Fear breaks the dams in my gut 1
I remember we were on a camping trip. Suddenly an extreme implosion of fear shot through my whole being. It raced like lightening through my veins. Really did! The fear heightened all my senses, overwhelming me with dread.
My two kids were 10 and 11, and we had two family friend’s boys with us for the outing. Together with my wife the six of us walked and jumped into this little 10 foot deep stream and swam with the gentle current. Boulders were all around. Totally beautiful. Fun for all.
It then dawned on me: I could not see my hands extended underwater. In the dark waters my feet bumped into hidden boulders below. The current was pulling me along. I couldn’t keep my eyes on all the four kids.
That was when the sunami of gut wrenching terror slammed me: what if one of the kids goes underwater (a cramp; a head hits a boulder underwater). I would never see them again! Horror!
I immediately said, “Okay kids, we are all swimming over to that side and getting out now. Let’s go. Now.” And I herded everyone out. In my head I was screaming with fear, “Get out!Get out!Get out!Now!!” But I spoke calmly, overriding their trilling objections, “Why…?” “But Dad…!” (My wife was thinking, “What what WHAT?! Why!”)
Wow – was I relieved when we were all safely out. The danger over. Then I explained to them “Why?”
Fear is real
Ever been there? Nights are my worst fear times. Ever felt fear – like vise grips tightened over your heart? Felt red raw fear?
Life is full of it.
FEAR: death, dying, loneliness, being alone, addiction, phobias, failure, loss, shame, business failure, debt, jobless, rejection,
FEAR: faithlessness, marital discord, divorce, kids, friends, conflicts, misunderstanding, interpersonal difficulties, differences of opinion, regret,
FEAR: sickness, disease, doctor reports, depression, uncertainty, insecurities, neediness, moving, new school, lack of friends, victim recovery, poverty, hatred, unkindness, pain, sorrow,
FEAR: God’s condemnation, Jesus’ saving grace, sin, choice, unrepentant heart, repentance, getting saved, reward in Heaven, residing in Hell forever
You name it. We all have them. So, what do you do?
Problems do not come gift wrapped, nice and tidy.
No answer is the magic pill. No one-stop shop meets the need. No miracle fixes it all so nicely.
Indiana Jones is not coming to your rescue. No friend is Superman. No gum wad plugs the hole in your bleeding heart.
The problem is the heart.
That is where we’re torn apart. That is where the trouble starts. That is where we quit, where we give-in, where we give it up. There is where despair is. We must guard our heart.
“But be on guard, so that your hearts are not weighed down and depressed with the giddiness of debauchery and the nausea of self-indulgence and the worldly worries of life, and then that day [when the Messiah returns] will not come on you suddenly like a trap. – Luke 21:34 Amplified Bible
Turn to Jesus – Each Time
Troubles come, and troubles go. Fear is part of being human. But that is why we were given the Holy Spirit when Jesus left the earth. We overcome fear by our faith.
Is the Holy Spirit in there for you? In your heart? Inside your deepest insides? Well, yes He is! (If you’ve been born again.) Do you turn to Him when fear slams your heart? I do. And do, again, each time.
Solutions are not “Automated Jesus Answers”. Each fear I have, I have to deal with — each time. I deal with them, anew. The Lord is with me at all times, so, really: What have I to fear? What have I to dread?
The Lord is [d]near. 6 Do not [e]be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all [f]comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:4-7 NASB
That is the point
Maybe nothing’s changed except within my heart. But that is the point, isn’t it? When I get off my knees my hope is once again fixed on Jesus. My faith in God is once again renewed. Once again He keeps me sane. He gives me peace of mind. 2
Whatever it is that slams me out of nowhere – Jesus is my answer. 3
Jesus drags me off the precipice of bad decisions (James 1:5), counsels me with His Word (Proverbs 4; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 3:14-18), and delivers me from evil (Matthew 6:13). He takes me out of the pit of despair when things get rougher than tough.
My Strength comes from the Lord
Strength is not an inherent asset. I know that when I’m strong, my strength is His strength in me. I know that on this planet, on this side of the veil… I myself will never be all I need to overcome what the world throws at me.
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. – 1 Peter 5:8
I put all my trust in Jesus, my good Shepherd (Psalm 23).
Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. – 2 Timothy 2:22
14 The Spirit is the [a]guarantee [the first installment, the pledge, a foretaste] of our inheritance until the redemption of God’s own [purchased] possession [His believers], to the praise of His glory.
15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers; 17 [I always pray] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may grant you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation [that gives you a deep and personal and intimate insight] into the true knowledge of Him [for we know the Father through the Son]. 18 And [I pray] that the eyes of your heart [the very center and core of your being] may be enlightened [flooded with light by the Holy Spirit], so that you will know and cherish the [b]hope [the divine guarantee, the confident expectation] to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the [c]saints (God’s people), 19 and [so that you will begin to know] what the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His [active, spiritual] power is in us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of His mighty strength 20 which He [d]produced in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion [whether angelic or human], and [far above] every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and world but also in the one to come. 22 And He [e]put all things [in every realm] in subjection under Christ’s feet, and [f]appointed Him as [supreme and authoritative] head over all things in the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills and completes all things in all [believers].
- spilling over, gushing threats, wanting to wash-out my core.
- Hebrews 12:verses 1-3. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of [a]witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us, 2 [looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, [b]disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work]. 3 Just consider and meditate on Him who endured from sinners such bitter hostility against Himself [consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
- If you had an 8 foot tall MMA fighter genie at your beck and call” – would not your answer to bullies always be Him!? Jesus is my answer with every fear. And He is not a mere genie – He is God Almighty.