“You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day.” ~Psalm 91:5 (ESV)
My surgery had gone without a hitch. The mass my doctor was so worried about was benign. You’d think that would quiet all my concerns. But new ones darkened my slumber. I awoke to a fierce struggle in my mind.
I had a supervisor who once said, “If the devil can’t steal your victory he’ll try to steal your joy.” I’ve found his words to be true.
Two phone conversations and a YouTube video, the week following surgery, had sown seeds of doubt about my decision to keep my healthy organs. My doubts sprouted into suffocating fear during my sleep. The video had popped up, ironically, after I’d finished watching one on prayer. In it, Angelina Jolie told how her doctor had begged her, with tears, to remove her ovaries. In my sleep, these women’s fears became my own. Had I been wrong to keep my healthy ovary?
What types of fear threaten your peace? With all that is going on in our world, there are plenty to choose from. Reason wasn’t enough to conquer mine. Let me explain how God rescued me and how to quiet your own unease.
Three R’s to Remove Fear:
- Recognize the source. “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Tim. 1:7ESV).
My doubt had to be a dart. Even in my sleep I recognized its destructive nature. What could I do about my decision now? Surgery was over.
Read more about how to recognize DARTS here.
- Remember God’s character. “Which one of you, if his son asks him for…a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matt. 7:9-11 ESV).
I’d asked God to guide me as I researched and prayed about my decision before my surgery. His leading had been consistent. Was I to believe that God had intentionally withheld the information I needed until it was too late? This doubt slandered God’s very nature.
- Refresh your faith.
Faith—not reason—is the antidote to fear. Click To TweetFaith comes from hearing the word of Christ (see Rom. 10:17). In the wilderness, Israel had to gather fresh manna every morning. Leftovers rotted overnight. Our faith also needs daily renewal.
That morning God led me to the first chapter of Joshua. “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” (Josh. 1:9 NIV). I’d never noticed the connection between the first and second part of this verse before. This was a command!
God had appointed Joshua to lead Israel into the Promised Land. How could he help his brothers enter God’s rest if fear and discouragement held him hostage?
God has commissioned us to be His ambassadors and shine as lights in a dark world. How can we shine the light of Jesus when our hearts are clouded with worry? How can we show people the Prince of Peace if anxiety rules us?
While I’ve often wished for a dial to modulate my emotions—dial up courage, joy, or hope as needed—God’s way is higher. He’d rather me be strong in Him than feel strong in myself. It's better to be strong in the Lord than feel strong in myself. Click To Tweet
God supplies what we need to obey His commands. Through Him, we can be strong and courageous. We need not live with fear and discouragement.
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Debbie W. Wilson
You might enjoy my article that’s over at crosswalk.com: Do You Have to Forgive and Forget to Get Over the Pain?
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