For a time, about a year ago, fear had of hold on me. I was already facing some of the biggest changes and challenges of my life: moving my family to Colorado and taking the helm of Kingdom Way Ministries.
Though experiencing times of fear and anxiety during all the newness and uncertainty, I felt I was doing fairly well in allowing God to deal with these toxic emotions. That is until I woke with a start at 4a.m. one morning and thought I had witnessed my wife of 23 years breathe her last.
I am indelibly grateful to God for sparing my wife’s life. Now, a year later, she is healthy and doing exceptionally well. Yet, what I experienced that morning (and the subsequent weeks, dealing with my wife’s diagnosis of epilepsy) sent me into an uncontrollable tailspin of fear, which I felt powerless to escape.
You’re Not Alone in Your Fear
Fear terrorizes; it immobilizes; it pounces; it plagues and it plunders; unannounced and uninvited. Fear keeps us from functioning in freedom, joy, efficiency, and effectiveness as we try to live out our calling from God. This is fear’s delight.
If you’ve ever found yourself in fear’s grip, you’re not alone. It is an emotion that we all experience. None of us are immune. Whatever fears you may be facing today at work or at home, I want to encourage you with 5 practices from Psalm 37 that will help you conquer your fears. (The scriptures listed below are from the NASV)
1. Decide to Trust
“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.” (Psalm 37:3)
A pastor friend of mine signs off all his emails with this statement. “God is good!” This we must believe in times of crises and fear. Retrace all the ways that God has proven Himself faithful to you in the past, and let that bolster your trust for today.
2. Do Good
Even when you dwell in the land of fear, just do the next good thing (to Read more click here) that you know God is calling you to do. This is an active expression of your trust. As you continue to cultivate faithfulness in your work for Him, you will then be able to see more clearly His faithfulness to you.
3. Delight in the Lord
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:3)
Don’t just work and live for God, or expect to receive from God in the midst of your fears. Work with Him. Have constant conversations with Him. Tell Him your fears. Ask for His help. Believe that He is with you in the shadow lands. This is delighting in Him.
4. Dedicate Your Steps
“Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him and He will do it.” (Psalm 37:5)
Coming out of a tailspin of fear doesn’t necessarily happen all in one fell swoop. It’s a step by step kind of thing. It involves dedicating and rededicating every day; every decision. For me, this involved rededicating my wife’s life to the Lord. She is a gift, a loan, not someone I own.
Maybe your fears would be minimized or removed all together if you gave whomever or whatever is causing your fear back to the Lord.
5. Discipline Yourself to Wait
“Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret…” (Psalm 37:7)
We create unnecessary fear and angst for ourselves by trying to solve every problem and conquer each challenge that comes our way.
Instead, maybe God wants us to stop fighting, embrace the uncertainty, and believe that He knows the way and is shaping us to be better vessels He can use in the work He has yet for us to accomplish.
Over time, these powerful truths from God’s Word helped me. Now, I am praying that they will help you.