Living in fear means we don't trust God
I struggle with living in fear. Not all of the time but sometimes and it’s a big problem. Many of my waking hours are filled with thoughts of dread as I come up with various fear-inducing scenarios in my mind such as:
Someone is going to break into my house and steal my things.
My house is going to catch on fire and we’ll lose everything.
The roads are going to be snowy or icy and I’ll get in an accident (this is a big one for me).
My marriage is going to fail.
I’ll never be able to have kids.
My loved ones are going to get sick or die.
My car will break down on the highway.
My business is going to dry up and I’ll never make another dollar.
I’ll get sick or go blind or something (weird and irrational, I know).
I am going to lose someone’s wedding pictures (eeeeek!)
These phrases rattle around in my head all day. I’m really good at starting in one place and pretty soon, I’ve come up with the craziest stories. I worry about what could happen or what could not happen. I come up with several different versions of each negative story and I even come up with solutions to problems that haven’t even occurred yet. Does anyone get me?
It’s easy to pretend that I’m a “realist” (the thing that pessimists call themselves) but in reality, I am allowing the enemy to relentlessly attack me. Even my solutions are from the enemy. God says in Proverbs 3:5-6 to:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.”
So the fact that I live in fear is partly because Satan is attacking me, partly because I am allowing him to, and partly because I don’t fully trust that God will take care of me. These fears also result from a selfish focus on myself. I lean on my own understanding when it comes to the things that cause fear in my heart rather than depending on God’s promises.
Some days I have a constant, low-level anxiety that I can’t pinpoint a cause to. I’ve learned that those days are unexpected blessings from God because they teach me that I must lean on him. I get to depend on God. And that’s a blessing!
And for those future problems that I envision and develop solutions to, I need to remember that God already knows the right path for my life. If I submit to him, he will keep me on that straight path. But straight is not a synonym for easy. I know that. That is why we must learn to trust God and know that he will never leave us or forsake us, even when our straight path gets a little rocky.
Whenever my mind starts churning with negativity and fear, I now say, “I trust you, Jesus.” And then I turn the lies of Satan into new stories for my life:
My house will remain safe and a place of peace from the outside world.
My house will keep me and my husband safe.
I’m going to arrive at my destination safely.
My marriage is going to flourish.
I’ll be blessed with the children that God has already planned for me.
My loved ones may die someday but they will be with God in heaven.
My car will work perfectly and get me to where I need to go.
My business is going to be prosperous and it will allow me to be generous.
God will carry me through whatever comes my way.
The work I do will bring people joy.