“When” I Am Afraid

You know that feeling. The pit in your stomach, pounding of your heart, and rush of your thoughts as you go from the possibility of a job loss to being homeless on the streets — all in a matter of seconds. Gripped by fear, albeit an imagined one.

The news about the release of 5 top Al Qaeda operatives in the prisoner “exchange” over the weekend, and the damage they can now do against us here in the United States, reminds me just how much fear is an ever-present emotion with me and with most women — both real fears (terrorists are real) as well as any imagined ones.

Fear is a normal human emotion designed by God to alert us to danger so we will take action against it. It has a purpose. Yet, fear can take root in us — causing us to give way to panic and hysteria. God knows this about us. And, He wants us to trust Him when it does.

One of my favorite verses is Psalm 56:3, “When I am afraid, I trust in you [God].” As one of my Bible teachers, Vickie Kraft, taught me many years ago, the psalmist doesn’t say “if” I am afraid but “when.” Fear will happen. When it does, our faithful God wants us to trust Him.

Through following Jesus for many years, I know that our God will not rescue me from everything that is threatening me or my family. The threat of terrorists, like those who were just released, won’t go away with wishful thinking. But, in every situation, I have learned that I can count on 4 truths to sustain me:

#1: God loves me. I am His child, His daughter, totally loved and accepted by Him through my faith in His Son Jesus. God loves me.

#2: God knows what is going on in my life. He knows everything, sees everything. What’s happening to me is not behind some lead door blocking his x-ray vision. God knows what is going on in my life.

#3: God can do something about it. He has the power and know-how to take away the suffering, to provide the job, to change the threatening situation. God can do something about it.

#4: I can trust His goodness in whatever He chooses to do. This is the sticky part. I have an idea of what I think His goodness to me, to us, should look like! Yet, through reading the Bible, I’ve seen that His goodness looks different in each person’s life. I know He is good. I must make the choice to trust His choice of how to be good to me. Then, as 1 Peter 3:6 says, “do what is good and have no fear in doing so.” When I do that, my God fills my heart with joy.

Every time I feel gripped by fear—the pit, the pounding, the rush—I stop and review those 4 truths, make the choice to trust Him again, and let Him replace my fear with joy that I am His, and He loves me. I can trust His goodness. Even in the midst of what seems to be very bad news.

se to trust God with whatever you are facing and walk from fear to faith?

More Resources:

Everyday Women Bible Study of Old Testament Women (read online)

Everyday Women Bible Study of Old Testament Women (download pdf)

The God-Dependent Woman Bible Study (read online)

The God-Dependent Woman Bible Study (download pdf)

4 Truths to Overcome Fear

What’s Left When Our Props Are Removed

Melanie Newton is the founder of Joyful Walk Ministries, an online ministry that helps women learn to study the Bible for themselves and grow their Bible-teaching skills to lead others on a joyful walk with Jesus. Melanie has written many Bible study guides (available on Bible.org and her website) and presented insightful messages to large groups of women. All of her BIble Studies are available as books on Amazon.com. Melanie is wife to Ron Newton (“Integrity at Work” ministry), loves to be outside in her garden, and enjoys her yearly fix of boiled crawfish.

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