How should I respond to my fears? Long Term Responses

God tells us that we should not worry.  This is much easier said than done.  Often we want to get rid of our fears and worries or focus on the cause of them, but the Bible focuses more on how we should respond to those things. God never promises to take away the feelings of anxiety and fear, but he wants us to respond properly to those feeling instead of worrying. So what should our response be?

In this article below are some thoughts that have been taken from Pastor David Whiting.  The link to the source material can be found here: Worry, Anxiety, and Fear: Your Tests of Faith.

In our battle with fear, anxiety, and worry there are two types of responses we should take; a long term and short term response.

Long Term Response to Fear, Anxiety and Worry

 These are responses you should put into practice throughout your life, making them a priority.

1. Prioritize prayer – cry out to God for deliverance

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 4:6-7

When we are told;  pray about the anxiety we face, we are to do that in every situation.  We plead with God for his help (this may even mean going down flat on our face in the privacy of our room and just pour out our heart, pleading with God for His help and peace).  If we know something is coming today that we are extremely fearful about, we need to plead with God for his help. God’s peace will then guard our heart and mind.  That doesn't necessarily mean the feelings of anxiety and fear will be taken away, but that God helps us through the anxious situations and settles our hearts and minds to know we can trust him through the situations.  This is what prayer does.

2. Prioritize Kingdom pursuits

In this passage (Matt. 6:25-34) on worry, Jesus offers two long term responses to worry

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Matthew 6:33

When we seek to find our peace in the security of avoiding fears or in the things this world can provide (people, job, family, friends), we are acting like people who don't know God and the worry will overtake us.  Instead, don't just stop worrying but pursue other things, His things. We should seek after God, what He wants us to do, trusting Him along the way, seeing what He wants our lives to be about. God promises that if we do this, all these other needs that we have will be taken care of by Him.

3. Choose to trust one moment at a time

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:34

We are to live one day at a time and for those of us who struggle with worry, we are to live one moment at a time.  God breaks up the day into "bite-sized" moments for us to handle so we shouldn't be worrying about the next moment when we should be dealing with this moment.  

If you want to move away from fear, anxiety, and worry, you need to move towards these three steps.  This doesn't mean that your worry will go away, and since we live in a fallen world, you might deal with this for the rest of our life, but if you do these responses you will learn to trust God more.

What about when we have to do something and we are fearful.  What can we do in that moment?  Check out the next post on Short Term Responses.