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  • Writer's pictureRevShirleyMurphy

Refuse to live in fear

'Fear involves torment.' 1 John 4:18

Advice columnist Ann Landers received about ten thousand letters every month. When asked about the most common problem in her readers' lives, she said, 'Fear! People are afraid of losing their health...wealth...loved itself.' If you allow it to, fear will control you. 'Fear involves torment' (1 John 4:18), and until the power of fear is broken, it will keep tormenting you. When fear rules your life, you cannot enjoy anything. And you certainly can't enjoy God's blessings.

Dr Caroline Leaf says that fear triggers 'more than 1,400 known physical and chemical responses and activates more than thirty different hormones and neurotransmitters.' It's at the root of all our stress. When fear causes a chronic stress reaction in us, it actually 'marinates' our body in chemicals that can be harmful in large amounts. This, of course, is terribly unhealthy and threatening to our physical well-being. The fear of not being accepted by others can make you develop a phony personality, stifling your true self and hiding who God made you to be. The fear of failure will prevent you from trying new things or stretching yourself to do more than you feel comfortable doing. The fear of the future can cause you not to enjoy your life today.

Fear is a spirit, and it doesn't come from God. 'For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind' (2 Timothy 1:7). Reject the spirit of fear. Draw on God's power, believe he loves you unconditionally, and begin to exercise the 'sound mind' he has given you. Today, refuse to live in fear.

'Perfect love casts out fear.' 1 John 4:18

When God says, 'Fear not,' he is basically telling you, 'You'll have to deal with fear, but you can conquer it. You can act in spite of it.' The Bible says, 'Perfect love casts out fear' (1 John 4:18 ). Sometimes we mistakenly think this Scripture means if we love God perfectly enough, we won't be afraid. No, the only perfect love is God's love for you. And it's unconditional. Knowing he always loves you, walks with you, defends you, supports you and has promised to bless you in all that you do is what casts out your fear. And it does one more thing: it strengthens your faith. 'Without faith it is impossible to please [God]' (Hebrews 11:6).

When you know that God is pleased with you, you begin to rise above your fears. When fear knocks on your door and finds you full of faith, it cannot enter. That's why you need to meditate continually on God's word and let your conversation be filled with faith. If you're used to allowing your mind to go everywhere it pleases, meditating on God's word will require making a new habit. Don't become discouraged if you discover you have good intentions but many failures.

The Bible says, 'We walk by faith' (2 Corinthians 5:7). How did you learn to walk? By getting up one more time than you fell down, until you finally did it. When you set your mind to speaking fear-defying words of faith, the Holy Spirit will come to your aid and strengthen you. As one minister says, 'Courage is not the absence of fear, it is progress in its presence.' So just keep progressing and you will get there!

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