Throughout the shelter in place time in our state during the pandemic, I have ordered my groceries and had them put in my trunk. This last week, I ventured into a store to get a couple more things. I had my mask on and went inside. Some people had masks on, some did not. Some were following the directional signs on the floor, some were not. Some seemed to be cognizant of staying distant, others did not. I had this rising sense of uncertainty and anxiety, just get me out of here. I actually was surprised at the rising fear I felt. How could I overcome these fears?
In this new “normal” that you and I are facing, I wondered how do we overcome fears we might find, when safety is paramount and the enemy is unseen?
For me, a lot of it revolves around how I approach living with God. I want to be safe, smart and leave much of what I do daily in His hands. He reminded me to keep focused on Isaiah 41:10 and remember He will be with me:
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
In practical terms, what are the promises God gives you and me to overcome our current fears?
- I am with you
- I am your God
- I will strengthen you and help you
- I will uphold you with my righteous right hand
Visualize yourself in the presence of God
Imagine yourself in the presence of God hearing those words. What do the promises God is making look like to you? Pause a moment and put yourself into the above Isaiah scripture. Hear God saying those words to you. Read them aloud softly to yourself.
If possible, take time to draw a picture of your vision, using actual pictures or symbols.
He promises four things
I am with you
You are not fighting fear alone. Wherever you go, God is there with you. I find that immensely comforting to know that God is with me. I am not going anywhere by myself. He will direct my path wherever I go.
That phrase, I Am With You was given to me for Intervarsity Fellowship’s Urbana Conference in December, 2018. I was asking God for His promises and provisions as I was to support the operations team there in prayer. I was reminded of the verses in Genesis where Moses says he’s not going to lead the Israelite people anywhere without God going with him. God’s reply to him was this:
The Lord replied, “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest—everything will be fine for you.” Ex 33:14 NLT
What great reassurance. Wherever I go, there He is.
My own breath prayer is… I AM breathe in….. WITH YOU… breathe out…. Such calming and reassuring prayer. God reminds me of His presence each time. I just need to breathe and ask.
I am your God
The God of Creation is your God. He is for you, not against you. He is who He says He is. This promise can give you hope when the world feels like it has turned upside down. Nothing can separate you from the love of God. Spring is still blossoming. Things are still turning green. God is still on the throne.
Again, picture yourself being held by your good, good Father. You can see evidence of Him wherever you look in creation. He knows the number of hairs on your head. He is your God. Ask Him to show you how He is your God.
Let that phrase, I AM YOUR GOD, sink into your core deeply. How does it root out fear?
I will strengthen you and help you
He strengthens and helps you by providing the fruit of the spirit,
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5:22 NLT
When have you asked for the fruit of the Spirit and received it? Often times, it is a matter of asking for what we need.
When I have received the fruit of the Spirit, I look around and think, where did that come from? It certainly wasn’t me that was able to be so gentle with my friend when I was angry.
In talking with a friend recently, she recounted the wonder and peace she is experiencing during this time. She said, “It certainly isn’t me. I can only attribute it to the gifts of the Spirit and seeing His hand at work around me. I am certainly filled with wonder.”
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand
Can you remember a time when you felt safe by holding someone’s hand? I have a grandson now and when he runs up and wants to hold my hand, I am thrilled to the core. We are strongly connected through holding hands and he is safe.
Now, envision gripping God’s hand tightly and being held by His presence. Ask for a picture during these challenging times of how He is holding you tight.
How does that feel?
What promise do you want to ask for first?
You note these four promises. Which one(s) do you need to claim for yourself? God will provide on His promises. You just have to ask and then follow through on your belief and trust.
Prepare to stand back and be amazed at how your fears are overcome when you let God keep His promises to you. He doesn’t force Himself on you. He’s waiting for you to ask.
What are you waiting for?
Nancy Booth wants to create safe spaces for you, helping you find ways to have two-way conversations with God. She loves encouraging you to look for ways He is at work. Nancy is a spiritual director and writer. She would love to accompany you on your journey of discovery to hear and see more of the God who delights in you. Peace, hope and freedom could be yours Contact her today..