One of the great enemies of abundant life is the foe named fear. If the year 2020 has taught us anything about humanity, it’s that fear can bring the worst out of people. But, what if we could fight fear? What if we could rise above the enemy of our soul, and live a life where fear doesn’t have negative power over our mind, will, and emotions?
At our home, we have a long staircase leading down into our garage. When our kiddos were younger, they didn’t like going down into the garage by themselves. Part of their fear was probably due to the fact that every time one of them would head down into the ‘dungeon’ by themselves, one of their loving siblings would reward their courage by purposely turning the garage lights off, leaving the victim alone in the dark. But something significant began to take place each new time one of the kids had the lights turned off on them. The more the lights went out, the more familiar they became with where the light switch was located. They knew, as long as they could get the lights on, they were going to be okay. In other words, the ‘fear of the garage’ could only affect them as long as it was dark.
How do we get the lights on in our lives when our situations and circumstances leave us feeling alone, in the dark, and full of fear?
My go-to for life’s difficult questions will always be the Bible. Check out this Biblical perspective on fear:
Philippians 4.6-7- Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Fears Favorite Game
Wow! Consider the first thought of this passage and its massive implications. Don’t be anxious about anything. It’s my persuasion that when the Bible says, “don’t be anxious about anything,” it’s because we are designed to live completely free from anxiety and fear…no matter what the situation may be. There is a peace that transcends all understanding that will guard our hearts and minds in every circumstance, and it is available to us.
Now, if you are like me, it’s one thing to understand that a fear-free life is available, but it’s another thing altogether, to step into a fear-free life.
Fear is a liar. When we allow fear to gain influence in our lives, it goes to work to negatively impact our perspective. This is one of the favorite mind games fear likes to play. Fear makes things seem worse than they are, bigger than it is, and more difficult than it has to be. In reality, it may be a small thing, but when you introduce fear into the mix, it quickly becomes a giant in our mind.
Very often, our “main problem isn’t the problem; our main problem is our perspective on our problem,” said Jack Sparrow. CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow.
How Do I Fight Fear?
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving…
Thanksgiving is one of the greatest weapons we have in the fight against fear. In the same way that fear goes to work to negatively impact our perspective, thanksgiving goes to work to positively impact our perspective.
Fear works to distort our focus. It wants to steal our hope. When fear comes on the scene, we become more focused on what we don’t have, rather than what we do have…we find ourselves stuck on what isn’t going well, rather than what is. Eventually, if left unchecked, fear will take us to a place of hopelessness where we become blind to the good in life.
A thankful life is an abundant life.
A thankful heart is a hope-filled heart.
Thanksgiving holds on to the good in life, even when it is bad. There is nothing that can lift our hearts out of a fearful place, like finding something to be thankful for, even if it seems small! Sometimes you might have to dig for it, but I promise there is something in your life to be thankful for!
Thankfulness quickly creates positive momentum.
When you find just one thing to be thankful for, you find your one-way ticket out of fear! That one small thing you may have had to work to discover in the beginning becomes a catalyst, that opens our eyes to many more things in our life to give God thanks for!
What we need most in a season where we find ourselves overwhelmed by fear is a momentum shift. Something to turn the tide of fear that is set out to derail our destiny. Thanksgiving is the catalyst. Give it a try.