• Gail Armatys


Are you feeling afraid? You aren’t alone. In my recent work and conversations, I’ve heard women share their hearts and reveal their fears about what’s happening globally, nationally, and locally.

When we’re afraid we are to move our focus from our fear of outcomes to the reverence of God. In loving obedience, we’re to take our courage from his presence. We're to believe what he says is true. Loosely translated …

God doesn't want us stuck in the grip of fear. New and Old Testament scriptures often share the Lord's words, Do not be afraid! If we’re to fulfill the purpose God has for our lives, we have got to obey this command and learn to break through fear.

But first we have to know what this fear we feel really is.

Fear Defined

By definition, fear is dread or alarm, a sense of danger about something to come. It's usually awakened by our lack of control.

Or, as related to God, fear is an unmatched reverence and awe for the One who actually is in control … of everything … even the source of our fear. These two types of fear are nothing alike and we get to choose in any given moment on which fear we will place our focus.

Choosing Your Focus

Here’s a personal example of choosing the object of our focus. I was scheduled on a flight to visit family in Nebraska. As it would happen, huge storms were to begin blasting through that state the night before my flight. Great. The winds were forecast to be high. Not normal blustery Nebraska winds but scary,

destructive winds with epic flooding as a bonus.

Honestly, I think I blocked the actual wind speed from my mind because for the first time ever, I was afraid to fly.

As I nervously packed, reconsidering the wisdom of letting my body leave the ground in a tin can, a retired pilot I contacted through a friend answered my question about flying in such winds. He said, “A pilot won’t take off and they’ll divert to land if it’s not safe.” Right. I guess I believed him because early the next morning, weather and radar apps open and running, I boarded the plane, slipped into my seat, gripped the armrests, closed my eyes tight (I’m sure I have crows-feet from that one experience) and from then on I changed my focus.

I began praying for God’s peace, sharing my fear with him, thanking him for being with me, and really

believing he was. You know what? I had the greatest peace I’d felt in my entire life. It was an inner peace that really did surpass all understanding, just like scripture says in Philippians 4:7. It seemed as though God sent an angel to glide the plane through the storm with only a wobble or two as we descended.

God honored my belief and trust in him as I changed my focus from my fear of things I imagined would or would not happen to the One who offers peace in all situations.

Don’t Be Afraid

Jesus gives us an example of changing our focus as well. He teaches us what we’re to do when we’re afraid as we learn from the disciples. When this group of Jesus followers was in their boat, a storm came up (What is it about storms?), and they freaked out. Scripture says they were terrified when they saw him come toward them walking on the water. In fact, they thought he was a ghost!

Do you know what Jesus said to them?

Don’t be afraid. Take courage. It is I!

Mark 6:50

When we’re afraid we are to move our focus from our fear of outcomes to the reverence of God. In loving obedience we’re to take our courage from his presence. We're to believe what he says is true. Loosely translated …

Don’t be afraid. I'm here. Find your courage with me. I’m the one in control.

The 3 Questions

In this difficult time—and any time you’re experiencing fear, help yourself break through your fear by asking these three questions.

· What is my fear?

· Where is my focus?

· What and who am I believing?

Then, change your focus from your fear to reverence for God. And as you pray, remember Jesus’ words: Don’t be afraid. Take courage. It is I!

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