Archive for the ‘Fear’ Category

This painting, created by my friend Sharon Taylor, is an enlightening representation of the spiritual warfare that exists all around us. This is a graphic reminder that Satan is a very real enemy who purposefully seeks to destroy those committed to Christ. 1 Peter 5:8 says, Be sober-minded, be alert. Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Christians suffer daily for the sake of following Christ. Some are tortured physically, imprisoned, and even killed; others are tortured mentally and emotionally by addictions, broken homes, kidnappings. The methods of his attacks are never-ending. Satan and his army stand ready to attack, and we must always be on guard.

In the midst of the darkness, you can see innumerable rays of light. Each light represents those who follow Christ, those who draw near to God, and those who faithfully share the light of His love for all to see. John 1:5 says, The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. Satan will try his best to shake our faith and to dim the light of each Christian, but we have complete assurance that we serve a conquering King, and we are not alone in this battle!

Now, notice the bright beams of light penetrating the darkness and the mass of light above Satan and his army. Isaiah 41:10 says, Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Praise God there is light in the darkness! 1 Peter 5:10 says, The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while. These times of suffering will not last forever.

The battle is real. God is our strongest defense against the devil’s attacks. We must always be alert and protect our “light” with the whole armor of God so that others may know God. Ephesians 6:10-18 says, Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.

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This is the Day

This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

This is the day the Lord has made! God has blessed me with another day. Another day to feel the love of family. Another day to see the sunrise and sunset. Another day to smell the blooming flowers and rain in the air. Another day to hear the birds chirping in the trees and wind blowing through the pines. Another day to taste sweet, juicy fruits and fresh-from-the-oven cookies. This is the day the Lord has made!

I will rejoice and be glad in it! I will be thankful for the gift of another day. I will not allow the negative attitudes of the world bring me down. I will not be consumed by political agendas. I will not be overcome by hatred. I will not be discouraged by the COVID-19 pandemic. I will not be frightened by the unknown. Instead, I will rejoice and be glad in this day the Lord has made!

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When tragedy strikes, one of three things happens with our faith. We tend to grow closer to God and our faith grows stronger; we turn from God blaming Him for allowing this and doubting His love and power; or we get caught somewhere in the middle. Honestly I have to admit that I was lost somewhere in the middle for awhile.

After my husband’s accident, I drew close to God, leaning on Him in those difficult days when it was hard to see my husband in the man that Traumatic Brain Injury had created and to watch him struggle with changes he could not control.

Then a year later I was shocked to discover that I had Lupus, and I became lost in fear. My faith became a sort of roller coaster of highs and lows. Probably more lows than highs. I have never blamed God or felt that He had given up on me. I never stopped believing or trusting God, but I failed to seek Him which left me feeling I had to face these battles alone.

I stopped journaling, had trouble focusing on reading God’s word, and struggled to get my thoughts together at times. I was caught somewhere between fully trusting God with my life and turning my back on Him, but thankfully He never gave up on me. I always felt Him tugging at my heart wanting me to recommit to that daily walk with Him. My strength was renewed and my walk restored because of His unfailing love!

No matter what we go through, God promises to be with us. Do not be afraid, nor dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9). He promises to help us and give us rest. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28). And He will always love us. Since you were precious in my sight, you have been honored, and I have loved you (Isaiah 43:4). These are just a few of the many wonderful and reassuring promises in God’s word. His love is never failing!

Even when you are stuck somewhere in the middle, He still loves you and wants you to find your way back to Him.

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Does it ever seem that the circumstances you face are so complicated that there is no way out? No matter which way you turn, you only see trouble.  In those moments, we have a tendency to focus on the problem rather than God and His power to conquer any obstacle.  When problems arise, we begin to question.  What are we going to do?  How are we going to overcome this?  In Exodus 14 while escaping the oppression of the Egyptians, the Israelites began to question why they were brought to the desert, what Moses had done by leading them out of Egypt, and why they even agreed to follow him.

Exodus 14:13-14 says, Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid.  Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.  The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.  The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.   They were focused on the obstacles, and their thoughts and actions were controlled by fear.  How often do we find ourselves in that same situation?  Instead of focusing on the problem, who to blame, and how we can fix it, we must turn our focus to God.

As stated above in Exodus 14, sometimes we must calm our fears, be still, pray, and trust God to make a way in His perfect time.  Other times though He may tell us to “get moving”.  Exodus 14:15 says, then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.  In other words, “I’m opening the door, now you need to follow my instructions and just move on through it”.

Psalm 77:16 says, When the Red Sea saw you, O God, its waters looked and trembled!  The sea trembled at the power of God; there is no obstacle which is greater than His power!  Psalm 77:19 goes on to say, “Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters – a pathway no one knew was there!”  God was able to part the Red Sea leaving a dry path for the Israelites to cross escaping from the Egyptians, and He still has the power today to open doors for us that we may not even know are an option.

I’m sure it was terrifying for the Israelites to step out onto that ocean floor with an enormous wall of water on either side!  The door that God opens for us may be scary, but if we’ll just trust Him and move on through it, we will see the power of His deliverance.

When it seems as though the enemy is winning, God is still in control and knows exactly what to do. So instead of focusing on the problem and how we can fix it, we must not let fear control our actions.  We must choose to trust God and wait patiently for Him to make a way.  We must obey and move on through when He says it’s time.  Even when our problem seems as big as the Red Sea with no apparent solution, God has the power to make a way!

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I am with You

Two years ago my daughter and I flew for the first time. We were both a little anxious about the entire process from security to landing and even how to make our way out of the airport. Since we were alone, we had no choice but to be strong, push forward, and walk through this journey together.

I had prayed many times for God to give us courage and for protection, and thankfully the entire trip was very smooth compared to all the concerns which had rushed through my mind in the days leading up to our flight.

My daughter, Lindsey, was anxious but also excited for her first flight. I, on the other hand, am afraid of heights, terrified on roller coasters, want to feel in control, and had the intentions of never, ever flying!

She immediately opened the window to see everything going on. I sat afraid to even look until the plane seemed to have leveled off and was no longer ascending higher into the air. When I finally did look out that tiny window, I was amazed at the beauty and comforted by the peace that I felt.

After landing and meeting my husband and son-in-law, we began to look through the pictures Lindsey had taken from the air.

When I saw this photo, I was immediately drawn to something that we had not seen as we were flying . I quickly zoomed in and very clearly saw an image which to me represented Jesus.

I was moved to tears. It seemed as though God was showing us that He had been with us throughout the trip. Although we did not see this image in the clouds when the photo was taken, He was there! It reminds me of the disciples in a boat as a storm raged all around them. They were so fearful, but Jesus was right there with them in that boat!

This zoomed-in photo has been the screen saver on my phone since that moment. It is a constant reminder of God’s presence through this earthly journey.

Two weeks after that flight, our family faced a raging storm when my husband was struck by a fire truck. It was a difficult time and still is sometimes, but I know without any doubt that God is with us!

Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

Regardless of what you’re going through or what emotions you are struggling with, God can give you peace in the storm. You can face anything with confidence that God is with you. Whether it’s an exciting moment that causes just a little anxiety or something that causes great fear and a loss of control, He is there!

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She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25

A kind hearted woman gains honor. Proverbs 11:16

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. Proverbs 31:26

Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:14

God is with her, she will not fall. Psalm 46:5

Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her. Luke 1:45

The Lord is my strength and my shield. Psalm 28:7

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged for the Lord your God is with you where you go. Joshua 1:9

Under His wings you will find refuge. Psalm 9:1

Don’t worry about anything, instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Philippians 4:6-8

By the grace of God, I am what I am. 1 Corinthians 15:10

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14

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Just Believe

What is your reaction when someone tells you not to be afraid? My first reaction is usually fear and lots of questions. When we were young, my brother and our friend convinced (or maybe I should say coerced) me to ride the new double loop Shock Wave roller coaster at Six Flags. I was filled with fear and questions, but they insisted there was nothing to worry about. After a lot of screaming and even some crying, they had to practically carry me off of it, but I survived!

In Mark 5, Jairus, a synagogue leader, had a young daughter who was very ill and dying (v 23). The synagogue leaders of that time were skeptical of Jesus, but Jairus took a huge leap of faith and went to Jesus for help.

Along the way Jesus stopped when a woman touched his garments hoping to be healed. Jesus immediately recognized that healing power had passed from Him. So He insisted on identifying her, assuring her that she was healed by her faith, and most importantly loving her.

Surely Jairus felt impatient or worried as he waited for Jesus to go to his daughter, but he didn’t react impulsively. He simply waited. While Jesus was still speaking to the woman, news came that Jairus’ daughter had died. But before Jairus could respond with anger or grief, Jesus said, “Be not afraid. Only believe” (Mark 5:36).

Jairus must have had many emotions going through his mind, especially fear and questions. He may have felt that all hope was lost, but Jesus was telling Jairus that He was not finished. They continued on to Jairus’ house where Jesus resurrected the young girl. It is possible His delayed arrival was part of a greater plan. The girl’s resurrection was a much greater miracle than healing her illness, and Jairus’ faith grew as a result of the entire experience.

Jesus knows our problems before they actually occur. He also knows the strength of our faith or lack of faith, but there is no problem we could ever face that is too big. God’s timing is not usually our timing. Sometimes we must wait for answers. When the circumstances of our life seem totally hopeless and God does not seem to be acting, maybe it’s all part of His divine plan.

If life feels like a roller coaster that you never wanted on with double loops of trouble and mountains of unexpected delays, remember Jesus words to Jairus in Mark 5:36 – “Be not afraid. Only believe.” Believe what? Believe that God can. Believe that He does exist. Believe that He is with you. Believe that its never too late. Believe that He is stronger. Believe that He will carry you.

Just as my brother and friend did at Six Flags, God will be with you through the ride, He knows all the dips and loops in your life before they even occur, and He will carry you when you can’t go on.

photo credit: auspices <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/26432632@N08/6169711244″></a&gt; via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

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Fear of the unknown causes much distress in our lives. When things are out of our control, we often worry, feel stressed, and even become physically ill. Unfortunately life is not always as perfect as it appears on social media. People are hurting all around us. Those who are battered and bruised may show visible signs of their pain. Others endure pain that we cannot perceive. Whether its physical or emotional pain, many are fighting battles of which we are unaware.

Isaiah 42:6 says, “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do. I will not forsake them.” The Israelites were blinded by their captivity, and they experienced the same fears and questions that we experience today. God did not forsake them. He delivered them and guided them to the Promised Land. Today, He continues to turn the darkness into light, makes the rough spots smooth, and never forsakes us, just as He did so many years ago.


Often when the way grows dark and we can’t see what lies ahead, it is easy to wonder where is God and why isn’t He working. We may forget that He is always there. Isaiah 42:6 reminds us that He will smooth the rough places and will never desert us. It doesn’t matter how dark or rough the road becomes, our Almighty God has the power to turn the darkness into light. Even in that darkest moment, when things seem to be spiraling out of control and we possibly even doubt God’s presence, we can trust that He is still there just as He promised! The secret is to turn our focus from the fear, worry, pain, anger, or stress and instead focus on seeking Him.

Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am you God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

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It is easy to get discouraged during difficult times and allow fear to control our thoughts and actions. It helps to remember that no matter what I’m going through, I can trust that God is there leading the way and will be with me each step of the journey.

Noah and his family were in the ark for a very long time as they waited for the rain to stop, waters to recede, and the ground to dry.  According to Genesis 8, it was about 370 days. That’s a long time to be stuck on a boat with wild animals, livestock, and a handful of family members. No matter how large that ark was, you know it was not quite big enough to escape the smell of so many animals or to find a moment of peace and quiet!  As they waited for the ark to stop drifting, they may have wondered if the huge sea of water would ever disappear or would they be stuck in the ark forever. Once the boat settled on the earth and they still had to wait for God to open the huge door, I’m sure they must have wondered if He had completely forgotten them.

There had to be many days of fear, discouragement, doubts, questions, or just being frustrated with the situation on that ark and even the changes waiting outside.  As the only survivors after the flood, they may have also felt very alone.  Don’t we all experience similar feelings while waiting to see God at work in our situation?

But God remembered Noah – Genesis 8:1.  God did not forget about them or leave them to their own devices to figure out what to do. In the Old Testament,  remember  means to pay attention to. In other words, God took action. He never forgot them! He had a plan all along and what seemed like a lack of action was more about His timing.

When your situation has you beat down with worry and fear, know that God has not forgotten you. He is right there with you! He won’t leave you sitting in a stinking ark wondering what to do. When the timing is right, He will open the door, and you can plant your feet on solid ground as the sun shines brightly on your face. You are always remembered by God!

Deuteronomy 31:8 says, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” God promises to be with us every step of our journey. In fact, He is not just with us but is leading the way.  He is always one step ahead of us, and nothing will happen that is out of His control.

Which of God’s promises helps you to remember that God is faithful to remember you today just as He remembered Noah so many years ago?

photo credit: Richtpt (Rich Uchytil) <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/38017341@N00/37348919445″>Beach Sunset</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

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 It is Well

Many times during the past year I have said, “Everything is going to be alright.”  Sometimes I believed it, and other times I said it to encourage my husband and family.  But one thing I always knew was that God was with us in those times of uncertainty.  

2 Kings 4 tells about the Shunamite woman who had waited a long time for a child and then watched him grow ill and die. Elisha had told her years ago that God would give her a child because of her faith and service. She knew that God had given her this child, and she believed that through Elisha, God would revive him. So she promptly decided to go to Elisha for help. 

Her faith was so strong that she didn’t even tell her husband the boy had died. When questioned, she stated that everything was all right. She did this not once, but twice. This woman’s child had just died, yet she was able to tell others that everything was fine and trust that God was in control of the situation!  

We all face times of uncertainty at some point. Moments of fear, anxety, depression, pain, weakness, discouragement, and even doubt can quickly begin to control our thoughts and actions. When there are questions about the future, questions about your health, insecurities, fear, and so many unknowns, don’t give up. Instead you can run directly to God with confidence that He remains in control regardless of the storm going on around you. Like the Shunamite woman, you can know that everything is all right 

The song “It is Well With My Soul” was written after several tragedies suffered by businessman Horatio Spafford and his family.  In 1871,  Their young son died with pneumonia and much of their business was destroyed by the Chicago fire. Two years later, the ship carrying his wife and four daughters collided with another vessel and resulted in the death of all four of their children. As Spafford traveled across the ocean to join his grieving wife, he wrote the words to “It is Well With My Soul”.

When peace like a river attendeth my way, 

When sorrows like sea billows roll, 

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, 

It is well, it is well with my soul. 

When your world seems to be crashing down around you, true peace can only be found with God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7.  The son she had waited so long for had just died in her arms, but the Shunamite woman had a peace that could only come from God. 

Do you trust God so much that even in the darkest moments you can say “Everything is all right”?  Philippians 4:6 says, Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition,  with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. If your answer was “No, I don’t trust God enough to know that everything will be all right”, the answer is in prayer.  Follow the Shunamite woman’s example and go to another Christian who will walk beside you and pray with you. Pray for God to give you that peace that passes all understanding. Keep praying until you can say, “Everything is all right”.


photo credit: docoverachiever <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/90692748@N04/33531468696″>Indecisive weather</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

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