Choose to Have a Good Perspective

January 13, 2019 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

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Choices change our lives…

by Barbara Dahlgren

Perspective or how we see things determines how we live our lives or react in any given circumstance.

Without good perspective, even everyday living can become a burden. Each day we have deadlines to meet, bills to pay, and appointments to keep. We have houses and cars to maintain. We have relationships with spouses, kids, parents, siblings, and friends to nourish. Our lives are full of stress, stress, and more stress. Plus, we have those unexpected inconveniences which can be time consuming and throw us “off our game.” It’s overwhelming. When we get overwhelmed, it’s hard to discern the difference between an inconvenience and a tragedy. This is why perspective is so important.

Do we muddle through life or look for God in all our circumstances? Do we view others as an inconvenience or as children of God? Do we see problems or possibilities? Do we focus on conflicts or do we focus on Jesus? Do we make mountains out of molehills or molehills out of mountains? Do we discern what is really important or stay in a perpetual state of crisis management? We must focus on Christ and ask God for His peace if we are to experience joy in our daily lives.

Keeping good perspective helps us evaluate our circumstances. A flat tire, a snoring spouse, a missed appointment, a late airplane, a lost game, the guy who cuts us off in traffic, the gossipy co-worker, a criticism, the slow Internet connection, the stock market being down, or our weight being up is not as big a deal as a loved one dying or finding out we have cancer.

Of course God can take care of even the direst of situations but we could save ourselves a lot of turmoil and grief if we didn’t act like a bad hair day is the end of the world.

Consider this… a bad day is not a bad life. Before we over react, we might want to ask ourselves if it what we are experiencing will really even matter to us five years from now, much less to anyone else.

Keep a healthy perspective. Don’t look down at the ground; look up to Christ. With Christ in our lives all is not lost! Most times it’s not as bad as we think! As Scarlet O’Hara would say, “Tomorrow is another day!” Let’s get a good night’s sleep and wake up with the knowledge that God loves us! Always keep this perspective in mind – with God in our lives, each day and every tomorrow can be filled peace and joy.

One final thought…

Two people can look at the same thing and see something different. Be the person with the good perspective. Then you will be able to see more clearly.

 


The Choice Is Yours

January 6, 2019 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

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Choices change our lives…

By Barbara Dahlgren

Each New Year we make resolutions to help us change our lives for the better. Although we usually have every intention of keeping them, all too soon they are abandoned because change is hard. Most of us want changes to instantly happen without any effort on our part. We think if we write them down they will miraculously come to pass. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.

That’s why for the past few years I’ve resolved not to make resolutions, but to focus on daily choices instead. So my blogs have been devoted to choices and will be until I exhaust my idea file about choices. Hmmm??? Not sure when that will be, but one things for sure, we will never exhaust our need to make choices. We face them daily.

Some choices are proactive and some are a little more passive, but just as important. In other words, what we choose not to do is as important as what we choose to do. On the surface, consciously “choosing not” to do something may seem complacent, perfunctory, or lazy. I assure you that it is not any of these things. In fact, what we “choose not” to do can take a great deal of thought and self-control, plus save us a lot of present and future trouble. Ultimately, what we choose to do or not do greatly impacts our lives and the lives of those around us.

Here are some givens in life: God has forgiven us for our sins. Nothing we can do will ever earn us salvation because it is a gift from God. (Ephesians 2:8) Nothing we can do will make God love us anymore than He already does.

However, even though God gives us salvation, grace, and love, He does not automatically give us good habits or moral character. Those qualities are determined by the choices we make.

Right choices bring peace of mind; bad choices bring difficulty.

God does not need to zap us when we do something wrong, because wrong choices bring their own penalties. When we make wrong choices, we punish ourselves. It’s the cause and effect principle. What we sow, we reap. The seeds we sow today determine the harvest we reap tomorrow. Although God always forgives us when we make poor choices, the effects remain and we have to deal with and live with them. Choices set off a chain of events which shape our lives and sometimes the lives of those around us.

While it is that true time and chance happen, many of our problems could be avoided if we trained ourselves to make better choices. A lot of trials are brought on because of our poor choices; other trials may not be our fault, but still we must choose how to respond to them. So there is always an element of choice in everything we do.

Consider this… The Bible is full of exhortations encouraging us to walk in the way of the Lord. As we read the Bible we can listen for God’s voice whispering to us, “This is the way, walk ye in it.” (Isaiah 30:21) God exhorts us to do this or don’t do that, but the choice is ours.

Some choice quotes about choices…

“We all make choices, but in the end our choices make us.” ~Ken Levine, video game designer and author

“It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities.” ~J.K. Rowling, author

“When it snows you have two choices: shovel or make snow angels.” ~Anonymous

“Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways.” ~Proverbs 3:31

“One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words. It is expressed in the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.” ~Roy Disney, co-founder of Walt Disney Productions

 

 


Choose to Keep Your Eyes on Jesus

December 30, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

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Yet Another Year of Choices

By Barbara Dahlgren

 

As one year closes and another begins, we can reflect on what’s passed and look forward to what lies ahead. A year gone by is usually filled with good and bad. We can learn from the bad and move on. But let’s not forget to think about the good things that happened. In fact, the Bible encourages us to think about “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable… If anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.”

How can we be sure our next year will be better than the last? We can’t – not really. But we can be sure that we can make it through if we stay focused.

Proverbs 4:25-27 (NIV) tells us, “Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” To go one step further, we need to be looking to God. Only He has the power to save us. (Isaiah 45:22) We need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. (Hebrews 12:2) We lose power, hope, and purpose when we don’t focus on the right things.

We will all face turmoil and trials in life. However, we can’t afford to let problems block our focus. Think of this biblical example from 2 Chronicles 20…

Jehoshaphat’s kingdom of Judah was being threatened by the armies of many nations like Ammon and Moab who joined together to annihilate Judah. These huge armies were strong and surrounded Judah. There seemed to be no chance of survival. So people from every town came together to seek help from the Lord.

The men, their wives, and children stood in the courtyard of the temple and Jehoshaphat prayed a heartfelt prayer extolling God’s greatness and acknowledging Judah’s lack of power to withstand the inevitable attack. It ended with, “For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” (2 Chronicles 20:12)

God told the people not to be afraid or discouraged. He told them to face the enemy and stand firm. They would not have to fight this battle because it was the Lord’s. The people fell down in worship to God.

Early the next morning, Jehoshaphat encouraged the people to have faith in the Lord. As they headed off to battle, he appointed men to lead the way by singing and praising God. “Give thanks to the Lord. His love endures forever.” As they sang, a miraculous thing happened. These armies began to attack one another instead of Judah. By the time Judah got to the battleground, they saw only the dead bodies of their enemies.

Consider this… When life gets overwhelming, hard decisions need to be made, or the enemy is attacking, stay focused. Keep your eyes on Jesus and pray, “Lord, I don’t know what to do, but my eyes are on you.” Read Scriptures. Thank God for what He’s already done in your life. Sing praises. Pray, pray, pray: “Lord, I don’t know what to do, but my eyes are on You.”

With Jesus in our lives, we are never alone or forsaken. (Hebrews 13:5-6) I don’t know what this next year will hold for us, but I do know we can face anything if we keep our eyes on Jesus.

One final thought… May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions!

 

 


Choose to Shine a Light

December 23, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

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Yet Another Year of Choices

By Barbara Dahlgren

When I think about the birth of Christ, I think of light. A star shone bright casting a light to guide the wise men to where Christ was born. Jesus, Himself, will later tell us, “I have come into the world as a Light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” (John 12:46)

Jesus is referred to in Scripture many times as the Light. Jesus, the Light, came to the world, but men loved darkness instead of the Light. (John 3:19-21) As Christians we should love the Light, not darkness.

The contrast of light and darkness is often metaphorically used in the Bible to contrast good with evil. There is so much evil and darkness in the world that it’s easy for us to get discouraged. Yet, most would agree that it is “better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”

That familiar saying was first spoken in public in 1961 by Peter Benenson, the British lawyer who founded Amnesty International. A candle encircled with barbed wire became the society’s emblem. Paul said something similar when he told us to “cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.” He goes on to reveal what this armor of light is: “Put on the Lord, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 13:12-14)

Jesus living His life in us makes us a light in the world as well. Our lights should not be hidden. People don’t light a lamp and put it under a bowl so no one can see it. Instead they put it on a stand so it will give light to everyone in the house. We are encouraged to let our lights shine before others, that they may see our good deeds which glorify our Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)

We should never underestimate the ability of our light to influence the world for good. Impacting just one person with the light of Christ can make a big difference. Unfortunately, many would rather curse the darkness than shine their lights. Some would prefer to condemn others rather than share God’s love and grace.

We should never let the darkness in the world keep us from shining a light, no matter how small we may think it is. Jesus tells us that darkness cannot overcome light. (John 1:5) Although we might feel like a small candle in a vast darkness, even a small candle can benefit others. It offers light and warmth. Even the small ways we reflect the light of Jesus can benefit others.

We are God’s children – children of light. (1 Thessalonians 5:5) Everything we do can bring light to others. (Colossians 4:5-6) Being a good example shines a light. The testimony we share shines a light. The scripture we quote shines a light. The encouragement we give shines a light. The love we show others shines a light. We are told to let our light shine before others. (Matthew 5:16)

Consider this… Sometimes we forget that we were all once in darkness, needing light. Now we are children of light. (Ephesians 5:8) This would not have been possible without the birth of Christ – the Light coming into the world.

One final thought…

“How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a weary world.”

~William Shakespeare
 


Choose to Look Beneath the Surface

December 16, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

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Yet Another Year of Choices

By Barbara Dahlgren

I guess some idioms will soon be obsolete. Those who grow up reading books on Kindles may one day not even know what judging a book by its cover means. Perhaps a better way to say it would be to look beneath the surface. In other words, we shouldn’t judge one’s quality, talent, or character just by looking at their outward appearance.

Britain’s Got Talent, the British counterpart to our American Idol, found that out when a frumpy-looking 48-year-old unemployed volunteer decided to try out for the television show a few years ago. The audience was skeptical and judges rolled their eyes until Susan Boyle sang her inspiring rendition of I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables. A standing ovation followed and so did a new career.

Our human tendency is to make evaluations based on outward appearances. We might think a man is poor because he wears raggedy clothes and drives an old car, but he could be a millionaire. Someone might look wealthy and be a big spender, but he may have maxed-out credit cards and a house in foreclosure.

In today’s superficial world, people tend to judge by appearance. We make wrong assumptions when we judge someone’s character by what appears on the surface. Meekness is not weakness. Sociability is not spirituality. Loquaciousness is not intellect. Using wisdom is not cowardice. Having biblical knowledge does not mean one is close to God.

The scribes and Pharisees appeared spiritual on the surface, yet they judged Jesus and His disciples’ religiosity because they saw them eating without washing their hands. That was a definite no-no against their purity laws which were a big deal at the time. These laws were what the religious hierarchy used to determine one’s devotion to God. (Mark 7:1-8) Some thought Jesus was a glutton and drunkard because he ate and drank with sinners. (Luke 7:34) They didn’t know they were criticizing the very Son of God.

Samuel would have chosen Jesse’s first born son Eliab to replace King Saul. After all, he was tall, handsome, and athletic. When Samuel saw him he said, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here.” (1 Samuel 16:6, 7) But God refused him because God looks on the heart, not the outward appearance. So a lowly shepherd boy name David was chosen instead.

When God wanted someone to deliver the Israelites from their bondage in Egypt, He did not choose an eloquent speaker. He chose Moses who was not what you would call dynamic. In fact, he was slow of speech; perhaps he even stuttered. (Exodus 4:10) Yet he was a man of God. (Deuteronomy 33:1)

Consider this… Making snap judgments based on appearances can lead to prejudice, segregation, and stereotyping. Yet, it is easier to judge quickly than to take the time to get to know people.

Only through knowing people can we determine how they think or feel and where their hearts are. Only by looking beyond the surface can we discover those hidden qualities, talents, or character traits worth finding.

One final thought… Jumping to conclusions about someone based on outward appearance can have you leaping in the wrong direction.

 


Choose to Be Faithful

December 9, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

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Yet Another Year of Choices

By Barbara Dahlgren

Galatians 5:22 tells us that faithfulness is a fruit of God’s Holy Spirit. The Greek word for faithfulness here “pistos” means to be trusted, reliable, believing, firmly persuaded, and having deep conviction. Other meanings would be standing fast, steadfast, loyal, devoted, trustworthy, dependable, resolute, and honest. It also speaks of endurance and a firmness of purpose that supersedes a just “grin and bear it” attitude when the living gets tough.

“Pistos” is a powerful little word. It’s a very positive, active attribute of character and much needed in today’s flippant, irresponsible world.

God sets the example in faithfulness. He is the source and standard of faithfulness which He has demonstrated in His dealings with the human race. The great old hymn Great Is Thy Faithfulness comes to mind. We can count on God to be faithful. He does not change. He doesn’t get tired, weary, or fed up with the passing of time. He is not slack concerning His promises. (2 Peter 3:9) That’s why we can totally trust Him.

How many of us have trusted medicine but found it didn’t solve our ills, investors but found they were crooks, spouses but found out they committed adultery, evangelists but found they were preaching one way and living another, or politicians but found out they lied? It’s a disillusioning world. Yet, God is always faithful! He is the Rock of a foundation upon which we can build our lives.

Faithfulness conveys the concept that someone will be there when needed. God tells us He will always be there for us. He will never leave or forsake us. What about us? Are we faithful to God and to others? Life is a training ground for faithfulness. Handling little things with consistency, steadiness, and faithfulness is how we learn to be faithful in all things.

When Pompeii was destroyed by the volcanic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, archaeologists discovered many people buried in different positions, in places they ran for safety such as attic chambers or deep vaults. However, the Roman soldier who stood as a sentinel was found standing at the gate of the city where he had been stationed with his hands still grasping his spear. There, while the earth shook beneath him and floods of ashes and cinders overwhelmed him, he stood. He did not abandon his post even when he was engulfed by the hot, molten rock.  There he was unearthed after a 1000 years.

The Parable of the Bags of Gold teaches us that each of us has been placed on earth as a caretaker of God’s business. We have been given a portion of life and charged with the responsibility of taking care of it, increasing it, investing it, and presenting it back to God. (Matthew 24:14-30)

Consider this… Most of us are average people, not spectacular, but we can all be faithful. What have we done with what God has given us?  No one is equal in talents, but we can all be equal in our efforts to use our talents. Faithfulness is so important that God tells us “…let love and faithfulness never leave you.” We are to write them in our hearts. (Proverbs 3:3)

One final thought… God really didn’t call us to be successful. He called us to be faithful. The faithful person is dependable in all of life’s circumstances.

 


Choose to Be Rooted in Christ

December 2, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

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Yet Another Year of Choices

By Barbara Dahlgren

 I love beautiful flowers but must admit I don’t have a green thumb. When someone gives me a plant, the family takes bets on how soon it will die. I’m still hanging onto a Christmas cactus my cousin gave me last year and have high hopes it will bloom in December. We’ll see??!!

However, my husband’s roses are the envy of the neighborhood. Once he had the most gorgeous climbing mandevillas. These four plants produced large pink flowers that spread across our front fence. Even strangers marveled at their beauty. Imagine our shock when we returned from a trip to find the vines cut straight across about 10 inches from the ground. The plants, roots and all, were gone.

It took us a few days to notice them missing because the flowers looked as lovely as usual. It was disheartening when we noticed our loss. Whom does one call in a situation like this? The potted plant patrol? The horticulture police? The lawn lawyer? The mandevilla militia? It was all I could do not to wish the culprits ill will. What kind of a warped person steals plants from someone’s front yard? I didn’t know whether to feel sorry for them or wish they’d get an incurable case of poison oak.

At first the flowers appeared to flourish and looked as good as ever. If you didn’t know the roots were gone, you’d have never suspected they were slowly dying. It was sad to see them one by one wilt and turn brown. The top blooms looked like they were reaching for the sun, clinging to life – but to no avail. Without the mother plants and roots, they couldn’t make it.

It reminds me of the parable of the sower in Matthew 13. (NIV) Some seeds fell along the path on the wayside. Some fell on stony ground. Some fell among thorns. Some fell on good ground. (v. 3-8) These seeds represent the Word of God. (v. 18 -23) Those that fell among the rocks represent people who receive the Word with joy and gladness but the seed doesn’t really take root.

Because these believers are filled with joy, no one would ever know they aren’t really rooted in Jesus Christ. By all appearances, they look like they are flourishing. They bloom a little and, like our dying mandevillas, they look like they are growing, but without roots they are doomed to wither and die. They believe and endure for a time. However, when tempted, afflicted, persecuted, or offended, they fall away. They do not persevere.

So I guess the question is, “Where are our roots?” Are we rooted in Jesus Christ? Are we rooted in the Word of God? Are we seeking to do the will of the Father? Are we developing an intimate relationship with Him on a daily basis? Or do we just come to church every week giving the appearance we are growing and flourishing. If so, when the trials come, we won’t make it.

Consider this… If we aren’t rooted in Christ, we might make it through temptation, affliction, or persecution only to have the least little offense do us in. Those close to God cannot be uprooted. (Proverbs 12:3)

One final thought… Those rooted in Christ are like trees planted by streams of water and yield fruit in due season. (Psalm 1:3)

 


Choose to Cope with Stress

November 25, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

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Yet Another Year of Choices

By Barbara Dahlgren

Stress used to be an engineering term. Years ago people were anxious, nervous, worried, or fretful but not stressed. In the 1950s, stress became a psychological term referring to conditions brought on by major catastrophes in a person’s life such as death, divorce, or life-threatening disease. Today, just getting out of bed could be a stress factor.

Here are some things recent research says causes stress: being married, not being married, having children, not having children, having a job, not having a job, working more than 40 hours a week, working less than 40 hours a week, retirement, your spouse’s job, your spouse not having a job, having sex, not having sex, taking a vacation, not taking a vacation, having family outings, not having family outings, playing the stock market, not playing the stock market, and so on and so forth. You might say, “You’re stressed if you do and you’re stressed if you don’t!” It has us coming and going.

Many turn to religion thinking that God in His infinite wisdom will miraculously take away all stress. Unfortunately, the Christian way of life is not promised to be stress-free. Just look at the great leaders in the Bible and ask yourself, “Were they stressed?”

Abraham and Sarah were elderly when they had Isaac. Noah had to build an ark without a cloud in the sky. Rahab put her life on the line for spies. Elijah hid in a cave from Jezebel. Jonah was swallowed by a big fish. Daniel was cast into a lion’s den. David fled for his life from Saul. Job lost everything he had.

Joseph was a know-it-all teenager who couldn’t keep his mouth shut, alienated his brothers, was sold into slavery, and cast into prison for many years before he became a prominent advisor to the king of Egypt.

Moses killed a man, fled Egypt for many years, reluctantly agreed to lead the children of Israel to freedom, dealt with mumbling Israelites, struck a rock in frustration, and didn’t even get to see the Promised Land.

Do you think they were stressed?

It’s estimated today that 75% of all illnesses are stress-related. Dr. Archibald Hart’s book Adrenaline and Stress states, “Stress disease is different from most forms of illness, we bring it on ourselves!”  We live in a 24/7 world. Society demands more and more of us, but many times we give in to demands when we don’t need to. Only we can decide what our personal limitations and priorities are. Even with that, we only have so much control.

A relationship with God will not take away stress but it will give us a coping mechanism to pass all understanding by the world’s standards. (Philippians 4:7) How else could Paul say that he could be troubled but not distressed, perplexed but not in despair, persecuted but not forsaken, cast down but not destroyed? (2 Corinthians 4) Paul knew his existence and ours was for God’s glory, not our own.

Consider this… God doesn’t take the trouble away all the time, but He does help us walk through it.

One final thought… Sometimes God calms the storm, sometimes he calms the child. Either way, He helps us cope with the stress in our lives.

 


Choose to Count Your Blessings

November 18, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

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Yet Another Year of Choices

By Barbara Dahlgren

As we enter the Thanksgiving season, I’m reminded of an old sampler in my grandmother’s house with the following words:

Count your blessings instead of your crosses.

Count your gains instead of your losses.

Count your smiles instead of your tears.

Count your courage instead of your fears.

Count your health instead of your wealth.

Love your neighbor as much as yourself.

I truly love anything to do with counting blessings. I love the old hymn lyrics “…name them one by one.” I love to hear Bing and Rosie warble “…count your blessings instead of sheep” in the movie White Christmas. I love a day that focuses on being thankful. Counting blessings keeps us focused on what really counts!

Thanksgiving often gets slighted in department store decorations that usually morph from Halloween into Christmas without giving Thanksgiving a proper nod. I guess a big turkey and Pilgrims dressed in drab costumes can’t compete with spooky witches or goblins and colorful Christmas trees. But on the other hand, maybe it’s okay. We shouldn’t really need to be reminded to be thankful, should we???? It should be a daily mindset instead of a once a year activity.

The older I get, the more I realize how many blessings I enjoy. For me just breathing, sleeping, and being able to get out of bed in the morning have become reasons to rejoice. And what a privilege it is to have clean food to eat, decent water to drink, shelter from a storm, and warm clothing in winter. Basics? Yes! But these are basics many people live without.

Living in the U.S. affords us many freedoms other parts of the world do without. Perhaps there is more government involvement in our lives than we wish, but freedom of religion is still a privilege many countries don’t offer. We can still openly worship God and read the Bible without fear of retribution. In other words, think of what we have, not what we don’t have.

The Pilgrims understood this better than anyone. It is said that in the first year in this new land, they made seven times more graves than huts. Still, when the harvest was in, they gave thanks to God. They knew how to count their blessings instead of crosses and losses. Hmm? That reminds me of my grandmother’s sampler.

Consider this… Those who truly understand the meaning of Thanksgiving know Who is responsible for every blessing they have.

Once final thought… “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord…” (Psalm 92:1, KJV)

 


Choose to Overcome Fear

November 11, 2018 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

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Yet Another Year of Choices

By Barbara Dahlgren

My last blog explored the subject of fear from a spiritual perspective. We discussed having a healthy fear of God and learned that fearing God in the right way can bring benefits. God doesn’t want us to unnecessarily tremble in His sight but He does want us to respect His power, acknowledge His holiness, worship His majesty, and reverence Him in our lives. This is not a bad thing. As we build a relationship with the living God, we realize He is a God of love and only wants the best for us.

Fear is a good thing, when kept in perspective. There is a healthy kind of fear that comes with wisdom or heeding caution. It keeps us from jumping off the side of a building thinking we can fly, picking up a rattlesnake thinking we won’t get bit, or driving 150 miles per hour thinking we won’t have an accident.

However, some fears paralyze us, keep us from doing what we should or could do, and prevent us from living a fuller, richer life, which is what God wants for us. Fear is an emotion we humans struggle with, so it’s only natural God would speak of it so often in the Bible – encouraging us not to fall into its grip. We should control our fears, not let our fears control us. Of course this is easier said than done.

Psalm 34:4 tells us that God delivers us from our fear, when we seek Him. Seeking God is a key to overcoming fear. However, this seeking of God is not just so He will deliver us from our trials or fears. We seek God so we can place our trust and faith in Him. It’s this faith and trust in God that calms our anxious hearts.

God has to continually remind us that He is with us.

God commanded Joshua to “be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NLT)

David wrote, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for You are with me.” (Psalm 23:4-6)

God told Isaiah, “Fear not for I am with you. Be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 40:31)

Sometimes we forget that God is with us. Wherever we go, God is with us.

Consider this… Whatever we encounter, God is with us. We lose sight of this when our focus turns from God to ourselves.

God is all powerful, omnipotent, sovereign, and in control. We should be extolling God at all times. (Psalm 34:1) Our praise for Him should be continually on our lips. Our goal should be to keep ourselves in a perpetual relationship with God – rejoicing always, praying without ceasing, and thanking God in all circumstances. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

If we do this, we won’t have to worry about overcoming fear. God will do it for us!

One final thought… I think there is some wisdom in this Ralph Waldo Emerson quote: “Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.”