Tag Archives: fear

Peace In The Storm


Photo credit: wappic

A couple who are very dear to my husband and me are on their way to Maine this morning to visit his father who may be dying.

It is a gray and dreary day here in my part of the world  and my heart is heavy at the sorrow and uncertainty that awaits them at their destination. I made a similar drive 10 years ago when we got word that my dad had suffered a heart attack and I can still remember the feelings of anguish and fear like it happened yesterday.

No matter the age, one is never truly ready to lose a parent.

This year, I have been using a little calendar called Standing On The Promises Of God. in my devotional time. Each day, there is one promise to read. Without fail, I have found that whatever promise is given, it has applied to what I would face that day. It is such an enormous comfort and joy to hear my Savior’s voice so clearly and powerfully.

Today’s verse was Philippians 4:7. And God’s peace shall be yours (that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace) which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Amplified).

That is such a beautiful verse but I was unfamiliar with the term “garrison” so I researched it and it means: “to occupy with troops…any military post, especially a permanent one…fortified stronghold…synonyms: harbor, home.”

I think that paints a beautiful word picture of what Jesus does for us when fear hits hard and fast.

He stands in front of us and takes the hit for us. He cushions the blow, turns around, and envelops us in His love where we are safe and secure and gives us the strength to stand.

Jesus IS our safe harbor in the storm. Jesus IS our home. Jesus IS our stronghold.

Colossians 3:3 says that our lives as believers are hidden in Christ. That means that whatever comes to us must come through Him first. Since He has promised to work ALL things together for our highest good and His highest glory (Romans 8:28) we can know without a doubt that whatever He allows has come with great purpose and intention.

The use of the term “troops” in the definition of  garrison caused me to think of one of my very favorite life verses from Habakkuk 3:19: The Lord God is my Strength, my invincible army;…He will make me to walk (not to stand still in terror but to walk) and make spiritual progress upon my high places of trouble, suffering, and responsibility. (Amplified).

Do you realize that we have the power of an invincible army living inside of us through the Spirit of Christ?!

The word invincible means: “powerful, strong, unbeatable, unconquerable, undefeatable, untouchable, unyielding.”

That means that when trouble comes, you can confidently say—not about yourself but about Christ in you—:

I am powerful.

I am strong.

This will not beat me.

This will not conquer me.

This will not defeat me.

The Enemy cannot touch me.

I will not yield to fear.

So, when you are facing your fearful situation, take and accept His precious gift of peace! He tells you in Phil. 4:7 that it is yours for the taking…which means we can turn it down and give in to fear and worry instead, bringing upon ourselves all manner of strife. However, there is a much better way.

Let Him fight the battle for you while He saturates your heart with His supernatural peace.

And remember that when your heart is breaking, His was broken first…for you.

You are loved.

When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say
It is well with my soul
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

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What Do You Know? Part 3 (No Fear)


Fear stalks all of us.

It is nasty, paralyzing, demoralizing, frightening, crippling, and dream-killing.

It is one of the things I have struggled with for much of my life.

Yet, as I have listened to Pastor Steve’s series, “What Do You Know?” I realized anew how often God directs us in His Word to not be afraid. (I have heard it said that the command “Do not fear” appears in the Bible 365 times..that is one “Do not fear” for every day of the year!).

God never tells us not to feel fear because we all will.

However,  we either let fear have the upper hand or we take our stand on God’s Word and refuse to live our lives controlled by fear.

I am making this choice today. If I let my mind venture into the land of “What if?” fear will overwhelm me.

But Jesus never invites us to journey to that place. In fact, He forbids it. It’s not real. If I choose to go there, I am placing myself in a position for Satan to terrorize me with all manner of scary scenarios. Nothing good ever comes from it.

So, I have made the deliberate choice to stop making the trip to the land of “What if?” and plant myself firmly in the NOW.

Now is the only place where I can encounter Jesus. And He is never the author of fear (that’s Satan’s specialty and he is a loser who has been thoroughly and eternally defeated by Jesus at the Cross. He can presume absolutely no authority over us).

Instead, Jesus always speaks courage to my heart, no matter how scary my circumstances:

“Even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not be struck with fear or seized with alarm.”–Luke 12:7

“Peace I leave with you, My own peace I now give and bequeath to you…do not let your hearts be troubled , neither let them be afraid.  Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.”–John 14:27

God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven, and cringing and fawning fear), but He has given us a spirit of  power and love and of a calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.” –2 Timothy 1:7 

This is what I know. I am commanded not to live my one short life in fear.

In today’s “Daily Bread” devotional, the author said the following: “Only one thing will conquer our fears: tenacious faith in God’s presence, protection, power and promises.” 

His Presence: “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”–Matthew 28:20

His Protection: It is the Lord who goes before you; He will march with you; He will not fail you or let you go or forsake you; let there be no cowardice or flinching, but fear not, neither become broken in spirit—depressed, dismayed,  and unnerved with alarm. —-Deuteronomy 31:8

His power: He gives power to the faint and weary and to him who has no might, He increases strength, causing it to multiply and making it abound. –Isaiah 40:29

His promises: …God Himself has said, “I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down (or) relax My hold on you; assuredly not!”—Hebrews 13:5

So, I ask you (and myself) particularly in light of that last verse, what in the world do we ultimately have to fear?

Not one thing.

Strengthen the weak hands and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God…will come and save you.” —Isaiah 35:3-4

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Pressure


“Pressure is nothing more than the shadow of a great opportunity.”–Michael Johnson

I needed to read this quote today.

I received some news this morning that unsettled me and caused fear to crash into my day like a car shoots through a storefront window when the driver confuses the gas with the brake.

On such a beautiful sunny day, these storm clouds within were most unwelcome.

Then, in God’s providence, I saw the above quote and it spoke to my heart in a powerful way.

So…the fear has come, the situation is scary…what is my opportunity here?

It is simply this: to make my feelings submit to the timeless truths of God’s Word.

There are 365 days in our calender year…and I have heard that there are 365 “fear nots” in the Bible…one for every single day of the year.

Fear only has a chance to be a part of my day if I allow it to.

I am choosing to deny it access.

Do not let your hearts be troubled (distressed, agitated)…Peace I leave with you; My own peace I now give you…do not let your hearts be troubled; neither let them be afraid (Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled). —John 14:1, 27, Amplified version

Every time fear tries to worm its way back into my heart, I will meditate on this verse and allow His peace to eclipse and decimate the fear.

Not only will I deny fear access, I will choose to focus ONLY on today. There is nothing I can do to change the past and I am commanded by Jesus not to worry about the future (Matthew 6:34)

My opportunity is to fully live this day, to be completely present, to focus on the blessings that my gracious God has given to me within this 24 hour time frame.

My opportunity is not to allow shadows and ‘what ifs?’ to intimidate me.

My opportunity is to rest in the certain knowledge that my God will fight for me.

My opportunity this day is a huge one: to believe my faithful and good God.

My opportunity is to accept God’s invitation to  fully rejoice in Him.

This is an opportunity to live what I believe.

I will accept the challenge and by His grace, I will live this day in victory.

My feelings should be an indicator of my situation but never a dictator of my reaction.”–Lysa Terkeurst

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