Encouragement for Today - May 24, 2005
Encouragement for Today
Marybeth Whalen, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member, General Editor of For the Write Reason (http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources/writeReasons.htm)
Psalm 34:4, “I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.”
My two-year-old son has learned to be afraid. The same toddler who exhibited no fear of anything just last summer has suddenly become fearful in certain situations. The same little boy who rushed headlong into large breaking waves — scaring his father and me to death — now buries his head in our shoulders when we go outside at night. “De dark scares me,” he tells us. He is also afraid of sudden loud noises and big machines. It is as if overnight he has become aware of the dangers in the world. While I know that some fear of danger will protect him, I also hate to see fear begin to take root in his little life.
It occurred to me recently that I am not unlike my son at times. While I may not be afraid of the dark or a big choo-choo train, I do allow other fears to spring up in my life. Someone once told me that FEAR is False Expectations Appearing Real. I fear loss of income, childhood illnesses, parenting failures and the future. Like my son, I allow the unknown to overtake my life and cloud my judgment. By doing this, I allow these “what-if” scenarios to take on larger-than-life proportions.
When this happens, I must stop this train of thought and make one of two choices: react to the fear or turn to the Lord. When I react to the fear, I make irrational decisions that generally go against who God has called me to be. What I do out of fear never accomplishes God’s purposes for me. I have learned that God does not honor decisions in my life that are a result of my thinking, “Well, I need to do _____ because I am afraid of ______.” These are the moments where I must stop going down that path, confess my fears, and offer them up to God. By doing this, I can break free from fear and take action according to His divine direction.
King David is a great example of a man who battled with fear taking root in his life. Sometimes he reacted in fear and made bad decisions (1 Samuel 27:1) and sometimes he sought the Lord and trusted in Him (2 Samuel 2:1). Overall, King David learned to boldly proclaim, “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, NIV)” I have learned, like David, to place my trust in the Lord and hold onto Him when fear tries to set up camp in my life.
My Prayer for Today:
Dear Lord, please help me to make the right choice when fear threatens to invade my life. Help me not to react to fear, but to turn to You. Thank You, Lord, for being the stronghold of my life.
If you are dealing with fear today, make the choice to turn toward God and not give into the fear.
Identify the fears you are facing right now.
Are you allowing false expectations to appear real in your life?
Are there chronic fears that Satan uses to distract you from accomplishing God’s purpose for you?
After examining the fears you face, confess your fear and ask God to help you do battle with your fears.
Learn to recognize when fear is running away with you and don’t go down that path.
Copy Psalm 27:1 on an index card and post it somewhere that is visible throughout your day.
Proverbs 31:21, “When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.” (NIV)
I John 4:18, “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.” (NIV)
Isaiah 54:14, “In righteousness you will be established: Tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you.” (NIV)
Proverbs 1:33, “But whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease without fear of harm.” (NIV)
Psalm 46:1-2, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble, Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the sea.” (NIV)
Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed, by Lysa TerKeurst
Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God, by Sharon Jaynes
What Happens When Women Walk in Faith, by Lysa TerKeurst