Recently some friends and I were having lunch and I was asked about a mutual friend who had suffered for years from depression. She had seen doctors, had light therapy during the winter months, and when I say "suffered" with depression, I mean that literally; she suffered. And my answer surprised me; I said, "She is doing great. Actually, she wasn't depressed so much as she was afraid." I was surprised to hear myself say that because until that moment, I didn't even realize that it was what I had thought for years, but never verbalized it.
Fear is a terrible thing. It robs us of our peace, it sends cold chills down our spine, it weakens us physically and spiritually, is often mistaken for depression and becomes a tool in our enemies' hand to destroy us. Depression is a terrible thing, too, and many, many people suffer in silence. This post is in no way about that debilitating disease. But friend, fear and depression are close kin, and close kin stick together and fight the same fight. One feeds off the other.
Maybe you were raised in a home where fear was the "norm". I call it "growing up under an umbrella of fear." It is an atmosphere in the home that is created by the care givers who are themselves afraid and those fears are "caught" by their children. Without realizing it parents can create a lifestyle of fear with little things like, "Oh, what if Dad looses his job, how will we make it?" "What if I get sick, what will you do?" And then there is the fear of making a mistake, falling down, getting caught, being a disappointment, and our fear list grows longer as we get older.
I have no degree in "fearology", but I have sure logged some college hours in the subject, and one thing I have discovered is this; Satan will use my fearful nature to detour my walk with God more than any other thing in my life. And since there are so many things in our world to legitimately be afraid of, how do we distinguish the "healthy" fear from the debilitating fear?
Healthy fear locks the car doors at night, makes sure the doors and windows are locked, wears our seat belt, doesn't text and drive, uses caution, but not in a fearful way. Fear that is akin to depression is a sense of doom and gloom, waiting for the other shoe to fall, a strong sense of dread for the future, seeing life from a negative point of view.
So ladies, how do we fight fear? With fear. The Bible says in;
Proverbs 9:10; The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
Proverbs 10;27; Fear of the Lord prolongs our days.
Proverbs 14:26; The fear of the Lord gives us confidence.
Proverbs 14:27; The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life.
Proverbs 19:23: The fear of the Lord tends to life.
When you and I have the proper "fear" of the Lord, we won't have to fear anything else. To "fear" the Lord means to simply hold Him in deepest respect and admiration. It means to see Him as our Father and to approach Him with honor and in a way that is be-fitting of His Divine holiness. And Moms who have a healthy fear of the Lord influence their children to fear Him, to respect Him with deep honor and reverence.
But what about those times when we just can't help it; we're scared. We're scared of the doctor's report, we're scared about our job or our husband's job, we scared our kids are making poor choices, we're scared about our aging parents, we're scared about our marriage: how do we stop this fear that rises up into our chests and threatens to suffocate us, makes our heart race and we feel sick in the very pit of our stomach?
There are 365 "fear nots" in the Bible. One "fear not" for each day of the year. And here is one of my favorites:
"Fear not, I am with you, be not dismayed, I am Your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, yes, I will hold you with My right hand of righteousness."
Today, in prayer, say, "Lord, I am afraid that ______________________ will happen." And then say to Him, "But I will fear not because You are with me. I will not loose courage, (be dismayed) because You are my God. I am trusting You to strengthen me, help me, and hold me with Your right hand because You have said You will." Oh dear sister in Christ, fear cannot stand in the middle of that kind of faith, in that kind of power, because God's word prayed back to Him in faith makes demons tremble and releases the supernatural power of God into your fearful situation and things change; God's power brings change.
Choose today to fear Him and no one and nothing else. Fight those fears with.......fear!
"Don't be afraid of "sudden fear", neither of the desolation of the wicked when it comes; for the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep your foot from being taken."