In his book Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear, Max Lucado offers some profound tips and insights into beating fear. One of the things he suggests is to compile a worry list, or a record over a period of days about things that are troubling you or making you anxious. Then he suggests you review them. How many of your fears actually turned into a reality? After spending so much time worrying over them, which of them actually happened? This will not only point out to you how largely futile worrying is, but also show you which fears and worries you keep coming back to. It can help you detect recurring themes such as what people think of you, finances, appearance, or performance. Then you are more able to address problem areas, notice when they come up again, and specifically pray about each of them.
Although I haven’t ever made a worry list like the one Max Lucado describes, I’ve done something similar by journaling. Over the course of the years, I’ve written about times I was afraid, only to realize God had been watching out for me all along. I remember writing in my very first journal how scared I was to get a job, only to get my dream job watching a 5-month-old a year later. When I looked back on that entry, I couldn’t help but smile realizing how God had been in control even then, and how silly I was to be afraid. Often journaling will help me sort out my thoughts, identify the fears specifically troubling me, and remind me later of how the Lord came through for me in that particular situation.
The beautiful thing about God is that He is faithful. Looking through my journals, I can see that same character trait of His time and time again. He has never once left me in my fear. He has always been with me and delivered me. Most of the time, what I feared in one journal entry either never happened, or turned out just fine in another. Just a while back after starting to feel purposeless in my workplace and fearing the situation would never change, I looked back at a journal entry I’d written when I’d felt similarly. I had just graduated, and felt so lost. I was afraid I was never going to go anywhere in life. It took a while, but God did eventually bring about what He had promised: direction, and a future. Reading and remembering how God had come through for me, I realized how perfectly in control He was of my work situation and decided to trust Him. Ironically enough, I now no longer have that job. All that time spent worrying only to no longer have the job a few months later!
Remember a time when you were afraid and God came through for you. Could He do the same for the situation you’re in right now?
If you’ve been fighting a battle with fear and losing, try one of these ideas and I guarantee you’ll see some improvement. Whether you simply write a few things down on a list, or go more in-depth with a journal, I pray you’ll try one of them out this week and watch the difference it will make in your life. Then let me know how it went! I’d love to hear about it. I’ll be trying Max Lucado’s method myself this week, so I’m excited to see the kinds of changes it will create in my life as well.
In the words of a popular worship song: “And if our God is for us, than who could ever stop us? And if our God is with us, than what can stand against?”
For more great tips and an excellent read, you can view and buy Max Lucado’s book Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear, here: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_22?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=fearless+by+max+lucado&sprefix=fearless+by+max+lucado