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Post  tcah on Wed 11 Jul 2007, 6:10 am

Acronyms can be wonderful tools. They help us remember the names of organizations. They can remind us of things we ordinarily forget. They can drill into our conscious mind helpful statements to address our frequent irritability and distress.

Fear is a good instinct at times. When we are in clear and present danger fear brings awareness of the hazard and stimulates adrenaline. However, fear is more often an evil and corroding thread, a soul-sickness that blinds us to the constant comfort and love of God.

Often my fear makes me want to run away. F.E.A.R. becomes forget everything and run. At other times it is false evidence appearing real. So many fears are imaginary.

The answer is: face everything and recover

Contrary to popular opinion, the antidote to fear is not courage. It is faith. Faith tells me that there is someone and something that stands by and with me. Yes, I need courage. I need it to face the fear. Faith encourages.

The human condition we all share demands self preservation. It is one of our highest instincts. Despite self destructive streaks we ultimately all want to live. Where we tend to get bent out of shape is in the proper balance of instinct. Somehow we must reconcile our wants and needs. We cant demand more than our fair share and we must learn to sacrifice for others.

Know Fear

The great definition of fear for me is the concern that I wont get what I want or lose something I already have. There it is: self centered justification and absence of compassion.

Our country, our world, is so very fearful. This cannot be healthy. Like cornered badgers we hiss and strike out when our backs are to the wall. Or worse, we act like sharks, in perpetual motion, devouring those in our path so we can maintain that movement. Rare, indeed, are those who choose the third way a willingness to passively resist evil, even to the point of death. This has been the path of saintly martyrs. It was the way to Calvary: Like a lamb to the slaughter.

Doormat Mentality

Critics will shout this submissiveness is wrong. They mistake the passive resistance as weakness, but it is in our weakness that Gods strength shines.

We need not be ashamed when we are afraid. We will have fear, but we need to learn to turn to God and trust in his loving power whenever fear threatens to overwhelm us. Its quite amazing how frequently fear is addressed in the Bible. Over and over again we are told to not be afraid by God speaking through the prophets, angels and his messengers. (See Matthew 8:26; Luke 12:4; Matthew 10:31; Luke 12:32; John 14:27; Romans 8:15) We are told to simply believe and trust in God. Even when death is all around us and we fear for our lives (Psalm 23). The fear that God wants to free us from is the kind of fear that freezes us, which shuts us down. Gods Spirit should flow freely and wonderfully through us.

Jesus was pretty clear about his desire that we be one with him and the Father. He knows that fear can hold us back. Yes, we will be afraid when confronted with our weakness and sin, because if we are honest we recognize our guilt. However, God is the king of mercy! He wants transformation and for this we must fearlessly live a changed life.

Face everything with confidence and love. Face everything and recover because your faith will make you well.

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