The Paralysis of Fear — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

The Paralysis of Fear — Morning Devotions

Facing fears is an opportunity to grow and become stronger mentally and emotionally. Control what you can, and then trust God for the rest.

Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.

By Chris WittsThursday 4 Feb 2021Morning Devotions with Chris WittsDevotionsReading Time: 4 minutes

No-one likes to live in an environment of fear—whatever that happens to be. Some people have had such a frightening experience, they cannot leave the comfort of their house. Others are afraid of mixing with others.

There are many different types of fear. Whether intentionally or not, we tend to reside in personal comfort. Before we move into a house, we want to make sure the neighbourhood is safe. Before we eat at a restaurant, we look at the menu online to see if we want what’s being offered. Before we send our kids to school, we ensure that we’re comfortable with the teachers and the curriculum—plus many other daily situations.

Being afraid is part of every day life. It’s there—but it need not paralyse us. There are many types of fear:

  • fear of public speaking
  • fear of authority in school and at work
  • fear of displeasing someone
  • fear of saying ‘no’
  • fear of not being loved or appreciated
  • fear of my own shortcomings and their implications on my life

This list can be endless—and what affects me may not affect you,

Deal With Your Fear

Some of our fears are rooted in trauma and distress. The late Methodist Minister Dr Leslie Weatherhead told his congregation the story of a military officer in World War I. In a time of fighting, he would stand at the top of the trench rather than getting down into it. His men thought he was brave to stand out like that. But in truth, he was paralysed with fear—fear of being in an enclosed space. As a child, he was attacked by a dog in a narrow alley—an event that left him with a fear of enclosed spaces.

Yes, fear can be uncomfortable and crippling. But eliminating it would be the equivalent of taking down your home alarm system because it sometimes makes loud and irritating sounds. It’s there for your own safety and protection.

What do you do when you experience fear in your life? Do you run and hide or rise to the occasion and face it head-on?

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There are two types of fear in our lives: good and bad. Good fear keeps us safe from danger. For example, most of us have a healthy fear of walking out in front of traffic. But then there is bad fear, fear of rejection, problems or situations that could possibly be resolved and fear of consequences of our actions—just to name a few.

What can you do ?

  • Distract yourself from what is causing you fear. Walk away from whatever is causing you fear and do something relaxing. Engage in your favourite hobby, start a new hobby, read a book, go watch a movie, take a walk or exercise. Just do something to get your mind off your fears.
  • Draw from past success of overcoming fear. I feel confident saying that this is not your first go around with fear in your life. Think about situations that you feared in the past. Are they any that are like what you fear now? Realise that if you overcame fears in the past, you can overcome this current fear.
  • Turn your fears over to God. Last, but most important, pray. Prayer can allow you to let go of your fears. Praying to God can give you hope that he will be by your side and guide you to victory over what you fear.

Remember Our Creator’s Words

We need to remember our Creator’s words that were spoken in the Psalms when King David declared,

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1 – ESV)

God said through the prophet Isaiah,

For I, the LORD your God,
hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, “Fear not,
I am the one who helps you.” (Isaiah 41:13 – ESV)

Facing fears is an opportunity to grow and become stronger mentally and emotionally. Control what you can, and then trust God for the rest. That way you can live in a calm and relaxed manner—it makes good sense.

What worrisome fear does to us: It hurts our health; it shortens our days; it clouds our vision; it saps our inner strength. So, realise that God is in control. God can bring good out of the bad.

And a great  promise from God is found in another Psalm,

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
    I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” (Psalm 32:8 – ESV)

God meets you where you are right now. Turn over your fears to him and he will help you deal with them.