When I think of freedom, I often come back to the subject of freedom from fear.
Not long ago, I heard a song called “The Breakup Song,” where the singer belts out a tune about dealing with fear in her life.
After I listened, I realized once again fear had invaded my life. Lately, I engaged in emotional eating. I did this in an attempt somehow smother my fears with food. I felt tense at times, and fear also tried to push me into depression.
I have dealt with fears since I can remember—even as a little child.
When I became a Christian, the life verse the Lord gave me centered on fear: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 NIV
Today when I looked up that verse again, I noticed the word “so,” at the beginning. So I went back to look at the previous verse.
The last part of Isaiah 41:9 states this fact from the Lord: “I have chosen you and have not rejected you.”
Often, the enemy tries to make me afraid that I don’t belong to God—that He has rejected me because of the trials and traumas in my life. But here God tells me a truth to counteract that lie, and then He gives me a command to let go of fear.
Other verses come to mind when I think of fear.
“I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4
I confess at times I seek answers elsewhere when fear starts to overwhelm me. But I’ve learned over the years that only the Lord can deliver me from fear. When I speak to others, often my fears become worse—especially if I bring my fears to those who don’t have a strong faith in the Lord.
Psalm 56:3 reminds me what I need to do when fear arises. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”
Fears come when my trust in God starts to slip. What I sometimes want is to believe that if God is trustworthy, He won’t bring trials, traumas or tragedies into my life. What makes Him trustworthy is that He remains with me throughout every circumstance and gives me everything I need not only to survive but to thrive. And He brings good out of every situation. If I back off from God when one of these happens in my life, my trust in Him starts to fade and fears take over.
I also think of Philippians 4:6 when I’m tempted to give in to fear: “Do not fret or have anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.”
And then comes the promise of peace in verse 7. I like the words in brackets in the Classic Amplified version of the Bible, which defines peace.
“And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (AMPC)
The instructions in these verses give me a remedy for fear. My problem can be that I choose to ignore them. I need to seek God, trust God, choose not to fear and pray about everything. The result of following these instructions is that He will help and strengthen me, I will be delivered from fear, and I will have peace that God can be trusted.
Over the past several years, my goals center on trusting God more. In order to do that, I must as the song title suggests, break up with fear. And I need to keep aware of fear trying to creep back into my heart.
So right now I give God my fears—about the publishing process in regard to my book, about my aging parents, about loved ones who making unwise choices, about the prodigals I pray for, about those I know and love who refuse to let God into their hearts and lives even when dire consequences take place, about those who reject me…
God doesn’t want me to face these circumstances on my own. And He doesn’t want me to have fear about them.
Today I choose to trust God and receive His peace.
How about you?
The Breakup Song by Francesca Battistelli
PS Sing along with the song when the singer gives the instruction. It’s freeing.