Monday, May 1, 2023

Facing Our Fears

“When we lack the courage to live the lives we have, when we are overwhelmed by the challenges we face, when we have no strength to make it through the day, we turn to outside sources just to help us survive. We try to sedate, medicate, and intoxicate our fears — anything for a little relief.” 
Erwin McManus, Uprising, p. 90

In a world full of challenges and uncertainties, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and discouraged. According to Erwin McManus in his book Uprising, we often turn to external sources for relief when we lack the courage to face our challenges head-on. However, the problem with trying to self-medicate in order to cope with our fears is that it only masks the issue. This prevents us from discovering real helps in facing our facing and it becomes an obstacle to taking any action that can create lasting change.

As Christians, we are called to face our fears with courage and perseverance. In Psalm 27:1, David wrote, “The LORD is my light and my salvation — whom should I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— whom should I dread?” (CSB) 

With God on our side, we have the strength and courage to face any challenge that comes our way.

Recognizing that we have fears and not trying to suppress them is the first step towards in developing perseverance. It takes real courage and strength to face our fears and overcome them, and that is an essential part of the growth process. As we learn to live uncomfortable feelings without allowing them to control us, we become stronger and more resilient.

The Apostle Paul encouraged disciples of Jesus to develop perseverance in Romans 5:3-5 when he wrote:
And not only that, but we also boast in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (CSB)

It is important that we learn to confront our fears head-on. This is one of. the best way to build the courage, strength, and perseverance needed to overcome our fears. In order to do this well requires using other skills such as visualization (imagining ourselves successfully facing our fears), self-compassion (not being hard on ourselves), and assertiveness (being intentional in facing our face). By building these skills, we can create a better way of coping with the problems and fears we face and we can get out of the rut of the ineffective patterns of avoidance or paralysis that we have been in.

By building perseverance, we develop a deeper understanding of our personal strengths, which also helps us tackle other obstacles with renewed strength and courage. We also become better equipped to handle the challenges of life and we are able to approach them with a sense of purpose and determination.

Ultimately, the problems we encounter in our lives provide us with an opportunity to learn, grow, and develop our character and discover new strengths. When we turn to God and rely on His strength through prayer and fellowship with other Christians, we can face our challenges with courage and perseverance. As we learn to overcome our fears and we are empowered to rise to challenges, we are able to strengthen our character by faith in God’s transforming work and hope in His promises. 

We must learn to face our fears with courage and perseverance, relying on God's strength to overcome the challenges we encounter. By adding perseverance to our character, we can approach the problems of life with purpose and determination, which empowers us to grow into the people that God has created us to be. As we face life’s challenges with faith, courage, and perseverance, we discover that our character is strengthened by purpose and hope.

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