has purpose, and as hard as it is to remember sometimes, everything He does is filled with perfection. He is not leading you to leave you, desolate and alone. He won’t allow you to go the wrong way if you are seeking Him and His will for your life.

Trust that! Hold on to it! When we remember who He is, we can stand with confidence in what He is doing. We can know that HE is who He says He is and, that He is a GOOD GOOD God. A God who loves you so much, and if you could only see what HE sees, you would understand everything. You would understand His timing. His ways. His words. His direction. Don’t turn from Him when you are feeling lost or confused – turn TO Him, and He will bless you.

He loves you with an everlasting love. As much as the cross signifies that, He will go into even greater depths to show you all the more in this season of your life. Why? Because He loves you. Because YOU matter to Him. Because there is only one of YOU, and He longs for YOU to know His heart. To know His love. To know how valuable you are.

So rest in knowing that He sees you. He has His hand on you. He hasn’t forgotten about you, and where are you are at is not a surprise to Him. Trust Him. He is working. He is faithful and, He will show you. He will do, the impossible.

“I will trust and not be afraid.” Isaiah 12:2

Learning to Trust

Trust is learned. And once one learns to withhold trust it’s hard to “unlearn.” If people aren’t trustworthy, our sense of security is shaken.

It may be a parent who mistreated or didn’t protect you, a spouse that you trusted who let you down, or a close friend who betrayed you.

God wants you to learn to trust in a healthy way, with boundaries. He knows the pain you’ve experienced and the fear you have of ever trust anyone again.  That’s no way to live, though. That’s like living in a prison even though you are not behind physical bars.

Trust the Lord today. He is faithful today. Your Jesus, your precious savior, the lover of your soul will heal the parts of you that have trouble trusting.

Lord God,

I say that I trust You, God, but deep down I hold on to the reins. I can’t quite surrender all the control over my life. I try to control what happens around me. I don’t trust others to come through for me.  I try to do everything myself, but it’s not working for me! Help me learn to trust so that I can depend on others and upon you, Lord.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

“I will trust and not be afraid.” Isaiah 12:2

Prayer to Replace Fear With Faith

Lord God,

I pray that today and every day You will teach me how to replace my fears with faith… That I will cast my anxieties, fears, doubts and uncertainties upon You and allow Your Perfect Love to drive out those feelings that are not born of The Holy Spirit….that I will surrender my troubles to You, my Holy Heavenly Father, who is ALWAYS GREATER than any rejection, failure, criticism, emotion or enemy I may face today or tomorrow.

I pray that I will grow an enormous and abundant faith in You, an all-knowing, ever-present, always-loving God and walk in the confidence and sound mind that comes from knowing who You Are…that my trust in You will produce in me a faith that will motivate me to just let go of the things that hold me back, give them to you and receive peace beyond measure in my heart and mind.

I pray that I will cling to Your Truth and Your Promises and find refuge in You when I encounter dark valleys in my days, seasons and lives…place my trust in You, my Tower of Strength, for You Are the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and You have repeatedly assured me that You are for me and will protect me.

Father, I thank You and praise You for Your Grace, Love, Mercy and Sovereign Protection in my life! I thank You for the atoning Sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, so that I may be reconciled unto You…for my adoption and citizenship in Your Kingdom…for the security, peace, and comfort that You provide in my authentic identity in Christ!
In the name of my beloved Savior, Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3

 

It’s Not About You

People we love and care about sometimes mistreat us, say unkind things to us or about us, verbally or physically abuse us, neglect, ignore, betray, reject, or abandon us. Our first reaction is almost always to personalize it. Please understand that people’s negative behaviors are not about us and everything to do with what is going on inside of them.

We cannot react by taking ownership of their negative junk when they act out of their own unhealthy patterns that we are not responsible for.

What we can do is take ownership and responsibility for our own junk, ask for forgiveness when applicable, and impose healthy boundaries to protect ourselves from allowing their actions to hurt us physically, spiritually, or emotionally.  To do otherwise just gives unhealthy people way too much power in our lives. And last time I checked, only God is allowed to have that kind of power over my life.

We can’t make people’s problems our problems. When we do that, they own us! They will live rent free in our heads. They will consume us. And that only leads to bitterness, anger and resentments robbing us of our joy, peace and sanity.

 

“Above all else, guard your heart for out it flows the issues of life.”

Proverbs 4:23

The Test of Forgiveness

How do you know if you have truly forgiven those who have hurt you? Do you feel they owe you? Are you expecting them to pay you back for the hurt and pain they caused? Do you feel bitter, angry and resentful towards them? Do you think they should suffer for what they did? Do you want revenge?

If you answer yes to any of these, then you have not forgiven in your heart. Holding on to unforgiveness will pollute your heart and allow their sin to continue to hurt you.

Choosing to forgive does not condone their sin. It doesn’t mean there should be no justice. There are consequences to sin, but only God is the righteous judge.

Release the offender to Him and refuse to harbor negative feelings towards those who have hurt you. If you don’t know how to forgive, seek Jesus. He is faithful to put people in our lives that will help us process the hurts so that we can grieve, accept and release them to the feet of the cross so we can forgive from the heart. That’s true freedom.

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:23

Love or Need Based Relationships?

Do you engage in love based or need based relationships? People in love engage in healthy mutually satisfying give and take relationships. They want the best for each other and bring out the best in each other. They know that love requires sacrifice from time to time and they know what it means to die to self. They don’t expect the other person to fulfill all their needs because they understand that no human being is even capable of doing that because only God can meet all our needs. Only His love truly satisfies. People in love are emotionally healthy individuals who find their value and worth in Christ alone not looking to others for self-worth and identity. True love brings forth life and grows deeper and stronger with time.

People in need operate out of a brokenness not wholeness. They attach themselves to unhealthy people who they think have the power to meet their desperate need for love, security, and significance. But because brokenness attracts brokenness they tend to draw emotionally unavailable people, who are often abusive, struggling with addictions or have an array of other issues, who do more taking than giving and are incapable of meeting even the basic of needs required for a healthy relationship. This causes a lot of pain and heartache and brings forth death and destruction resulting in extremely toxic and unhealthy relationships that only get worse with time. And yes! Even Christians can operate out of need instead of love. The church is full of hurting people involved in unhealthy relationships.

Are you in love or are you in need? If you are in the latter, understand that relationships will not work until you start operation out love. Sadly many Christians don’t truly understand what love is because they have never been modeled it, never have experienced it. They don’t know their value and worth as a precious child of God because their basic human need for love was not met growing up. So they take matters into their own hands and like the song says go searching for love in all the wrong places and settle for the counterfeit version that never satisfies.

Oswald Chambers wrote – “No love of the natural heart is safe unless the human heart has been satisfied by God first.” The love of God has the power to change us from the inside out. But there is a marked difference between knowing about the love of God and receiving it into our hearts. It is only when we truly encounter and accept the authentic, undefiled Agape love of our Savior that we are then able to “Love the Lord with all our hearts, soul, mind, and strength and love others as ourselves.” (Mark 12:30). This is the key to engaging in healthy mutually satisfying relationships. It’s the biblical formula that has the power to heal and transform and empower us to engage in love based not need-based relationships.