I turned off the news and headed to the shower for a tearful “come to Jesus” moment. Maybe you've had a “moment” too.
I have had to remind myself often this week that God is with us. God is with me. He is with you too. He was with me in my yesterday’s. He is beside me today. And He is already at my tomorrow’s. He hasn’t gone anywhere, and promises He never will (Hebrews 13:8).
His kingdom is not in trouble. And I am not in trouble. As a believer in Christ, I am as secure in His grip today as I was five years ago, and will be five months from now.
When the ebbs and flows of our circumstances tell my heart to fear, I must turn to Love. Perfect Love who is the person of Jesus Christ. The only One that can cast out our fears, especially those unfounded (1 John 4:8). Fear that says Jesus is in one outcome and not in another. Fear that leads me to believe His goodness will be withheld from me, or His hand of favor removed from me. Fear that makes me think I am in trouble or in jeopardy of being punished.
These are lies rooted in fear-based theology. Lies that took root in the harsh upbringing of my childhood. In circumstances that taught me to fear. And once in awhile they rear their ugly heads momentarily in present day because they are part of a deeply ingrained coping strategy learned in a state of chaos and trauma.
Personally, fear and unknowns came to be associated with pain and punishment. It produced with it an overwhelming sick feeling in my body. It caused me to panic internally.
Prayerfully you aren’t wired like that. Even still, you may have had childhood experiences that taught you to fear for other reasons. Fear that, though seemingly unrelated, still causes you moments of anxiety today. You see, our past and our present are interconnected in a spider web kind of way within the intricacies of our brain. Threads of similarities run between past and present even though present day circumstances look nothing like our distant memories, at least on the surface.
Fear tends to be rooted not in things present, but in things past. In circumstances that taught us to fear when we were young. In painful events we didn’t have the maturity, knowledge and understanding to process back then. Wounds that laid the groundwork for misinterpretation, which led us to believe lies about God, ourselves and the world around us, both then and now.
We might know the truth with our head, but if we are being honest, in those moments when we give way to fear, it doesn’t feel true in our hearts. Such lies tend to shape how we view the world today. It is like looking through a pair of glasses with clouded lenses smeared with any mixture of fear and anxiety, angst and uncertainty. But the truth is, most of the the time, those things are rooted in our faulty theology.
If we ever hope to be free from those smudged lenses and have the ability to see things clearly and view things rightly — from God’s perspective — we have to be willing to look past our present day circumstances and ask God where the lies took root, what we came to believe, and what our heart needs to know from Him to walk in truth.
When I did that for myself, I discovered the memory my fear was rooted in, and the lie I came to believe: fear and unknowns equal pain and punishment. Then the Lord whispered these truths to my heart...
"I AM good even when your circumstances look or feel bad. I have not changed. Evil is a necessary part of the story of redemption. You cannot know deliverance from something if you have never experienced the depth of it. You cannot know freedom unless you’ve been bound. You cannot know rescue if you’ve never been held captive. You cannot learn to exercise your faith if you never know fear. Faith without fear is futility.
I am for you, My child. I am for you. I am with you. I am faithful. Call on Me when twinges of panic set in, and preach the gospel to yourself often. Remind yourself of truth. Retrain your brain to think on good things. Do not give the devil a foothold. Put him in his place, in Jesus’ name."
*This post includes a taste of prayer therapy. God Himself is the Wonderful Counselor, the only One that can do the wondrous, the miraculous, in the hearts of His children. He knows all and sees all and He alone has the power to bring those things to light for us. To learn more, visit the PRAYER THERAPY tab on my website, pamelamattox.com.