Have you ever been there? Believing in your heart that God cares for you, but still experiencing those moments when your mind runs amuck with stressful thoughts and scenes that play out in your mind prompting fear.
Try as you might, you can’t stop the rat wheel of fearful thoughts from spinning in your mind. You know the command to “fear not,” but how?
1) Recognize where the fear originates.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12-13).
So we must put on the armor of God, the tools in your tool belt if you will, to fight against the real enemy.
2) Be alert.
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
3) Our enemy attacks us in our thoughts, so we must take our thoughts captive.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
But practically speaking, how do we do that?
First spend time learning what His word says, and meditating upon it.
4) Stand on key scripture and the promises in His word that refute the lies of the enemy.
Write Scripture on notes and place them where you will see them: the bathroom mirror, dashboard, etc. and when you see them, read them aloud because, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17).
If you are plagued with fear, start with:
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7KJV)
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3 NIV)
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NIV)
5) Pray Scripture back to God. One of the most beneficial prayers you can pray is one that incorporates His word. “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11).
6) Recognize those fearful thoughts are not your thoughts but come to you from the enemy. Our emotions are the outward manifestations of the thoughts we believe. So when we feel anxious, it’s because we’ve been believing thoughts that make us feel anxious. So instead of acting on our feelings, speak out against the thoughts that agree with those feelings. Refute them and speak back to them.
For example, if you start feeling anxious, say something out loud like, “No! I will not be afraid! I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. God says to cast all my cares on Him because HE cares for me. Instead of being afraid, I will put my trust in God.” If you do this enough, your feelings will begin to line up with what you are speaking.
Try this instead and let me know how much better you feel because I guarantee you will!
Because of Him, Hope Prevails!
Dr. Michelle Bengtson (PhD, Nova Southeastern University) is an international speaker, and the author of best-selling “Hope Prevails: Insights From a Doctor’s Personal Journey Through Depression” and the newly released companion “Hope Prevails Bible Study.” She has been a neuropsychologist for more than twenty years. She is in private practice in Southlake, Texas where she evaluates, diagnoses, and treats children and adults with a variety of medical and mental health disorders. She knows pain and despair firsthand and combines her professional expertise and personal experience with her faith to address issues surrounding medical and mental disorders, both for those who suffer and for those who care for them. She offers sound practical tools, affirms worth, and encourages faith. Dr. Bengtson offers hope as a key to unlock joy and relief—even in the middle of the storm. She and her husband of 30 years have two teenage sons, and reside in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. She blogs regularly on her own site: http://www.DrMichelleBengtson.com