Psalm 28: 7: “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart rejoices.”
2 Timothy 1: 7: “For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.”
Years ago I went through a fear-filled phase. I was plagued with anxiety. It threw me for a huge loop when intense feelings of terror began to build up in my mind. The fear made no sense to me… I was at a place in my life where everything was wonderful. I had everything that I had ever dreamed of… a home, an amazing husband, 6 healthy and beautiful kids, friendships… The list could go on. The anxiety that I was experiencing at that time was so frustrating to me. I couldn’t shake it either. Fearful thoughts ruminated in my head. Physical symptoms of anxiety began to manifest themselves in my body. This only perpetuated the problem, because I then began to fear how I was feeling. I was miserable. No matter what I tried, I still felt emotionally wrecked.
Well meaning friends told me just to pray and read the Bible and I would be fine. I tried this, but there were times when I was almost too anxious to even pray. I was so frustrated. Thankfully, a friend of mine suggested that I meet with a Christian counselor to talk through my anxiety. BOY, was this an eye-opening and amazing experience for me! As the counselor and I talked, I learned so much about myself and how I processed feelings. She equipped me with tools to be able to fight the anxious thoughts. I learned to asked myself “what is the truth” when I would become overwhelmed with fear in a situation. She re-trained me to adopt healthy thought patterns in my life. But perhaps the coolest tool that I gained was using Scripture cards. I took a stack of notecards and wrote down verses about fear and about trusting God. I carried these cards with me everywhere. Anytime that I would start to feel panic creep in, I would pull out my cards and read the verses aloud (depending on where I was) or silently to myself. Being flooded with God’s truth in my mind replaced the lies and the fear that had me in such bondage. Slowly the fear began to dissipate!
The two verses above were two of my notecards.
Psalm 28: 7: “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart rejoices.” I love that by proclaiming that God is my strength and shield, through trust in Him, I can be helped. And through that, my heart no longer has to fear. By releasing control, my heart can actually rejoice. That is such an amazing promise.
2 Timothy 1: 7: “For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” Here, identifying the fact that fear is not of God, and acknowledging that God has actually given us a spirit of power, love, and sound judgment is huge.
God wants us to trust Him and believe that He is faithful to His word. Choosing this isn’t necessarily easy. In fact, sometimes it takes some work on our parts. There may be situations where we may need someone to come along side of us and help us to examine our thoughts. We needn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed if this happens. Life is hard, and it can be a lonely journey where we can feel defeated. My experience in counseling was life-changing. Now, as I am in the final stages of obtaining a Master’s Degree in Counseling myself, I hope to be able to use my own experiences to help others to begin to taste freedom from bondage. No more chains…. no more shackles…. just freedom. And freedom feels really great!
Thank You, Jesus, that You have overcome the world. In this world we WILL have trouble. But thankfully, we do not need to fear! Help me to rely on Your strength. Bind Satan so that he cannot tempt me with thoughts of fear. Rather, help me to take every thought captive and to be able to sort out the truth from the lies that I so quickly believe. I love You, Jesus!