No More Clouds of AnxietyPosted May 16th, 2011
by Janet Perez Eckles
Like storms sometimes do, fear comes in unexpected moments. It rages, darkening our world. At times, the aftermath seems too messy to clean up. Fear blows down our security, leaving us exposed to constant worry. Here are three ways to conquer the storms of fear:
1. Recognize the source of lies.
Not long ago, I received a call from my doctor’s office. “We found something,” the nurse said. Those words took my breath away. What could it be? I take care of myself. I opt for organic foods, exercise, and I stay away from junk food. Quicker than I could say “green salad,” bad thoughts about my future filled my head. I must have terminal cancer. My family will have to face the news. I’ll not be able to endure the aggressive treatments. God may not answer my plea for healing.
My stomach cramped. The enemy was quick to serve more fear on his tray of lies. That’s what he does. He scoops up one serving after another, giving us emotional indigestion.
Discouragement walks in, while despair waits at the door. We breathe a heavy sigh, expecting defeat. Entertaining those lies robs much-needed sleep.
But God knows how vulnerable we can be. Often, it seems we’re too weak to reject those lies, but God spells out the warning: “He [Satan] was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44).
When we face setbacks, Satan jeers. But knowing God’s truth will silence Satan, we boldly repeat God’s assurance that no lie can overtake us. No deceit can keep us down. And none of his attempts can diminish the certainty of God’s promises.
2. Recognize what we hold within us
When we are paralyzed by fear, God moves our soul with strength, with faith, and with passion. “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
Power, that’s what we need—God’s power, affirming that Jesus lives in us. He already conquered diseases, overcame the world’s troubles, and defeated death. And He lives in us, giving us the certainty to claim victory.
What relief to know that triumph doesn’t depend on our abilities or our insights. Triumph was already in His plans before we were born. He declared it so: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
The answers weren’t at the doctor’s office, in diagnosis, test results, or the opinions of others, but in the power of Jesus active in us all.
3. Recognize the impact of our emotions
Fear, anxiety, and worry all rumble in us in an unruly riot of emotions. But we don’t have to listen to their calling. On the contrary, with resolve and boldness, we declare war against any emotion that comes to attack.
Controlling our thoughts is the first step. Negative thinking cannot have a place in our hearts. Thoughts of insecurity, doubt, or gloom need to be deleted.
So, about that call from my doctor: I changed my outlook. “No more bad thinking, chica,” I told myself.
Instead, “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).
I gave a deep sigh of relief. Fear was defeated when I recognized the source of lies—when I invited Jesus into my heart and He became the power within me.
I had learned these lessons even before I received the test results, which, as it turned out, revealed nothing of importance. The horizon didn’t look dark. The future looked sunny—traced with the color of God’s love, with the radiance of His Word, and framed with confidence that He is in control. He is in control, and I am confident, calm and secure.