Thursday, April 1, 2010

April, 2010 -- Overcoming the fear of loss

"I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you."
Isaiah 46:4

This fear may be more prevalent now than in quite some time. So many of us or those we know are fearing a loss of a job or a home or the life we’ve led before. It’s easy to panic and worry and practically stop any building of any kind. But we don’t have to let this fear knock us off the ladder, because we can rest instead in this opportunity for grace to surround us like sunshine when there’s much work to do.

Sometimes the fear of a loss -- not even the loss itself -- can confuse our thinking and cause us to make poor choices. We can retreat, second-guess ourselves, refuse to trust God, and lose all faith in His provision and care. We forget the grace He supplies to meet this fear.

Fearing a loss won’t stop the loss -- unless of course it causes us to address and change some damaging behavior. Decide if that’s possible in your case and put a plan into effect to help yourself [for example, if you’re habitually late for work and afraid you’ll lose your job because of it, don’t be late. I know that may be a silly example, but you get the idea.], and it can work because of God’s grace that surrounds us like sunshine and energy when the to-do list is long and time is short.

Whether we’re afraid of losing something as real as a job or as hard to grasp as someone’s approval, too often -- before we rest in God’s grace -- we can be untrue to who we are. We might do something that’s stupid or a waste of time when we could do something else – build.

God’s presence and grace gives us a strategy to grip the ladder when we’re staring a loss in the face and wondering how to deal with it. We can honestly assess the situation before us, make smart choices, and continue to live as God’s directing us. He may not reveal the whole building plan to us all at once, but He’ll guide us with work to do today and then tomorrow. Our work that’s true to Him will replace the fear. Let’s take a quick look at each part of the strategy.

*We can honestly assess the situation before us. Often we fear what we don’t know, so it’s important to get as much information about the situation you’re afraid of that you can. Over-reaction, quick moves, careless words – all that just makes things worse. Ignoring a potentially serious situation with a head-in-the-sand attitude isn’t being honest about your life either. Know as much as you can about what you fear, then deal with it—smartly—and securely because you know you’re not alone.

*We can make smart choices. We can do the getting-to-work-on-time thing. We can do the work that’s required of us. We can keep promises or commitments. But perhaps more important than any of that, we can keep our minds focused on who we are in God’s plan -- not worry about what He’s no doubt already figured out anyway. I know that sounds simplistic and even patronizing, but the point is that the first smart choice we make every day when we’re fearing a loss is to choose God over the fear we feel, to receive His grace for that day, even for that moment, and reflect Him in the next thing we do.

*We can continue to live as God’s directing us -- doing as Peter himself advised: Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you [1 Peter 5:7]. We can build on the wall in front of us, one brick at a time. We can talk to Him frequently and listen to His guidance. We can remember everything He’s taught us, draw on the strength His presence provides, and we can walk through each day in trust -- that’s really all He asks. And if we do that, trust and obey without fear, we will build with His provision and care —- just like He planned all along ~~
because this opportunity for grace to surround us like sunshine when there’s much work to do is an opportunity we don’t want to miss.

- What are you afraid you’ll lose – a job, financial security, career opportunities, love, esteem? How have you faced any of those losses in the past and overcome them?
- How has the fear affected your relationship with God?
- What about your potential loss frightens you so? Is it because you feel alone or forgotten by God? How do you think God sees your fear?

o ~ o ~o

Please visit April's Partner Blogger: Tammy at My Heart . . . His words and join her as well as we explore this topic.

You can read below or download the study of Peter for yourself or your group.

Thanks for being part of our tour . . . please post your comments and stories for all our readers. See you soon! God bless you.

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