The best way to master our fears is to beat them with faith.
Unfortunately, all of us struggle with a lack of faith on a daily basis. All of us wonder whether God really loves us as much as He promises in Scripture. For me, many days feel like a constant battle between my faith and my fear.
This battle is decided in my daily choices to either feed my faith or my fears.
Most of us respond to the fear and anxiety in our lives with countless little pleasures or comforts. Instead of acknowledging a problem or dealing with it head on, we turn on the TV or go run a few miles. While those activities ARE NOT inherently bad, always seeking little pleasures to distract us from anxiety or stress is a bad thing.
All stress and fear come from possible or inevitable events that have the power to change our lives for the worse. We seek little pleasures to distract ourselves from the possibility of these scenarios because we can’t see a definite or clear way to avoid the fallout. Simply put, we are in trouble and we are not sure anyone or anything is going to save us.
Even though distractions can be a good thing from time to time, we tend to need them on a daily basis. This need for distractions shows that we are dealing with an even greater problem than the stresses and fears in our lives. Many of us, including myself, do not believe that we can go to God with the problems that cause our stress and fear.
How Distraction Turns Into Addiction
Most of us don’t turn to God in these situations because we assume that God doesn’t care about our everyday problems. Even though we know He wants to get us into Heaven, we doubt whether He cares about the everyday desires and worries of our hearts. This causes many of us to conclude that God isn’t going to provide for our everyday needs.
This leads us to tackle our fears with our own answers and solutions. Many times, the easiest solution to a problem or fear is to ignore it and distract ourselves with something fun or shiny. Because this solution doesn’t deal with the actual problem, we eventually find ourselves in constant need for distractions.
This daily need for distractions gradually reshapes the way we look at the world. It turns us into seekers of little pleasures and little comforts. Instead of relying on one of God’s wondrous provisions, we use a few hundred sources of pleasure, comfort, or security.
This is exactly how my addiction to pornography started. Losing my Dad threw my life into chaos. I didn’t believe an answer to that chaos was available.
That led me to seek out porn because it always took all of my attention and made me forget about the chaos.
The answer to this problem is actually quite simple. We don’t need to throw away all of our stuff and forsake the world. However, we do need to spend more time with God and His people.
This entire problem centers around a lack of trust in God’s daily love for us. We run to little distractions because we don’t think God cares about the little or everyday problems. The only way to fix this problem is to increase our little times with God.
Daily quiet times really help me because they help me bring God and His Word into my daily problems. They allow me to pour out my problems to God. They also help God pour His truth, guidance, and love into my problems.
Fellowship is another key part of letting God into my heart. Talking to another believer about my daily problems opens the way for God’s light to reflect through them and into my life. These times of counsel and encouragement help me remember that I’m not alone in the struggle and stress of daily life.
God uses both quiet times and Christian fellowship to teach me that there are eternal provisions for the everyday desires of my hearts.
Looking My Fear in the Eye
Getting little tastes of God’s provision slowly informs and changes my heart. Every time I experience a little eternal provision, my heart wants more. Every time an eternal provision solves an everyday problem I need distractions less. Slowly but surely the bonds of my fear begin to break.
I run to distractions because I’m unsure that a Greater Strength will save me from the troubles of this world. This is an understandable fear because this is a very dangerous world. That said, I don’t have to live in slavery to this fear.
I don’t have to run to little pleasures and comforts to distract me from my problems. I can stare into the face of my problems without needing to look away. I can do this because God and His truth inform my heart instead of fear.
The Biggest Confidence Boost Ever
In the fear of the Lord one has a strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge. Proverbs 14:26
In my Bible there is a note next to this verse. It says ‘my confidence doesn’t feel very strong.” That weak confidence has changed since then and it is not because my circumstances magically got better.
I’m still single, I’m still trying to make this writing thing work, and it feels like a new problem comes my way each month. My confidence has changed because I’ve brought one problem after another to the feet of God. Seeing God come through for me in ways that I couldn’t imagine has shaped my heart and strengthened my confidence.
I don’t have a magical formula or a new perspective that will conquer all of your fears. I do know a God who has the power and desire to topple every obstacle that you will ever face. He cared about you, personally, while you stood against Him and He cares about you now.
I’ve tried to tackle my fears one at a time. All my attempts failed miserably. I needed His strength and not mine.
In order to face our fears and find victory we must turn to The One who is stronger. We must bring our daily problems to Him and open our hearts to Him. We must fight with a faith in our God and not a faith in ourselves.Side Note: I chose my featured image because public speaking is something that terrifies me and yet I want to do it someday. Image Copyright: Ekta Parishad http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rajagopal_speaking_to_25,000_people,_Janadesh_2007,_India.jpg by