Tag : fear-2

Armor of God by Mayada Naami

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people (Ephesians 6, 10-18, NIV).

A friend of mine shared a story with me this weekend and it fit in perfectly with the blog that the Lord had already placed on my heart to write that morning. She was telling me about the childhood trauma she had carried with her all her life which had manifested itself into a reoccurring nightmare for over 20 years. I won’t go into the details of the nightmare, however, during one of her night terrors, when confronted with the evil assailant, she fled and ran for her life. As she was approaching the light, almost free, she heard God say to her, “Go back and face your enemy, tell him you are covered in the blood of Jesus.” She turned around and went back and faced the assailant. When she told him she was covered in the blood of Christ, he disappeared. That was the last night she saw the assailant and her nightmares ended.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin (1 John 1:7, NIV).

When faced with a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat, our body reacts with a natural physiological response to fight back or flee. In my friend’s case she was fleeing, which is what most people do when they are afraid. We run—hoping that we can escape, and sometimes we never stop running for fear that the threat is still at our heels. The interesting thing is that when we put on armor, the only thing exposed is our back. Consequently, when running away from our enemy, we are exposing our back. Why not put on the Armor of God and face your enemy with the sure knowledge that the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6, NIV).

Categories: Blog

Broken-Hearted by Mayada Naami

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners (Isaiah 61:1, NIV).

Are You Broken-Hearted?

Are you in a season of pain and suffering? Many people today suffer abuse at the hands of another person, sometimes someone they trust and love. Some are victims of sexual/physical abuse and others are victims of emotional abuse. Sadly, many are children, and the abuse or trauma can affect their development and negatively distort their view of the world. They become frightened and feel unsafe, unloved, and unprotected which can be carried into future relationships—causing more pain and hurt. Some grow up and suffer depression, anxiety, relationship conflicts, and turn to alcohol, sex, or drugs.

This is the desire and goal of the enemy since the beginning of human existence. He wants fear and doubt to sever our intimate relationship with God. Fear is at the root of many of our problems. This fear, which develops from childhood, is in direct opposition to love. The Bible tells us “God is love” (John 4:16) and “There is no fear in love” (1 John 4:18), so one can safely say that fear is not of God. He never intended for us to live in fear. He created us to be in loving relationships. The very nature of God is to be in relationship, a caring committed connection between one person and another. Like God, we have a need to be connected. He created Adam and Eve so He could have a relationship with them. We were built to be connected; attachment is the core of the soul’s existence.

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”

(1 Peter 4:8, NIV)

Jesus’ heart beats close to the victim of abuse or trauma, especially the children. We are in a spiritual battle against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12). The powers of darkness will constantly try to put out the Light of Truth in your life. The worldly ways of life will battle for your mind every day. Fight back! Fight for the freedom of your mind. “Repent”, translated from the Greek, simply means change your mind. God is merciful and wants you to accept His invitation of mercy. No more pain, anxiety, depression, or fear.

You are a beautiful child of God, and He is a loving Father who wants your heart to change. He wants you to turn your heart towards Him and towards each other. We are rebellious and disobedient children, but He is a loving and forgiving Father. Jesus was the ultimate victim. We were the ultimate abusers. Our sin nailed Him to the cross and yet He still loved and forgave us. Turn your broken heart towards your loving Father and let go of fear. You do not have to be a victim, the road to restoration is waiting for you. We serve a God who has overcome the world. Stay strong in your faith, and love others well. 

Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love.

(1 Corinthians 16:13–14, NIV)

Categories: Blog

The Calm After the Storm by Mayada Naami

God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’ So that everyone he has made may know his work, he stops all people from their labor (Job 37:5-7, NIV).

Millions of lives have been touched in one way or another by powerful storms. From hurricanes to record–breaking rainfalls and snowstorms, these unsettling and unpredictable events can bring fear and anxiety. Yet, In Job 37, the Bible says God does great things beyond our understanding so that everyone he created may know His work. During the storm, we see the wonders of His work and He temporarily stops us from our laboring to reflect on the His powerful ways. This can be applied to spiritual storms as well as physical storms. In the middle of a spiritual battle, we can be still and seek shelter in Him. We can let His Word remind us that even when the storms come, we can seek shelter and comfort in His promises.

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm (Mark 4:39, NIV).

Dread of the unknown can sometimes create a spirit of fear, especially when you are battling a storm. Faith is necessary to overcome anxiety. In the Bible, when Jesus calms the storm in Mark 4:40, He said to His disciples “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”  Troubles, trials, and tribulations in life are like storms. Every time a storm comes your way, God wants to see you stand strong in your faith and trust His ways.

He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed (Psalm 107:29, NIV).

He allows the storms in your life because that is how your faith grows. Miracles happen when you stand tall in the middle of a storm, knowing you have Jesus with you. Even though they had Jesus with them on the boat, the disciples were so fixated on the storm, they were afraid. How many of us know that feeling of terror when we are faced with a storm? How many of us forget that Jesus is with us through the storm?

There will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain (Isaiah 4:6, NIV).

Categories: Blog

We Need Each Other by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

There are many things I dislike about COVID but the one thing that stands out is the isolation it creates.

This past week we signed up for a gathering of leaders at our church campus. Day of, I began to waffle. I thought, Do I really want to expose myself to that many people who might have COVID and not know it? But we made a last minute decision to go, and it was the right decision. We worshipped with other leaders from our campus, heard some encouraging words and fellowshipped with friends afterwards, enjoying  cake balls and hot chocolate. I would have missed all that if I had remained in a spirit of fear and not attended.

I realized I was overdue for fellowship. I needed to share and laugh with others.

And this is true for all of us. We need each other.

In Exodus 23, as the Israelites continued their journey in the wilderness, God expanded his in-person audience to not only Moses but also the seventy leaders that had been appointed to assist Moses with decisions. The Word says, “Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of lapis lazuli, as bright blue as the sky. But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank” (Exodus 24:9–11).

There are three truths I draw from this passage:

  1. This was a shared experience. Now the elders, Nadab and Abihu understood what Moses had been seeing all along. God probably knew Moses needed like-minded friends.
  2. By going, the elders found themselves in the presence of God—creating a special time of intimate fellowship with Him.
  3. This encounter facilitated a stretch of spiritual growth. After meeting God personally, the leaders were probably never the same.

What if they had not gone? Fear of the unknown could have overtaken them.

The enemy of our souls wants us to be fearful as well and to isolate, but even before COVID we risked getting sick when we ventured out. Flus, colds and upper respiratory infections are always lurking. I have had COVID, and it is one of the most difficult illnesses I have experienced, but even so, I am not afraid. I simply pray before leaving the house, Protect me from illness LORD. I trust God with my life and don’t want to miss the blessing that awaits. What about you?

Categories: Blog

Love or Fear by Mayada Naami

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love (1John 4:18, NIV).

There are only two primary emotions, fear, and love. All the other feelings we express are nothing more than derivatives of these two basic emotions. Fear and love are opposites. It is impossible for love and fear to harmoniously co-exist. All things positive stem from love, and all negative things, such as anger, hate, anxiety, and guilt or shame, stem from fearful thoughts. Our thoughts determine whether we choose to love or fear. God gave us free will and the Bible tells us to take captive every thought to demolish arguments and every pretension or falsehood that sets itself up against the knowledge or truth of God. God is Love, so anything opposite of God is fear, also known as the enemy.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5, NIV)

God’s Spirit is not “a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). Love and self-control are two fruits of the Holy Spirit. When we live by the Spirit, we have the power to respond in love of our own free will. We can control our reactions and choose to love our neighbor, or we can respond in a negative way which manifests fear-based emotions.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23, NIV).

Fear is something we face every day. If we let it overwhelm us, it can steal our joy, peace, and serenity. What can we do when faced with valid fears, like sickness or financial worries? We can turn to Scripture to be reminded of God’s love. Ask Him to calm your thoughts and open your heart to peace, comfort, and wisdom. Trust that He will protect you and keep His promise to strengthen you in your time of weakness.

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 (Isaiah 41:10, NIV).

We live in a crazy, chaotic world that sometimes makes our anxieties soar. God wants each of us to have a power-filled faith that allows us to stand up against the enemy in a world filled with fear. The Word of God will always comfort you in times when you feel afraid or overwhelmed.

Choose love, not fear!

Categories: Blog