Having Hope in Times of Fear

Posted by on Apr 23, 2013 in Articles | 2 comments

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”  Psalm 46:1 

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, My God, in Him I will trust.'”  Psalm 91:1- 2

I’m a born worrier.  During my childhood, I worried about my grades, my appearance, my lack of coordination (sprained ankles were a norm for me!  Two left feet would be an understatement!)  After a neighbor’s home burned down, I lived in fear that our house would be next.  The years we were stationed in Germany, I feared a war would break out and we’d be too close to escape the fighting.  I feared becoming deathly ill, getting into a car accident, being kidnapped – you name it, my brain could come up with some way for me to live in fear.  Despite my mother’s reassurance that I didn’t have to be afraid, the fear would creep in and before long, my mind would be filled with images of the terrible things that could happen in whatever situation we found ourselves in.  

 

Even into my adulthood, I found myself struggling with fear.  One miscarriage made me fear losing the next child.  Divorce made me fear abandonment.  Poverty made me fear never having enough.  The list goes on.  I hated living in fear, but you can’t just stop being afraid – can you?

 

One morning after the horrific scenes from September 11th plunged me into another period of fear, I took my coffee cup and my Bible out to the porch.  I sat down, sipped my coffee and asked God to protect our nation.  I prayed for His protection over my family, over our home, over our military.  I got specific and prayed for protection over my soon-to-be husband who was in New York City to help with security.  I prayed for protection over the nuclear power plant that isn’t far from where I lived.  My mind began to wander.  I went from praying to worrying, from going before the Lord in prayer to visualizing my fiancé being killed or the nuke plant being bombed and all of us either dying or becoming ill from the fallout.  My mind went spiraling out of control.  Fear took over and dragged me into a pit of anxiety and despair.

 

“Oh, God!  Please don’t let these things happen!” I cried out.  “Please, Lord!”

 

“Eileen, just stop.  Relax.  Take control of your imagination.  Just stop!” the small voice beckoned.

 

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.  I opened my Bible and found myself staring at II Corinthians 10:5, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”   I looked away for a moment.  “Casting down imaginations…bringing into captivity every thought…”

 

“Stop imagining things.  Let it go.  Take refuge in Me.  Just trust Me and let your thoughts be mine.”

 

The peace of the Lord flooded me.  My mind was still; my fear was gone.  God showed me that most of my fears were imaginary.  Yes, there’s always a chance those things could happen, but why fear something that may or not be a real threat to my life?  I had to let God have control, to surrender my thoughts to Him.

 

Some days, that isn’t easy.  I still find myself slipping into fear, especially when the news is filled with terrorists attacking our country, floods devastating entire homes, earthquakes leveling villages, and so on.  The only way I can stay focused on the Lord during those times is to make sure His Word is always before me.  I have Bible scripture on note cards, and I’ve placed them on my desk, on my nightstand, in the kitchen, in prominent places to remind me that God is in control.

 

He is my dwelling place, my refuge, my God. I remind myself that the same power that parted the red sea, brought water from the rock, took down the walls of Jericho, healed the sick, calmed the sea, fed 5000, turned water into wine and raised Christ from the dead dwells in me. With that kind of power, given to me by the Spirit of Almighty God, what do I have to fear? How can I not live with hope? I takes real effort some days to remember that Truth, but with the Lord God, it is possible to have great hope.  We need only to trust in Him.

2 Comments

  1. Dearest Eileen, I am a Christian Writer who is trying to turn a Fantasy Book for children into “the Plot” which is this “King” is only interested in himself. Anyways, I think I came across this for one very special reason in which “God” sent me to read. I grew up with fear. Now, I am going tomorrow to I.U. Med. University to have a procedure and biopsy of my pancreas. I have some nice people who are taking and staying with me. You could have been talking to me.
    I am so Blessed by your story and verses I must learn in wanting to get an intimate relationship with God. May you have a Blessed Day.

    • Cynthia, thanks for your comment. It blesses me to know that the Lord has spoken to your heart through this post. I pray your procedure is successful and that you feel the Lord’s presence during and after it. Blessings to you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *