(This week’s devotions are based on Sunday’s message: Win the Day…Kiss the Wave – LISTEN HERE)
Our hearts and lives are often paralyzed by fear.
Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear of hurting yourself. Fear of the unknown. The list goes on. The list of “phobias” in the realm of psychology is long and extensive. Almost anything you encounter can cause you fear. While fear is an emotion we have and it can prompt us to move out of harm’s way or prevent ourselves from getting hurt, fear can often be a paralyzing factor in our day. Fear causes anxiety, worry, and panic. Our aversion to fear leads us to take the path of least resistance or never take a path because our fear has created a reality in our minds that prevents us from moving forward.
So if we are going to win the day, we have to face our fears that leave us immobilized and full of anxiety.
I wish I knew to whom to give credit, but fear has been labeled this way:
FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real
For example, the disciples on the evening of the resurrection were locked in the upper room for fear of the Jews. Had they received a death threat note from the Sanhedrin that they were next? Was the room they were in circled by the temple guards? Neither of these appears to be true, but they had convinced themselves that they were next. So they hid in fear.
Like most encounters with fear in the Bible, the Lord, Jesus, steps into the fear and calms it.
John 20:19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
Did the circumstances change? Did the disciples receive a note that the Sanhedrin realized its error and they would no longer be targeting the followers of Jesus? Nope. Fear based on false evidence was replaced with peace based on actual evidence.
The Apostle John was one of those in the room whose heart of fear was replaced with peace.
1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
If Jesus drives away fear, one has to ask, “Where does fear come from?”
Well, if fear is often based on false evidence, it would follow that fear by enlarge is authored by Satan the father of lies. Satan loves to disrupt the peace of our hearts by getting our minds to create stories that aren’t factually true, but disrupt our emotions by making them appear real.
So, Satan’s lies must be replaced by God’s truth.
What are you afraid of?
Acknowledge the emotion of fear is real. However, evaluate the evidence to determine if the story creating that fear is factual.
Psychologists at Penn State studied people with General Anxiety Disorder to determine what percentage of things they worry about actually come true. Here’s their summation:
The result? A whopping 91 percent of worries were false alarms. And of the remaining 9 percent of worries that did come true, the outcome was better than expected about a third of the time. For about one in four participants, exactly zero of their worries materialized.
These findings underscore “worry’s deceit,” in the words of study authors Lucas S. LaFreniere and Michelle G. Newman. “Deceit” is a good word to describe the nature of worry, implicitly demanding that we pay attention to it because the threat is real. In reality, it’s nearly always a false alarm. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/think-act-be/201907/how-often-do-your-worries-actually-come-true)
Fear is not that far off from worry and anxiety. Recognize that nearly all of fear is a deception of Satan.
But God’s perfect love, truth and peace can drive out fear…more tomorrow.
Apply: Ask God to reveal the lies and truth about what you fear. What does he open to you?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your perfect love. Allow it to drive out all fears in my heart! AMEN.