Winning over fear

Prayer is as essential for a Christian as petrol is to a car. If you have not yet seen last Sunday's Sermon, please take time to watch it. It will help you to understand how to fight worry and fear in your life.

1. Forms of Fear

It is normal to worry. Life always brings trials our way. However, the Lord our God says that we should not be the one to carry them, but we should cast them on Him and rest in the Lord (Matthews 11:28-30). Otherwise, our worries become fears, and they open the door for anxiety. If you can not sleep, your mind is agitated, you are becoming frustrated with people/circumstances, or feel as though your life is out of control, it is time to stop and cast your worries over to the Lord.

2. The Source

What causes you to worry? What are you most fearful of? You may have not realised that it could be idols/temptations behind your fears. The good news is that, once you know, you can do something about it. Money, comfort, jobs, friends, etc., are all good and wonderful things, but they easily become our idols. Trust God, I know it is a step of faith, but being a disciple means to live by faith.

3. Stop

"Have you realised that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?" (Martyn Lloyd-Jones). There is so much wisdom in Dr Lloyd-Jones' words. Paul wrote that God Almighty charges us to speak biblical truth to our fears (Romans 12:1-2). The apostle also said to the Corinthians to be vigilant and control their thoughts (2 Corinthians 10:3-6). Stop listening to your fears and worries, and start talking to them. You may want to follow the example of David in Psalm 42.

4. Believe?

Worry test our beliefs. It is when we face trials that we demonstrate our real faith. Ultimately, it is in the face of danger that we can say with certainty whether we believe in God or not. Without trials, our faith is not tested, and we do not grow. Two weeks ago, we read and studied Matthew 6:25-34. We believe that God is with us, or we don't. I know it is not easy, but Jesus never said it would be (John 15:19-21).

5. Control versus Trust

Most people try to overcome worry, by attempting to control their circumstances. Sadly, the result is often the opposite of what we anticipate. Worry does not disappear and it becomes fear. Last Sunday, I spoke about casting our anxieties on the Lord our God who cares for us (1 Peter 5:6-7). Prayer is the primary way to share our worries with God (Psalm 37:5; Psalm 55:22). The good news is that Jesus takes our sins and our fears from us (Matt. 11:28-30).

6. Remember

There is an incredible source of power in remembrance. The Bible continually urges us to tell each other what the Lord has done (Deuteronomy 6:12, Exodus 13:3; Psalm 143:5). "Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered" (Psalm 105:5). If we forget what the Lord has done in our lives, we will forget who God is, and we stop being thankful to the Father for the grace and mercy we have received through Christ.

7. Be Thankful

When Israel forgot how God saved them from slavery and Egypt, they complained (Exodus 15:24). If we forget what The Lord has done, then we begin to think wrongly about God in the present. Complaining focuses on what's wrong or what we don't like. It reflects that we feel frustrated with our circumstances. I am not saying we have to accept things as they are; however, transformation comes ultimately from God, and we must be thankful to God in all circumstances (Ephesians 5:20).

8. Grace

Our Merciful God gives more than we ever expect. We see God's provision when Israel complained in the desert. The Lord Almighty did not punish them but gave them more food than they could consume. "Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble" (Matthew 6:34). Our Father sustains us and provides our daily needs (Matthew 6:11), as Creation points to His greatness and majesty.

9. Eternity

Life is short. It is like the morning dew that appears and vanishes (James 4:14). Our worries come and go, but God remains. Spring is coming, and the winter is almost over. Spring brings our eyes to Easter and the power of the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15). Our temporal suffering is hard and conveys much pain. However, it can not be compared to the future glory (Romans 8:18).

I don't want to undermine our worries, but it is my experience that they are less than our fears have us believe.

Faith overcomes fear and helps us to hear God's voice to find the right solutions and the way forward. It is time to let the fear go and entrust our God completely. As we face trials and worries, let us be established in the Rock, our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Every blessing,

Bishop Josep Rossello