Four Signs Fear Is Affecting Your Vision
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19, NIV)
Have you noticed that fear makes you miserable? Looking at your life and the future with eyes of fear will never produce joy.
After the spies gave their reports of the Promised Land to Moses—most of them negative—here’s how the Israelites responded: "Then the whole community began weeping aloud, and they cried all night. Their voices rose in a great chorus of protest against Moses and Aaron. ‘If only we had died in Egypt, or even here in the wilderness!’ they complained" (Numbers 14:1-2 NLT).
Now, that’s what you call a full-blown pity party. The Israelites were so afraid of what was going to happen, that they just wanted to die in the desert rather than trust whatever God had in store for them.
These verses from Numbers 14 include four warning signs. When these warnings show up in your life, you will know that you're looking at the future with eyes of fear.
Your sadness increases. Depression can be caused by a lot of things, and it robs you of joy. If you feel sadness pushing out your joy, consider whether you’re allowing fear to skew your perspective.
Your complaining increases. When you’re afraid, you want others to share in your misery. If you don’t think you’ve been complaining more lately, check with your spouse or your friends. Sometimes they can see how your fear is manifesting itself better than you can.
You start second-guessing. The Israelites all complained about the very people who had led them out of slavery. Fear always sows seeds of doubt.
You want to go backwards. Because their perspective was so skewed by fear, the Israelites thought it would be better to die in slavery in Egypt. Of course, they didn’t really want that. But when you’re living with a vision of fear instead of faith, you can’t look at the future with hope.
You don’t want to be someone who complains and is always looking back. That’s why God wants you to see the future through eyes of faith, not fear. Start growing your faith today by reserving intentional time with God and in his Word, which says, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19 NIV).
The more you get to know God and his promises, the more purposefully and joyfully you will move toward your future.
Talk It Over
How does knowing God’s promises help you look toward the future with purpose and joy?
If misery loves company, then what kind of effect does joy have on you and the way you interact with others?
What do you need to sacrifice to spend more time studying God’s Word so your life will be guided by faith rather than fear?
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This devotional © 2022 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.