3. Refusing to remember.
God knows fear arises when we forget His sovereign power. More than 300 times in the Bible God commands His people not to be afraid. And, I love knowing how God remembers how fragile we are and meets us at the point of our need; “He knows our frame, He remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14).
God’s remedy for fear is to put our trust in Him by seeking Him and recalling His character as He reveals it in scripture. Psalm 9:10 reminds us, “Those who know Your Name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.”
God regularly instructed His people to remember, and teach to their children, all He had done for them. Why? Because He knows how easily we forget.
For example, after miraculous signs and wonders, Israel had just been delivered from Egypt. However, once they grew hungry in the wilderness they forgot God’s benefits and grumbled against Moses and God.
Now, before you go pointing your finger at those people, consider how you’ve likely done the same thing in troubled times. I know I have. This is when you have a choice to make. Will you determine to believe God is a loving Father who will not give you more than you can bare? Like Peter, will you seek Jesus’ face above the raging waves? This is the path to peace, and the way to break free from worry.
At the beginning of the pandemic our church met outside on a smoke-filled day in California. That Sunday a young man preached, “Forget Not His Benefits” (Psalm 103:2). As a pastor’s wife I’m privileged to know some of the worrisome struggles this man has faced. And there he was preaching to us the way to peace.
While a raging California Wild Fire tore through our ranch, leaving us evacuated for 10 days and unsure if our home had survived. The Spirit kept reminding me to forget not God’s benefits.
When you are overcome with fear you must combat anxious thoughts by remembering all of the ways God has provided, protected and helped you.
4. Choosing the wrong friends
Friendship has certainly lost its meaning in the social media era. Anyone who confirms you as a friend gains access to you whenever they want. And somehow amassing numerous friends has become the presumed measure of our worth.
Thus, we are preoccupied with scrolling our screens while forgetting to build a sweet friendship with Christ. Proverbs 18:24 warns, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
Social media allows people to inundate you with strong opinions on a vast array of topics. Especially with the lockdown, it’s tempting to be virtually consumed with filling our God-given need for community.
Beware who you allow to influence your mind. If your friends regularly talk about what’s wrong in the world, and how anxious they are about tomorrow, they’ll take you down a path of worry.
Prepare yourself now to combat worry. Choose well your friends (see Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). Set a guard over your mind. Don’t be influenced by anxious friends. Determine to build relationships with people who will lift you up, point you to Christ, and pray for you when you share your fears.
Finally, be the type of friend who helps others combat worry with God’s Truth. Know scripture so well that when He gives you opportunity you’ll be able to share with others biblical accounts of God’s faithfulness. And know your own story. Take time to consider God’s goodness and be ready to give an account of His faithfulness in your own life, in history and in what He has promised will come to pass.
Let it begin with your friends. Forget not His benefits. And pour courage into this generation who is desperate to believe that upon Jesus they can cast their cares––because He truly cares for them.
This post originally appeared at Crosswalk, published with permission.