Tom grew up in a warzone. Nobody was safe inside the walls of his “home.” While young, he began making excuses for being out—activities, work, whatever. Instead of going to birthday parties and playing sports, he hung out on the streets, hiding the truth.
While out and about, though, he wasn’t searching for something better. He was simply living life on his terms.
“I don’t need anyone. Dreams were stupid.” His attitude was as dark as home.
Though everyone considered him tough as nails, he secretly saw himself as damaged goods. This was the hand he’d been dealt.
Fear as a way of life.
Tom would say he wasn’t afraid of anyone or anything, but fear was masked by the anxiety of when the next snap would come, when the next session of abuse would leave him feeling hated, helpless and alone.
While younger than most, he moved out on his own. But every time he found something good, he waited for the bottom to fall out.
Fear was shaping his behavior. He quit jobs for the smallest reasons, his temper costing him the stability and safety he craved. He didn’t trust anyone. He chose relationships doomed to fail; love hurt anyway.
Getting the Word on it.
According to Proverbs 29:25: “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever leans on, trusts in and puts his confidence in the Lord is safe and set on high.”
Tom was caught in a snare until he welcomed Jesus into His life, something he thought he would never do. He slowly began to understand that he was worth loving and there was a Father due his love, respect and trust. He addressed his self-destructive behavior and built a life of love and peace. Today, his prayers are filled with thankfulness.
Fear isn’t just an emotion that causes an adrenaline surge when you cross a bridge or see a shady character approaching you in the dark of the night. It’s a tool Satan uses to get us to expect the worst, to surrender God’s plan for our lives into a minimal existence.
Christians have been rescued from the fear of this world. 1 John 4:18 says: “There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown love turns fear out of doors and expels every trade of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection.]”
God is love. He is why we can think beyond the fearful thoughts and embrace expectations of His great love and goodness, which takes the worst situations and turns them around to create happy, fulfilling lives.
If your life is filled with fear, turn the tables and fill it with faith—faith in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God has a plan for your life that’s better than you can imagine.
It’s simple really: good God, bad devil.
“For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but He has given us a spirit of power and of love and of sound mind,” (2 Timothy 1:7).
-By Janenne Irene Pung, Deacon at Harvest Barn Church
To read more posts by Janenne, go to listenwordpower.wordpress.com.