Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fear of the Future

There are many fears we have about the future - marriage, job, money, death of self or loved ones, salvation of others, war, etc. The fear of the future is not new to you and will not magically disappear after college. We live in a world that is always on the go and fearful or worrying about something. American epitaphs could read like this: Hurried, Worried, Buried. It is humanly impossible to have an absence of fear (Isaiah 21:3-4 and Habakkuk 3:16) but we can do something about not letting it get unhealthy - especially when it comes to fears about the future.

We always need to keep our fears in check so they don't plant roots. Fears that are rooted make us become resistant to any new things and changes God has for us. We don't need to live in the past. This builds up more problems and you live always doubting and being skeptical of things now and in the future. We don't need to live in the future. We can't always be looking ahead and trying to get control or worrying about things that may or may not even come our way. Marcus Aurelius said, "It is not death (or our future) that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live." So that leaves today. What can we do today to prepare for our future and the unknown?

Proverbs 31:16 and 21 - She prepares today for tomorrow and does what she can to make sure she is ready. Proper planning and preparation can help our fear of the future. Taking special classes, special training, internships, setting money aside - things you can do now to help with things in the future. Worrying is like a rocking chair - it gives you something to do but it doesn't get you anywhere.
Proverbs 31: 17 - She girds herself with strength and strengthens her arms. We have to be physically, mentally and spiritually alert to fight our fears. Physically, fears can make us sick when we need to be strong. Mentally, fears can mess with our heads and not make us as sharp. Spiritually, fears can make us forget about God and His power within us. God is bigger than any fear and will help us get past it if we let Him and ask Him. (1 Samuel 23:16)
Nehemiah 6:9 - strengthen my hands
Isaiah 43:2 reminds us that God can do so much for us if we move the "what if's" out and the "what God can do's" in. Fear is like a baby, when you nurse it, it grows.
Proverbs 31:25 - She will rejoice in time to come. She can rejoice in her future? How? She can rejoice because she knows that fears will come with the future and the unknown but God:
  1. is bigger than any fear. Nothing is too small or big for Him. Psalm 56:11 - What can man do to me?
  2. notices everything.
  3. is unlimited while we are limited.
  4. is in control.
  5. is always there. Isaiah 43:1-5
  6. will help us overcome and will rejoice with us. Zephaniah 3:17 - The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.

We believe that the task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us." - unknown

So, how can we tap into the Power behind us?

  1. Pray - write your fears down and give them to God. Philippians 4:6 - . . . but in everything by prayer and supplications, . . . let your request be made known to God.
  2. Lean on other Godly people to help you - Have them pray with and for you. Have them hold you accountable for holding your fears at bay.
  3. Get into His word - His word reassures us and gives us hope.

Exodus 14:13-14 - . . . Do not be afraid. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord . . .The Lord will fight for you and yous shall hold your peace.

Joshua 1:9 - . . .Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Psalm 27:14 - Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; . . .

Psalm 55:22 - Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

Isaiah 44:8 - Do not fear, nor be afraid; . . . Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; . . .

Isaiah 46:3-4 - . . . Who have been upheld by Me from birth, Who have been carried from the womb: Even to your old age, I am He, And even to gray hairs, I will carry you! I have made and I will bear; Even I will carry and will deliver you.

Jeremiah 31:3 - . . . I have loved you with an everlasting love . . .

John 14:27 - Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you . . . Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid.

Romans 8:35, 37-39 - Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? . . . Yet in all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us . . . nor any create thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God . . .

2 Timothy 1:7 - For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: "Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown!" And he replied: "Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than any light and safer than a known way."

Taken from "The Gate Year" by Louise Haskins

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me and I will listen to you. And you will see Me and find Me, when you search for Me will all your heart.

- Jeremiah 29:11-13


Laura said...

Thanks for quoting my life verse: Jeremiah 29:11. I needed that today.

Ronnica said...

A great book that I just read (as in I finished it yesterday) on worry and fear is Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest by Ed Welch. I highly recommend it.

Shell said...

Hi Becky. Thank you for stopping by my blog today. Glad you enjoyed the tour. There is nothing like a Broadway musical which you know. I hope you do get to see Mary Poppins when you come back next Thanksgiving. Take care.

Pennies In My Pocket said...

:::Stands up and claps joyously:::

This post is AWESOME! Just last night the hubby and his parents were sitting around talking about how each generation worries about what the future holds for their children. When dealing with infertility for over a decade, I often thought, 'hey, this may not be a bad thing...who wants to bring a child into this CRAZY world???' - I used that as a way to calm my fears of not ever having a child, but it is true that I worry about the future TOO much.

We were talking about this subject in my women's Bible study this week. Great topic and fabulous post!


Debbie said...

Hi Becky! Do you want to take us on a tour of Tennessee next week on BATW?? Click on my profile and shoot me an email! Thanks!

EmmaP said...

I couldn't agree with you more. I am a firm believer that "Fear and the holy spirit cannot dwell in the same place". So, we have to live our lives in a way that we are always being filled with the spirit. Additionally, I love the following quote, and will probably put it on my wall. It is simply, "Faith, Not Fear". Of coruse Faith without Works is Dead, so, we gotta do our part, right?

Good post! And thanks for stopping by my blog on your layover from BATW!

Brian and Staci said...

Wow! What a great post! I'm just stopping by to say thanks for visiting me on my spotlight day! It's been such a crazy week. I'm just getting around to spreading the love from the day :o WHICH MEANS...I didn't get to go shopping for your swap stuff yesterday...DOH! Don't give up on me :) This weekend looks to be slightly slower (she says hesitantly!) Have a great weekend!

Melissa Lester said...

What a wonderful lesson you prepared, with so much wisdom and meat! I will definitely come back to this post the next time I am worried and need some encouragment. What a blessing this message must have been to all those college girls!

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