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Learning to control fearful thoughts can be the fiercest battle you’ve ever fought. God gave you the tools to be an overcomer so you can live a grace-filled life.
When my kids were growing up and the youngest was not even two, there was a night that my anxieties and fear grew to monumental proportions. My husband was working the late shift and wouldn’t be home until around three and there was a man breaking into homes to molest women.
As I lay in bed, unable to sleep, I heard every single noise in the house that I’d never heard before. I had grown up in Asia and a robber had broken into our home when I was about five. Then when I was older, I actually saw a robber climbing over the wall where we lived to escape his foiled attempt to break in.
My fear was real!
Fear, worry, and anxiety can take over our peace and calm. It can be over little things like the safety of our kids and continue once our children are adults.
Our concern is real. It can be over just about anything from finances to the fear of having a car accident.
Fear starts in our minds with fearful thoughts and if not brought under control, can grow and grow until it takes over our hearts and minds.
It messes with our trust in God to protect and provide moment by moment.
Do you struggle with fearful thoughts? If so, you will be encouraged and equipped by what I have learned through the years.
What Moms Should Fear Most
Nothing causes a mom to worry more than the physical safety of her kids.
Fearfulness that they’ll fall out of a tree, drown in the lake, get hit by a car, and more importantly, neglect to walk with Jesus.
As moms, we have trouble letting go and trusting God for our children’s physical safety and clutch onto them as if breaking their legs was the most important danger to their souls.
How often do we forget to fervently pray, neglecting their spiritual safety, inadvertently thinking their body is what matters the most?
Unfortunately, kids observe and watch us closely. They pick up on subtle clues about what’s going on in our heads.
If we don’t learn how to effectively overcome our fearful thoughts, our kids and grandkids will learn to be anxious too. No mom wants to be the wrong kind of influence in her child’s life but instead, be an influencer for God’s glory and safe haven for them to cozy up and find shelter.
I’ve learned through my mistakes, and I’m sharing through the lens of what I’ve done both good and bad.
God knew fearful thoughts would be a fierce battle to overcome. So, he gave us tools to help us win this battle!
Are You Ever Comfortably Comfortable?
Does the Bible ever make you uncomfortably comfortable, even happy about something you read during your Quiet Time?
That’s what happens to me when I read about fear.
I’m comfortable with fear and anxiety over things that repeatedly happen in my life. It’s almost like I’m enjoying my worry and anxiety.
I don’t exactly want to become uncomfortable or even happy about overcoming my fearful thoughts.
The thought of overcoming my fearfulness could take me out of my comfort zone.
I’m comfortable being miserable.
In my head I know I shouldn’t be entertaining worry and anxiety but there’s odd contentment of being imprisoned in my fear.
What about you?
Do you also resist change?
Yet, you desperately desire to experience God in your fear?
Fearfulness is an enemy to be fought with all your might and freed from!
I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4
One Fear that You are Not Freed
There is only one fear that we are not freed from and David writes about it.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! Psalm 34:7 & 9
Trusting God casts out one kind of fear and kindles the flames under another fear.
We are commanded to be freed from our fears and to fear the Lord instead.
So, as you mature as a mom, you will be learning to overcome your fearful thoughts (where all fear starts) and happily fear the One whom you should fear most.
How to kindle the right kind of fear:
David had Fearful Thoughts Too
When David wrote Psalm 34, he had just escaped King Saul’s evil pursuit. This man was so inflamed with intense and violent jealousy of David.
He was hunting him down all over the countryside as if he was a dangerous lion that needed to be killed.
But Saul hurled his spear at him to strike him. So Jonathan knew that his father was determined to put David to death. 1 Samuel 20:33
Can you imagine being stalked as if you were a wild animal?
Even the direst circumstances I’ve faced as a mom (and yes, some of my experiences were pretty dire) did NOT compare to the attempts David faced during his life.
If you read this story about David in 1 Samuel, you’ll see how he fled to the Philistines even though it was a terrifying place of escape.
Do you remember how he pretended to be insane?
This was not the only terrifying experience that David faced.
His life was filled with lions, bears, giants, and even desperate situations with his son, Absolum.
If you’ve ever faced situations you never dreamed of having with your children (maybe even your husband) you will know that life is imperfect.
David’s psalms will be such an encouragement to you as God speaks to your life through them.
David was well acquainted with fear. His fears were untamed, persistent, and desperate as yours might be.
Teach Me to Fear!
Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Psalm 34:11
God desires for us to tame our fearful thoughts by finding freedom from fear through learning to fear.
The only way to tame your fearful thoughts is to give God total control over your fear at the heart level.
It’s through embracing the fear of God!
It is not through any psychological ways that you can control yourself through your mind or the activities you engage in. These might help but they are not the total solution.
If you want to overcome fearful thoughts for the final time, you will need to have a total heart-level embrace with an intense meet-up with Jesus.
You’ll have to meet God’s on a holy-sovereign authority over every single big and small circumstance in your life.
It’s the total surrender of every single fearful thought in your mind!
It’s pausing your busy mom life to find a place in your day for a face-to-the-ground to meet -up with Jesus, giving him your absolute total submission and surrender of your entire life. Starting with your fears.
It’s spending enough time with Jesus that you’ll realize how small and undeserving you really are. Yet you dare to, in Christ, draw near to him.
This is what I’ve done, yet I’m needing to do it again.
The business of each day, the rushing through the things makes me feel like there’s not much time to spend with Jesus.
I need to frequently re-kindle my fear of God in order to keep fearful thoughts from anxiously pressing into my mind again and again.
Did you know that the very things that frighten you most can be the very circumstances that drive you to Jesus?
What if you prayed through your fearful thoughts?
What if you totally gave the situation you’re facing to God?
How often I have clung to what scared me instead of clinging to God’s grace!
God is so worthy of your devotion and your fears should not unsettle you!
Delighting in Fearing
There is a kind of fear that overcomes all of the unhealthy fear you might be experiencing. It’s a fear that leads to joy in God that is inexpressible and delightful!
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack! Psalm 34:8-9
When you fear the Lord, he becomes approachable and appealing to you.
The things in life that cause your fearful thoughts become less and less fearful as Jesus becomes sweeter and sweeter to your soul.
When you trust God with your fears, everything looks and tastes so much better!
Promises to Overcome Fearful Thoughts
Overcome the fiercest battle you’ve ever fought by hanging onto Jesus as he transforms you from the inside out!
Use these verses to:
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7
Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.” Isaiah 35:4
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. Isaiah 43:1
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 1 John 4:18
No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.” Isaiah 54:17
He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries. Psalm 112:7-8
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. Psalm 91:1-3
For the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.’ Deuteronomy 20:4
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:5
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect Romans 12:1-2