Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: A remedy from God for worry, anxiety and fear

God’s Prescription for Fear
A devotional by Sarah Cole

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”–Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

In the classic folktale Chicken Little, the cowardly hen suffers a concussion after an acorn falls on her head. Convinced the sky is falling, she rushes from the woods to warn the king and creates mass hysteria among her feathered friends.

Chicken Little’s fear may be extreme, but aren't humans just as prone to expect the worst before gathering all the facts? When faced with crisis or uncertainty, we often turn to worst-case scenarios instead of God.

Fear is a liar. It is “False Evidence Appearing Real”.

At its core is a lack of control over a real or perceived threat. Like a spark to a forest fire, one anxious thought builds momentum, and before we know it, we're in a full-blown panic attack. But the good news is that when we surrender our concerns to God and meditate on His promises, fear doesn't stand a chance (Philippians 4:8).

In his letter to the Philippian church, the Apostle Paul provides a prescription for fear: the power of prayer. He tells them that by surrendering their concerns to God and thanking Him for what He's done and is about to do, they would experience peace. Thousands of years later, the same holds true for us.

Friend, God didn't design you to live in a perpetual state of anxiety. That's why He tells us 365 times in His Word not to fear. So, instead of letting stress keep you up at night or dilemmas eat away at your peace, take a dose of God's Word, and your heart will be calm (John 14:27).

The next time fear rears its ugly head, consider taking one or more of the following prescriptions and see how you feel. 

Turn your worries into prayers. When you transfer ownership of your cares to God, you can be confident He will take care of you (1 Peter 5:7). Keeping a written record of your prayers and God's answers builds your faith.

Capture your thoughts. Instead of letting your thoughts run wild, go on a fact-finding mission and measure them against God's word (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Practice gratitude. Even when things look grim, be grateful for God's faithfulness, sovereignty, and promise to care for you (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

Learn the art of optimism. Someone once told me, “Things have a way of working out.” Expect a hopeful future, and your anxiety will dim (Romans 15:13).

Recall God’s faithfulness. Make a list of the times God answered your prayers, provided unexpectedly and healed and delivered you (Lamentations 3:22-24). Reminding yourself of God's goodness helps you expect the best.

Friend, fear doesn't have to run the show. When you know Jesus Christ, no matter what happens on this side of Heaven, you have eternity to look forward to (John 14:2-4). And that hope is the best prescription of all.

Let’s Pray:

Heavenly Father, when my heart grows weary and my circumstances overwhelm me, I need not fear because You promise to take care of me. Thank you for delivering me from the fears that hold me captive. I trust in Your unfailing love now and forever. In Jesus's Name I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection: "Fear Not" by Aaron Shust. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Sarah Cole’s interest in writing began in grade school when her poem was published in the local paper. As she got older, her mother’s chronic illness inspired her to design a line of greeting cards. Since then, she has written for her college newspaper and two community newspapers where she wrote restaurant reviews and articles for their “Best of” spread.

Her experience as an administrator in the marketing field gave her the opportunity to write ads for a local business journal.

After a 20-year detour and a three-year season of adversity, God reignited her passion to write. Two divine appointments later, the short story she wrote about her father appeared in the St. Paul Almanac, and a short story about Gigi (her Cocker Spaniel) was published in Guideposts (magazine) Mysterious Ways. She believes her adversity was worth the lessons God taught her.

Since 2022, Sarah’s devotionals have been published in The Secret Place by Judson Press, as well as David C. Cook’s Devotions and The Quiet Hour. To this day, she smiles, pinches herself and gives God all the glory.

When she’s not writing, Sarah enjoys watching cooking shows, designing cards and mugs, and taking day trips.

Connect with Sarah:

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