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 John Piper. The link to the source material can be found here: A tool to help you live.
In our battle with fear, anxiety, and worry there are two types of responses we should take; a long term and short term response. APTAT is a great, in the moment response to help you right when you face the fear.
Short Term Responses to Fear, Anxiety and Worry
This APTAT list is taken from John Piper. You can watch his explanation below or read through it.
- A – Admit (Admit your fear is real to God and that you can’t handle this)
- P – Pray (Pray and ask God for his help to overcome your fear in that moment)
- T – Trust (Trust God with that fear you are facing – Find a bible verse to memorize and quote so you can speak the truth of what God says to you about your situation)
- A – Act (Take the step of faith and Act out your trust in God by doing what you need to do).
- T – Thank (Once you have taken the step of action, thank God for his help and keep focusing on the help he is providing)
Let's create a story to illustrate how this could be used. Let's say you fear being in an elevator, but you have a meeting that you have to get to and you know that being late because of this fear is not pleasing to God. How can APTAT help you
Just before you get in the elevator Admit the fear to God. Tell Him how scared you are and that you cannot do this alone. It is ok to be really honest with God and let Him know exactly how you are feeling. Pray asking God to help you overcome the fear you are facing and that when the door opens, you can get in. Trust God in the situation. Quote a passage of scripture reminding yourself that. Matt. 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Trust that seeking to love the other people in the meeting (where you will be late if you don't take the elevator) like God commands us is more important than your fear. Trust that Romans 8:28 is true "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." God did not have you in front of this elevator by accident. He is using this situation to help me overcome my selfishness and love the other people. He is actually a good God. Act as soon as the door opens. Don't think about it anymore. Use your effort that God has given you to step in, showing you believe his promises to be true. The whole time you are on the elevator, you might be freaking out inside and you might have feelings of fear and extreme anxiety, but you acted! You showed yourself that you can trust God and that He is in control. Thank God as soon as you step off the elevator. This is crucial to remind yourself who really helped you and who deserves the credit. The more you lean on him, the more often you can respond to your fears in a way that honors God.
There are plenty of situations where we might have a fear. Are there any situations where it is ok to avoid our fears or are we always lacking faith if we fear something? Check out the next post to read more.