Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Key to Facing Your Fears



Heart-shaped sugar cookies, fresh baked by Bright Girl.

My chosen instrument to quell the fear.


Something that I saw on the Internet made me think about the prospect of death, and I didn't know what to do with the feelings.


Hunger hit me, and I headed for the fridge.


How many times have I faced death, I am only aware of a few, but I'm sure there has been more.


Before I was born, my mother wrestled with the decision to have yet another fatherless child. Millions of children created under the same circumstances have been aborted. But, in my case, love won out. 


Death came knocking again as a newborn, when during my delivery, my mother's negative blood was incompatible with my O+ blood. I spent twelve days in the NICU, fighting severe jaundice as my liver worked to bring back equilibrium.


All of us at one time or another have been a moment away from death, but by the grace of God we live.


Why?


What are we here for?


To be happy?


To love?


To make the world a better place?


These are good things, but in this world, it seems like it is next to impossible to remain happy, to stay connected, to do all that much good.


What has happened to us?


Why are we unhappy, hurting, and immobilized?


In her TED talk on vulnerability, Brene' Brown shared,


"You cannot selectively numb emotion." When you numb one, you numb them all...You can numb pain, shame, fear, loneliness with let's say, a cookie, but then all the joy, creativity, gratitude and other euphoric feelings go down the tube."


When I am afraid, cookies do work for a time in helping me feel better, but do I really want to give up feeling all things just to silence the one difficult emotion that is hounding me for that moment?


Is there any other way to live?



In Christ, you can face your fears and trust in Him to do the rest.


The key to facing your fears is 

Trust.

And, we can trust in the love of God demonstrated in Christ Jesus (Romans 5:8).

I can think of a time or two where I was enabled to do what I thought impossible because I knew that Christ was right there with me.


The truth is, through Christ, we have not been immobilized. 

We have been sent. 
To live, to love, to share the hope of the gospel with a lost and hurting world (Matthew 28:18-20).

And what does Scripture say Christ has done with death?



“O death, where is your victory?

    O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
 1 Corinthians 15:55-57)


Death no longer stings like it did, because we know that Christ paid the penalty for our sin on the cross. We are now going to spend an eternity in His glorious presence.


Death no longer has the power it once had, because Jesus took our shame upon Himself. We can now walk in freedom and newness of life.



We really have NOTHING to fear, because 

Jesus did it all. 



"if the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you. He who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal body through His Spirit who lives in you.

We have an obligation, brothers, then not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die. But, if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body you will live


For those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God." 



Dying to ourselves gives us the freedom to live for God and others.


Dying to ourselves means letting go of our fruitless attempt to control our world, 
which in essence is fueled by our fears and instead,  
relying on the power of the Holy Spirit to live the life that God desires.


There are still Christians living today all over the world who are persecuted for their faith. Some have even given their lives for Christ. 



If we truly believe Christ loves us, then we will not be afraid to offer our hearts and lives to Him.
For He can take even the most humblest measure of love and multiply it for His glory (1 John 4:12).

So, next time I am afraid, instead of devouring a heart-shaped cookie or whatever else might mute the fear, I think I'd rather choose to turn to Christ and allow Him to fill me with His power and love.




"When I am afraid, I put my trust in you." (Psalm 56:3)