Many of us recognize that the world is heading into even more evil and violence than ever before. In addition, it seems that natural disasters have also increased. Some people believe that we are entering the time of trouble before Yeshua returns. We are faced with increasing uncertainty and chaos.
In the midst of the current lawlessness, accusations, trials and disasters that abound here on Earth, we can easily lose sight of what is most important. If we focus on the chaos around us, we will magnify the chaos. However, if we focus on Yehovah and His love, protection and provision, we magnify the One who can help us, the One who deserves all our attention. If we get caught up in the chaos that surrounds us, we make a god of it, for our focus determines what or who we worship. Most of us do not mean to make a god out of all this negativity. In fact, we most likely want it to go away. It takes self-discipline to turn our thoughts away from the world and focus on our Heavenly Father.
In a recent conference on Anxiety and Fear, Dr. Natalie Olson explained that fear is a gift from God, but that fearfulness is most certainly not from God. We are given the gift of fear to help our bodies respond correctly to crisis situations as they are occurring, such as fire breaking out in your home, or someone attacking you. However, when we are fearful in the absence of a real current threat, when we are in a state of fear all the time, we have yielded to fearfulness and anxiety. Fearfulness and anxiety are not from Yehovah. Anxiety is rooted in past traumas that have not been healed. When we seek Yehovah, He will heal our soul wounds and free us from anxiety. He will help us to navigate in the uncertainty around us.
When we recognize that fearfulness has gained the upper hand in our lives, it helps to meditate on Scripture that pertains to the kind of threat we face. Below, I have listed some of the issues that I and others have struggled with along with some suggested Scriptures for meditation and declaration. When anxiety arises in us, we combat it with the double-edged sword of His word.
Fearing the future
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to Yehovah and the shalom of Yehovah which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Messiah Yeshua. (Phil 4:6-7)
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound [disciplined] mind. (2 Tim 1:7)
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Is 41:10)
Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air: They do not sow or reap or gather into barns—and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
And why do you worry about clothes? Consider how the lilies of the field grow: They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was adorned like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Therefore, do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles strive after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.
Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own. (Luke 12:22-31)
Fearing our brothers and sisters in Messiah who do not agree with us
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. (James 1:19-20)
So, watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. (Luke 17:13)
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Eph 4:29)
Bear with each other and forgive one another; if any of you has a grievance against someone, forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Col 3:13)
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. (Rom 12:16)
You shall have the same rule for the sojourner and for the native, for I am Yehovah your God. (Lev 24:22)
The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. (Prov 12:18)
When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way, He causes their enemies to make peace with them. (Prov 16:7)
Therefore, let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way. (Rom 14:13)
Fearing the threat of potential suffering (including persecution)
Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Messiah Yeshua will be persecuted, (2 Tim 3:12)
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, (Rom 5:3-4)
For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Messiah you should not only believe in Him but also suffer for His sake, (Phil. 1:29)
I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. (Phil 4:12)
Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later. (Rom 8:18)
There is no denying that the world is full of trouble and sorrow, perhaps now more than ever. However, Yeshua has left us with comforting words. As He was facing imminent arrest, a mockery of a trial, beating, torture and death, Yeshua was concerned not for Himself, but for His followers. We can overcome because He has overcome.
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Fearfulness separates us from Yehovah, who is our provider and protector. Fearfulness separates us from each other. We learn to trust anxiety rather than our Father. Anxiety leads us to mistrust and misunderstand others. Fearfulness limits or even paralyzes us and keeps us inward focused. As we release fearfulness and anxiety, we are free to love and trust Yehovah and others.
Fearfulness separates us from Yehovah, who is our provider and protector. Fearfulness separates us from each other. We learn to trust anxiety rather than our Father. Anxiety leads us to mistrust and misunderstand others. As we release fearfulness and anxiety, we are free to love and trust Yehovah and others.