Fear and anxiety work as hooks, lures, and traps. The Devil uses these emotions as bait to entangle and paralyze men. To avoid this snare, we must know God… His character, Power, and Love. In knowing our Father intimately, we are able to trust Him with confidence. Resting in His power and grace stirs hope within us, even in our darkest hours.
“Fear (anxiety) of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” Proverbs 29:25
Snare: bait/a hook/trap/lure
It is not a sin to be fearful or anxious. Fear is a natural human emotion. However, how we react to these emotions can lead to sin. For example, should we come face to face with a mugger who threatens our well-being, fear is an emotion that will naturally occur. God provided this emotion to warn us of danger. Sin occurs if this fear continues into our future and produces anger, unforgiveness, doubt in God’s love, an inability to trust, self-protection, and bitterness.
Overcoming fear and anxiety happens when we chose to trust God. You may ask, how can I trust God when He allowed this trial, abuse, or injustice to occur? The answer is simple. We trust God because He has our best interests at heart and because He loves us beyond our comprehension. When doubts and questions arise, we must go to the Word. The Bible says that God cannot lie and that He is LOVE.
“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? Numbers 23:19 (NKJV)
“The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: ‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore, with lovingkindness I have drawn you.’ “ Jeremiah 31:3 (NKJV)
Jesus told us that our time on earth would include persecution and trials. They are the Potter’s tools used to mold us into the image of Christ. Our spiritual race is not an easy one. It takes endurance. We can endure the pressures of this world by keeping our focus on Jesus and our eternal home. We must be heavenly minded while we live in this world.
“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.” John 16:33 (NIV)
“And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”
1 Peter 5:10 (NIV)
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV)
When you cross paths with a friend, fellow Christian, or non-believer experiencing adversity consider the prayer you offer up on their behalf. The trial they are experiencing is not necessarily evil. Most likely, it’s a blessing. God has a plan for each one of us and He knows the best way to equip us for His purpose. The refining fire of God can be painful, but it brings the dross of sin to the surface so that our Creator can remove it. In so doing, we become stronger and more usable.
Pray for those in the fire, carry the burden that is too heavy for the weary, love the poor and needy, and trust God in all circumstances. Pray that fear does not snare those experiencing hardship. He will test us but also equip us to overcome obstacles. God sees the whole picture and we see just a part. God has all the puzzle pieces and we do not. Praise Him for His grace and mercy for by faith, we know He is making a way for all of us. We don’t always have to understand or know the answers to all of our questions. We have to stand on the ROCK and trust. Faith
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.” Isaiah 43:2 (NKJV)
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:17 (NIV)
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)