YouVersion, one of the world’s most popular Bible apps, has been downloaded 545 million times worldwide.
And it just released its most popular verse for 2022, and it may be a sign of the times we live in as it deals with fear.
“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.” (Isaiah 41:10
The world is being shaken and there are a lot of things to fear.
And if this verse in Isaiah is any indication, many people are struggling with fear.
So how do you deal with it, well, we must cut it at its root? You must first deal with fear’s evil first-cousin worry.
If you are worrying about little things, then you are creating the perfect seed-bed for fear to grow.
Your first step in dealing with fear starts by tackling its underlying cause, worry, and anxiety.
There are things you can do:
Make sure it is real
When talking about worry, Jesus made an interesting statement. He said:
34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34 NASV)
It is intriguing how Jesus phrased this because at other times the Lord said that God will provide. But Christ didn’t say that here, instead, He said that tomorrow will take care of itself.
He was simply telling us that most worries are baseless, and that in the process of time, they will resolve on their own. Tomorrow will take care of them.
In a study several years back, researchers at Penn University asked a group of 29 chronic worriers to write down the things they were worrying about over one month. They then followed up on these people weeks later to find out what happened with their worries.
They discovered that 91% of the things which these people worried about never came to pass. In few instances, it was 100%
Another study came to a similar conclusion and reported that 85% of the things that people in its test group worried about, never happened. And of the 15% that did, 79% of them were overexaggerated and easier to deal with than expected.
Most of what we worry about is ‘fake worry’. Let tomorrow take care of them.
Can you change it
The second thing that you need to ask yourself is if you can change it. Not only are many of our worries baseless, but we can end up worrying about things that we have no control over.
In these instances, the worry is absolutely useless. It will accomplish nothing.
When we find ourselves worrying about things that we can’t control, we need to as the Apostle Paul writes, ‘take every thought captive’.
It is time to start controlling your thought life.
I know of one person, who found himself struggling in this area, and he purposefully decided to quit social media. The impact was dramatic.
Confess your worries to others
Another way of dealing with your worries and fears is by exposing them and telling others about your struggles.
There is an old saying that we are only as sick as our biggest secrets, well it is no more true than when it comes to the things we worry about and fear.
James, the brother of Jesus, writes:
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed…. (James 5:16)
In this passage, he encourages us to confess our faults to other people. Though the Greek word, paraptoma, translated as faults in this passage, can include sins it is much broader than that and refers generally to ‘failings in our life.’ If James was just thinking of just sin, there are much better Greek words to use.
In other words, he was referring to the things that we struggle with, such as worry and fear. James encourages us to tell others about what we are worrying about and this combined with prayer can bring healing.
When we are struggling with intense worry and fear, one of the things people tend to do is hide. We want to avoid others.
Yet, one of the keys to dealing with it is by telling others. Confessing your worry and fear will help break their control over you.
Depending on how serious it is, you may need to seek out a counselor.
Cast your burden on God
Throughout the Bible, we are encouraged to throw our burdens on God.
Cast your burden on the Lord,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:21 ESV)
In this passage, the Psalmist is not talking about physical burdens but our emotional ones.
We can also read this verse, and miss the key point. This is a purposeful and deliberate act.
In prayer, we must tell God what you are worrying about and then in act of faith name this specific thing and tell God I am giving it to You. I am casting this burden and this weight on You.
And I will use an unrelated verse in Romans to explain the process we will often go through in relation to this.
In Romans 12:1, we are told to make ourselves a living sacrifice to God. One of the big problems with a living sacrifice is that it wants to crawl off the altar.
And there will be times, you will grab that burden back and start carrying it again. This will show up as the worry and fear start to creep back in.
When that happens, you must purposefully give it back to God and keep repeating this process until you have firmly and finally put it in God’s hands.
As that old saying goes, we must ‘wash, rinse, and repeat‘.
READ: Most popular Bible verse of 2022 revealed AND 85 Percent of What We Worry About Never Happens AND Most things you worry about will never actually happen: AND Exposing Worry’s Deceit: Percentage of Untrue Worries in Generalized Anxiety Disorder Treatment: Science Direct