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Alan Lester | Gauteng, South Africa
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327 Hilda Ave
Hatfield
Pretoria
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Bronkhorstspruit
1020
South Africa
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Fear
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2020
Posted by: GraceUnlimited | more..
660+ views | 20+ clicks
I think we can all admit that life is pretty intense, especially if you live in South Africa. It is safe to say that you know what fear feels like. You have probably experienced some fearful moments in your life, maybe even a near-death experience. Fear is usually a very rational response to a dangerous situation, such as pulling your hand away from a hot surface, or hitting the brakes when a car swerves into your lane. In these moments, fear is logical. But it also has some very real physical consequences that come with it. For me, fear often results in insomnia, stress, vivid nightmares or sleep paralysis.

At these times, it is easy for fear to become something that consumes me and drives my thoughts and actions. It leads me to believe that I need to take charge of the situation right now. In these moments, I know that my fear is becoming sinful and that I need to start pointing my thoughts back to God’s sovereignty. For me, fear can quickly change from a logical reaction to a sinful, erratic and mind-numbing response. It is so easy to not think on truth in fearful moments, especially after waking up from a very real feeling nightmare. Yet even in these moments, I need to remind myself that God’s goodness and power have not ceased to exist. He is still there.

Because fear can easily become overwhelming, it has become essential for me to fight it whenever I feel it beginning to bubble up. One way I deal with fear is by reading a specific chapter of the Bible. Some of my favourite passages are Psalm 27, 62, Matthew 6, and 1 Peter 5. I also listen to a lot music that echoes the truth in these passages (find them here). These passages are encouraging because they are written by people who are in very fearful and often life threatening situations. In spite of this, they remind themselves to trust God. The Bible beautifully puts on display the responses of these people, people who are under immense pressure yet are quick to praise God.

This forces me to speak truth to myself. This is not easy, because fear often clouds my hope. Truths I often tell myself will sound something like, “Even if this happens, God is still merciful and gracious. God has a plan, and He will accomplish that plan. God cares for me, and He will not allow anything to happen to me that is not for my good and His glory. Even if this happens, God will give me the grace to carry on living in that grace.”. This is often a battle for me, fighting against overwhelming fear with truth.

When I am struggling with fear, it also really helps for me to take myself focus off of that single moment, and look at the bigger picture. I often need to remind myself that this moment is not all there is. Even though painful things do happen, this present life is only a tiny blimp in the timeline of God’s plan. I need to remember that there is a new heaven and earth coming and that they will be filled with the glory of God for all eternity. A reality is coming (soon!) where we will be totally free from pain and fear. While I admit that this life is hard and filled with fearful moments, I also acknowledge that God is still sovereign and that there is a bigger plan in motion.

Do these truths totally remove my fear? No. Fear is something that I will probably struggle with my whole life. This is just the reality, especially living in South Africa. I might have a gun pointed in my face again, I might experience a hijacking, I very likely experience the death of a loved one again. These realities are highly possible. But do the truths of God’s sovereignty and love give me real hope, joy and courage? Absolutely!

Written by Chyreece Lester

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