Dealing With Your Fear and Anxiety

Fear is the easiest of emotions. It attacks silently, quickly, and efficiently. Before you know what has happened, you are consumed by fear.

Fear takes on several forms.

One, fear can become a pervasive anxiety. Without even knowing why, fear wraps itself around us and will not let go. This kind of fear is debilitating. It takes the joy and peace out of life.

Two, fear comes in the form of inaction. Because we fear making a mistake, we keep from doing the great things of life.

Fear keeps us from doing the things that give life meaning, joy, and adventure.

I am convinced we all need adventure. God created us for it. If we don’t experience adventure in appropriate ways, we are apt to look for it in inappropriate ways.

One of the things I did with my daughters was to make sure they had a chance to do some “dangerous” adventures. Of course, I planned the adventures – adventures that would seem more dangerous then they really were. Those adventures gave them confidence and prepared them for the future.

Third, fear comes as fear of life itself.

Here is the good news. The “Good News” (the Gospel) always contains good news. God’s Word is filled with hope, even hope in the midst of fear.

How do we deal with fear?

First, rest in the presence of Jesus. Over and over again Jesus told his disciples not to fear. God told His people not to be afraid: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6). How many times did Jesus say those words or something like them? How many times did He tell the disciples not to be afraid because he would be with them always?

The presence of Jesus is the antidote for our fear. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).

God left his disciples with his Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is peace, love, joy.

He is the answer to fear.

Second, rest in the promises of God – His presence, His power, and His assurance. Those promises are everywhere in the Bible. Let us find strength in them.

Third, rest in God’s perfect love.

I am intrigued with 1 John 4:18. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” This verse is an amazing message given to us.

Who’s perfect love is it? I think it’s both our love and God’s love. God says you have nothing to fear about judgment because perfect love casts out fear.

If I am in the center of God’s perfect love for me then what do I have to fear?

If I seek to give God my love – undying and complete – then I truly have nothing to fear.

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me” (John 14:1).

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  1. Mark Graham
    Apr 22, 2015

    Thanks Waylon. As you mention, Love is an enemy of fear. So is gratitude. “Be anxious for nothing but in all things, by prayer and supplication WITH THANKSGIVING, let your requests be made known to God; and the PEACE of God that surpasses understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” I think it may be impossible to be thankful and fearful simultaneously. Here’s a formula that has helped many of my clients deal with fear/anxiety:
    Face, don’t Flee, and
    Float, don’t Fight.
    You can’t get away from something going on inside your own skin: so don’t try. Turn toward it in the power of His Spirit and watch it shrink away from you.
    The fight against fear is a manifestation of the fear itself. When we “Float” in our Faith in Christ, fear evaporates or passes like an emotional wave passing through our heart. We are always left standing on the firm, unshakable foundation of God-with-us.

    • Waylon
      Apr 27, 2015

      Thanks, Mark. Good, practical advice. It’s amazing to see the statistics about how genuine faith helps us with our illnesses of all kinds.

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Verse of the Day

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. — Ephesians 6:4 (NIV)