My devotion this morning was on fear. When I read it, I thought, “I don’t have a fear that is gripping me, paralyzing me.” But I have experienced it. I had a fear that grabbed me and shook me to the foundation of my faith. It was so bad I had panic attacks when I walked into my place of worship.
I shared some writing with some people I thought I could trust. Apparently, I became the topic of discussion according to a friend who was in this group. So, my friend told me what I feared the most, I was being laughed at. It crushed me. I sobbed at the very thought of going to church. So, I didn’t. My husband would attend without me. When he left, I sobbed. I worshipped in front of the TV watching Ed Young. I missed worshipping with my husband.
It took me about a year before I could go back. The first service was very tough, I cried just because I was in service. I started panicking and that’s when I prayed. I told God I couldn’t do this. He told me HE could. I prayed a lot during the first several months back in worship. Slowly my panic attacks subsided.
There’s a song I love to listen to now, “Fear Is a Liar” by Zach Williams. The chorus is “Fear, he is a liar, He will take your breath, Stop you in your steps, Fear he is a liar, He will rob your rest, Steal your happiness, Cast your fear in the fire “Cause fear he is a liar.” All these things are true, fear makes you believe things about yourself that are not true. But fear also allows us to believe things of others that might not be true. Two sides of every story, some stories are not true but sound true. Fear of getting hurt leads to isolation. Isolation leads to depression. Depression leads to anxiety.
When fear takes ahold of you, pray. Do not give into your fear. Remember God loves you, is with you wherever you go (from Joshua 1:9). He knows your name and has called you His by that name (from Isaiah 43:1). Fear wants us to believe we can be separated from God’s love, but God says that it will not happen. Romans 8:38-39 “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
2 Timothy 1:7 “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” We need to make this a plaque and hang it in every room of our house as a reminder that fear is not from God. And under that plaque hangs another one with 1 Peter 5:7 on it. “Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
For me to say, do not allow fear to derail your life means nothing. But to have God tell you the same thing, means all the world. So…”Fear not ________(your name goes in the blank), I have redeemed you; I have called you, __________, by name, you, __________, are mine.” Isaiah 43:1b. By inserting your name in the blanks it make this verse YOURS and it allows the power of ownership to take hold. You, dear reader, are His and nothing can separate you from Him, as long as you believe in Him.