Faith Over Fear: A Better Way: When anxiety attacks
There is something about the human experience that causes us all to look deeply into the future and set our minds on what might be there. We tend to make a big deal about tomorrow and its problems instead of basking in the moments and issues of today. I am an avid daydreamer; I’m always envisioning things that could happen in the future. I do this so often that I struggle to distance myself from what I’ve created in my head, causing anxious thoughts and fear to set in when things don’t go according to the plans I’ve made.
Bottom Line: Let go and let God.
Something To Talk About:
- Pray about everything: Philippians 4:6–7 tells us “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” This verse is special not only because of what it reveals about God but also for how it empowers us in difficult times. God provides us with a peace that goes beyond what we’re able to understand. After all, shouldn’t we feel more anxious when we’re feeling insecure? When we’re not healthy, or we’re experiencing financial hardship, or having problems with our relationships? Human wisdom would tell us that we should be worried in those situations. But God tells us to spend time in prayer, to think of what we have, and to take action from a higher, enlightened perspective. By taking time to think things through and pray, we receive calming guidance about where we are and what to do next. This allows us to center ourselves and face our troubles with confidence. This removes the power that the world claims to hold over us and gives that power to its rightful owner, The Lord above.
- Tell God what you need: A prayer of petition is a prayer making our request or requests known to God for a particular need or needs. So when we come to God in petition, we are asking Him to do something either for ourselves or others. The Bible is clear that God wants us to tell Him what we need. God often encourages us to come to Him for whatever we need in His Holy Word whether it is big or small. God wants us to have a relationship with Him and He wants our fellowship. By having a relationship and a fellowship we can talk to Him about anything. It’s just like when you make a new friend, you can talk to them about anything. When the relationship deepens you get more comfortable asking for certain things. But to get to that stage you have to grow the relationship. Our requests are important because God is interested in us and everything that concerns us.
- Thank God for what He has done: In Psalm 138 we find David in an unusual predicament. This psalm is in three parts. In verses 1-3, David is once again in trouble. Have you ever wondered whether we should take a second and thank God for ordaining David to get into so much trouble in his life because we wouldn’t have these psalms if he hadn’t been in trouble and if God hadn’t gotten him out of it? In this psalm, guess where he is again. He’s in trouble and he’s singing about deliverance from that trouble and it is exuberantly singing. If you look at verses 1, 2, and 3, that’s the first section of the psalm, that’s what’s going on. David is delivered again and he’s expressing exuberant praise to God. When we pause and reflect on all that God has done for us, a mere “thank you” doesn’t cut it. It doesn’t seem enough. How can we ever be thankful enough for the cross? How do you respond to the general grace that God gives all of us? How do you respond when God blesses you specifically – when He answers prayer? How do you respond when He provides healing, or He supplies your needs in a way only He can? While our thanks may seem unworthy, we should be thankful because God is worthy of our thanksgiving. It is only right to credit Him because every “… good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father…” (James 1:17).
- Why does Jesus say the reason for worry is our little faith? What is worry? Try writing a definition.
- Does this definition work? Worry is the preoccupation of life without taking God’s constant love and power into consideration. Agree or disagree and why?
- Do you believe God’s peace can really be obtained?
- What part of the prayer for peace is the hardest?
- Why is praying about everything such an abstract idea?
- Why don’t we tell God what we need?
- When we pause and reflect on all that God has done for us, a mere “thank you” doesn’t cut it. It doesn’t seem enough. How can we ever be thankful enough for the cross?
- How do you respond to the general grace that God gives all of us? How do you respond when God blesses you specifically – when He answers prayer? How do you respond when He provides healing, or He supplies your needs in a way only He can?
- What has God done for you that you haven’t thanked Him for yet?
- In what area of your life are you not trusting God?
- What would your day look like if you prayed more and worried less? How would your happiness be affected?
Take one thing home with you:
“But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.” – Proverbs 1:33
Fear is real, but God is bigger. Fear zeros in on the problem, while faith keeps it in perspective. Now, faith does not mean blindly running into danger or ignoring common sense. But it does mean turning to God every time fear begins to creep in. It means choosing courage rather than fear. Fear can paralyze us. Courage frees us to live life to the fullest.
Jesus epitomized courageous faith as He boldly walked God’s will – even to the cross. However, He knew very well the power fear could have on our lives and often reminded the disciples to cling to faith, not fear. One example of this is found in Matthew chapter 14. The disciples found themselves caught in a terrible storm, fearing for their lives. Suddenly, out of nowhere, they see Jesus walking out to them on the water. “… “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” (Matthew 14:27) Finding courage in the face of fear comes through putting our faith in Jesus Christ.