Fear is just the worst. I’m not talking about the type of fear that comes over us when we watch a scary movie or hear a noise in the night, I’m talking about that great and powerful, “unknown.” Think about it, we are all scared by what we don’t know. Ever been at a party and you knew no one? It’s the pit in your stomach when you were in a class and the teacher said to choose a partner, but you have never spoken to a soul in that room. You kinda just have to go with the guy next to you, but if you have the luck like I do, you get partnered with the guy who blows his cigarette smoke into his backpack. That’s a true story by the way. I have never been more speechless than that moment. Anyways, fear of the unknown is extremely unsettling. It’s the reason why you rarely see the shark in Jaws, the picture you create in your mind will always be scarier than when you actually come face to face with it (though sharks are all kinda freaky to me). I recently dealt with this amped up fear of the unknown this past week, and came face to face with some heavy lies.
I want to talk about fear today, but more accurately, how fear truly stinks.
At this point, the secret is out. My wife and I have decided to move from Greensboro to Orlando, Florida! You can check out a vlog talking specifically about that here. With that, Danielle got a job for when we move down. The thing is, at this point, I am still searching. Which, if you have read my blogs before, is terrifying. I like plans, I like dreaming big, but I like some sense of security in dreaming. I have dealt with anxiety for most of my life, it has led me to overanalyze and deal with really low moments, and that really is the worst. So, in this excitement of moving, there is a looming fear of the unknown overhead. In a day of searching for jobs, there was an interview I had where I just felt an overwhelming sense of I am not good enough for this. It would be an amazing opportunity, but it’s unknown territory, and I had an anxiety attack.
Thankfully, I have a really encouraging wife who reminded me that these fears come from Satan, and they are not based in truth. The big idea that I want to get across today is the fact that fear stinks, so don’t listen to it. Don’t let the fear of the unknown hold you back from the places God wants to bring you. Here’s a couple of big things to be reminded of when you deal with fear.
The devil is a damned liar.
Satan is the father of lies. Nothing he says holds any truth or power, unless you listen to the lies. The devil tried to be better than God, and he fell. Nothing he says will ever be stronger than the love of God over your life. I talked recently about knowing your worth, God sent his son to defeat death, so the devil has no chance in this war. The battles may be tough, but the won has already been won by the blood of the lamb. Fear is just a lie about the unknown. Notice how we always make the unknown into a beast that is only going to hurt us, when the truth is, the unknown is an opportunity for growth and a chance to step into the door God has been waiting to open for you. Don’t listen to a liar who has no basis in the truth. You were made with a purpose, and while you may not know what it is or the direction you are headed, don’t let fear keep you complacent from moving forward.
Trust in a sovereign King.
My favorite Disney animated movie is Robin Hood. I love it because Robin Hood continually fights an unjust king, and in the end, the true, good, king returns to set things right once again. Our God is a just king, he is sovereign in every moment. Trust that he is doing a good work. While it may seem like nothing is going right, or you just can’t seem to gain any traction forward, keep fighting for that trust. We need to remember while it seems hard in the moment, God has a bigger and better plan in front of us. One of my favorite verses to remember when I am facing the fears of the unknown is John 16:33. Jesus says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” This is so very important for each of us to hold onto. The crazy part about this verse, is that he says it to his disciples, and they faced extreme fear. To be a Christian was to be a criminal. Christians faced the coliseum, which I’ve visited and you get a sense for how terrifying this was, where they would be fed to lions. Emperor Nero would put Christians on pillars and set them on fire, as a way to light up the streets at night. I pray that none of us ever face that extreme persecution for the Christ we follow after. That was the reality for the people that Jesus spoke this verse to, they didn’t realize it then, but each of them would die for their savior.
I know you may be facing real fear in your life, I don’t want to downgrade what you are walking through, but remember that God has overcome anything this world throws at you. Not even death has the power against our sovereign king. Cling to your king with a deep trust that he has won the war.
My panic attack this past week was very real, but I am so thankful that I follow after a God that loves me and has a plan for my life. I need to stop listening to the great liar and begin running after the sovereign king. I think you may need to remind yourself of this same truth in what you may be facing. You do not have to be a slave to fear any longer, you are a child of the king.
Fear stinks, don’t let it rule over you.
About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can tweet memes at him on Twitter @joshua_thomas__ or follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__