Have you ever been afraid?
Have you ever been in a scary situation?
Has your heart ever dropped as every frightening possibility raced through your mind in a moment of fear?
What do you do in those moments? What do you do in those moments where you realize:
"Oh heaven's above...this isn't a good situation...I am afraid."?
Whether it is yelling at stupid characters in a thriller movie, watching other cars on the road be reckless, or receiving awful news...fear shakes us up. Fear drives us crazy. Fear makes us the worst versions of ourselves. My mother always told me:
Fear is FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL.
Okay. I get that. But what if it isn't false? What if something really scary is happening right in front of me!? (Look, there I go with fearful thoughts, HA!).
I am proving my own point. Have you ever noticed that fear comes first?
IE: My husband has a job that requires him to be out very early in the morning. As soon as he leaves at the crack of dawn, and I am alone, I suddenly have super-sonic hearing and can suddenly hear EVERY noise within my 10 mile radius.
WHY DOES THAT HAPPEN?!
Anyways, once I am alone, I am victim to my own thoughts. If I hear so much as a creak in the house my first, FIRST, thought is "Oh no. It is a murderer. In my house. And they are going to walk in here and kill me any minute." *Cue my over-dramatic thoughts about where to hide, how I can use my lamp as a weapon, etc. *
Hopefully I am not alone in admitting that fear is usually the first thing to creep into my mind as soon as I am faced with something "scary." One morning, while wide awake listening to every noise in my house and planning a Spy Kids- style escape, I had a light-bulb moment. This wasn't just a moment of me turning on my bedside lamp (because we all know that once the light is on, nothing is as scary). This was a moment where I felt the conviction of my dear friend, the Holy Spirit, asking me to reconsider my reactions. It hit me!
"Why does fear come first, Chrisanna?" -He [Holy Spirit] said.
Think about it. Why does fear come first?
Truth is, sometimes we can't help it. Sometimes life straight up spooks us and we feel afraid, right away. Fear comes first because we live in a sinful world. We live in a world tainted by the enemy who steals our faith and destroys our peace. We live in a world where thrills and hysteria are celebrated. We live in a world where Satan knows our weaknesses and enjoys taunting us with what scares us most. We live in a world where being afraid is normal.
So that's why fear comes first and, yes, fear just does come first sometimes. But when we let it live there, as the first and foremost thing in our minds...that's when we are in trouble. When fear IS first. When we dwell on fear, it deepens. When fearful thoughts rule our minds, we don't function too well...
-Fear makes us irrational
-Fear makes us freak out!
-Fear lies to us.
-Fear exaggerates, it makes things out to be way worse than they really are.
Why does such an awful thing that does so many awful things to us take the #1 spot in our thoughts? Here's the thing. It doesn't have to.
We don't have to be afraid.
The Bible tells us that Perfect Love casts out fear. Meet Perfect Love.....
Jesus faced a lot of scary things during His time on Earth. He understands our fears, our doubts, our worries. He knows how horrible fear is, and how it can ruin our minds.
That's why He told us to take heart, to not worry because He has overcome the world. Fear has no say when Jesus is in charge. Fear is of the devil. God does not inflict fear upon us to scare us into something or cripple us from doing what we need to do. No. Fear comes from the enemy, that's why he is called "The Father of Lies."
But peace....peace comes from the Lord. Jesus is called the Prince of Peace. He is a Prince of Peace because of how He reacted to everything we would consider scary. When He was persecuted, He was calm. When He was facing death, He prayed. When He was in a storm, He walked with confidence. When He was tempted in the wilderness, He repeated scripture. Jesus did not let fear hinder Him from ANYTHING, He never let fear creep into His thoughts.
"Ain't nobody got time for that!"....is probably what Jesus said about being afraid.
Jesus is Perfect Love. He died on the cross to forgive us of our sins, and even a cross and death couldn't hold Him down! He rose from the grave with victory, confidence, and joy! Jesus LOVES you. He doesn't want fear to be number one in your mind. Jesus wants you to trust Him, to follow Him, and to know that He has your back.
How we react to things that scare us is more important than the scary thing itself! My mother also told me that we have TWO options in difficult times. We can either release our faith, or release our fears.
AKA: tell yourself about How God has always protected you, loves you, and is trustworthy. OR, tell yourself all of the awful things you predict will happen and keep reminding yourself that you are afraid.
Yeah, I am guilty of the second one ^
But I WANT to release my faith, not my fears.
I know that's what JC wants for me too. (JC = Jesus Christ). The next time fear comes first, remember what Jesus did. He cast out fear from your life, proclaiming that it has no place! Jesus Himself prayed, recited scripture, and remained calm in the face of fear. If we're supposed to be Christ-like, then we can certainly do those things too.
Fear might come first, but be the first one to tell it to "be gone," because you are covered in perfect love.
When fear comes first, Jesus comes fast.