3 Steps to Overcome Fear
"The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:5b-7 (NIV)
When my kids were younger and had a bad dream, they always knew they could find safety and security from their fears by calling me near.
Sometimes I’d make my way to their room and climb in with them. But more times than not, they wanted to sleep right beside my bed. Something about mommy and daddy being "near" quieted their souls and calmed their hearts.
How like our Heavenly Father when we get entangled in fear as well.
Today’s Scripture includes a popular verse people like to quote about fear, found in Philippians 4:6-7, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
I love this verse. I’ve taught my kids this verse. And as I’ve spent time studying it, I’ve noticed something really interesting. There are four very powerful words that come right before the, "Do not be anxious" part.
Because the verse right before it (Philippians 4:5) ends with, "The Lord is near." And because the Lord is near, we don’t have to be anxious. We have the assurance of His soothing presence.
When I put this verse in context and see how God promises to be with me and those I love, this verse takes on a whole new meaning for me.
It’s His presence plus His promise that chases away our anxious thoughts.
And to truly understand that, we must also look at how the next verse (Philippians 4:8) instructs us, "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things." (NIV)
In other words, God instructs us to "park our minds" on that which is true and right and worthy of praise. But, oh how hard this can be sometimes.
Because just like my kids, I can have such a runaway mind where I focus on my fears and blow them way out of proportion. So this "park your mind" concept has been huge for me and as my kids have grown, I’ve consciously made an effort to teach them to park their minds on God’s truth as well.
The next time you find yourself or your child being pulled into fear, try these three steps:
1. Pray Honestly — Encourage your child to honestly tell God what they’re afraid of and ask Him to help them not live in that fear. Pray for His protection and assurance.
2. Read God’s Truths — Be intentional about helping your child find the courage they need by showing them Scriptures about overcoming fear. Tuck God’s Truth into their heart and arm them with the most powerful tool available — His Word!
3. Verbalize Trust in Him — Help your child quote the Scriptures they’ve memorized on dealing with fear. Encourage them to quote the verse slowly and intentionally, to claim the truths contained within, and to verbalize their belief in God out loud.
Yes, I’m convinced the more we fill our minds with God’s Word, the more crowded out our fears will become.
Dear Lord, thank You for the promise that You are near. I’m so grateful that my kids and I can give all of our fears over to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Genesis 28:15a, "I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go." (NIV)
Isaiah 41:13, "For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." (NIV)
Help a child discover that God is always with them as they overcome new or scary circumstances with Lysa’s children’s book, It Will Be Okay: Trusting God Through Fear and Change. Included in the book are 10 powerful Scriptures to memorize with a child as you navigate their fears together! Click here to purchase your copy for a special, limited time price of $10.99.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Think of a fear or worry your child is having right now. Consider how you can specifically walk them through the three steps Lysa talked about in the devotion today.
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