April 14, 2010

Phantom Fear

Written by Boyd Bailey

Phantom Fear…“At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, not a man was there…” 2 Kings 7:5

It is easy to build a case in our minds on why we need to be afraid of a situation or a person. But God is bigger than our fears. He does not want us to be fear driven. This is not healthy for us, or those around us. We can replace fear with faith and recognize that He is at work. Sometimes what we create in our minds are just caricatures of fear.

Is the object of your fear real? Maybe what was a legitimate fear in the past is no longer something to be feared. Yes, before it was very real, but today it is gone. There is no need to fret or lose sleep over the matter. It is a dead issue. It may have been related to finances. Fear gripped your heart as you worried about having enough. But God has provided in ways you never dreamed. You are more than taken care of by Him.

Do not let money dupe you into embracing the false fear of needing just a little bit more. You can rest in God and trust him with your finances. Or, your struggle may be related to a harmful relationship from the past. You fear their reprisal toward you and your children. They have threatened you in the past and you know their capabilities.

However, time has passed and they have really changed. There is no need to fear. God has sincerely changed their hearts. A bold move on your part would be to reach out to them. They may be in a failed state of health and are more teachable than you have ever seen them. Forgive them and show them the love of Christ. Turn your fear into forgiveness.

What you see are remnants of fear, but they are not for real. Don’t be deceived. The phantom fears that haunt you can be exposed. Shed the light of God’s Word and Christ’s confidence on them and they quickly evaporate. Pull back the curtain of fear and it’s gone.

We tend to fill in the unknown with fear and negativity. But you can choose, by faith, to fill in the unknown with peace and trust in God. Most circumstances are out of your control, but nothing sneaks up on God. He has it under control. The storm may be raging around you, however, focus on the captain of the ship–Jesus–rather than the hostile waves slapping against the sides of the boat. Dismiss fears and embrace Christ’s comfort.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4).

How can I recognize and dismiss false fears? Who do I need to forgive and not fear?

Related Readings: Exodus 20:20; Job 39:22; John 12:42; Romans 8:15

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