By Jeanne Doyon
Telling someone not to be anxious is like asking them not to breathe.
It is certainly true of me. Worry just seems to be the natural response to anything I fear or lack knowledge about. You might as well have given me the middle name,
Fear, because it’s been such a big part of my life since I can remember. I was a little girl who was afraid of Santa Claus, floral arrangements, cemeteries, and music.
It took me forty years to figure out the roots of those fears. Not that it took away my fear of things, but I began to understand how intrinsic fears are to humanity.
It’s no wonder, then, that the words ‘fear not’ appears 365 times in Scripture. One for every day of the year.
So passages like this one in Philippians begin to be life-verses for people like me. The words and truths roll around in my mind so much that I begin to paraphrase them by heart. My spin on these verses in Philippians goes something like this:
I won’t worry and fret about things; instead, I’ll talk to God about them a lot. Every time I start to worry again, instead of letting it get to me, I’ll bring it to God because He is the one who takes care of everything I need. He knows what the trouble is, and He knows how to fix it.
When I start to worry, I’ll think about all the amazing things He has done for me in the past—I know there are plenty of them. It will help to focus on the ways He has answered prayer and come through for me before.
That’s why the Bible tells about setting up memorial stones; they are markers to help me remember everything that He has done in my life.
When I find myself getting overwhelmed by all the darkness and worries, I think about the things that are true; the good and pure things; the silver lining things; the things I have praised Him for, and I’m thankful for them.
Because I know deep down that He will take care of this stuff just as well as the times He has come through for me in the past. When I do these things, I have God’s peace even when it is hard for others to understand, especially with everything going on around me. Because whatever is going on, He promises to be with me. And if He is with me, I will not be afraid.
What are you afraid of? What do you worry about?
He says, “Fear not. I am with you. I am your peace. I will accomplish everything that concerns you” (Psalm 57:2, Psalm 138:8)
Fear is the opposite of faith, so my prayer is that I can grow stronger in my faith and my trust in Him so that my fear will become less.
Praying for you too.
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Jeanne Doyon enjoys encouraging others to love God’s Word and to draw nearer to the Lover of their souls. She writes, teaches, and is available to speak on a variety of topics. Jeanne is a contributing author to Crosswalk.com, Fighting Fear, Winning the War At Home and Kisses of Sunshine for Women. Her articles appear in Evangel, Live, Proverbs 31 and Living Magazine. She shares her reflections at: Jeannedoyon.com. Contact Jeanne at email@example.com