19. Don’t Let Fear Consume You

fear-of-water-picGenesis 42:35-36 NKJV Then it happened as they emptied their sacks, that surprisingly each man’s bundle of money was in his sack; and when they and their father saw the bundles of money, they were afraid. (36) And Jacob their father said to them, “You have bereaved me: Joseph is no more, Simeon is no more, and you want to take Benjamin. All these things are against me.”

Genesis 43:18 NKJV Now the men were afraid because they were brought into Joseph’s house; and they said, “It is because of the money, which was returned in our sacks the first time, that we are brought in, so that he may make a case against us and seize us, to take us as slaves with our donkeys.”

When Jacob saw the money bags that had been mysteriously returned in his sons’ sacks of grain and heard that Simeon was taken prisoner pending his brothers return with Benjamin, he was filled with fear. He immediately began to think the worse. Jacob began confessing that his son Simeon was dead. Then he continued down that same path fearing the death of Benjamin and the rest of his sons should they return again to Egypt.

Jacob had no proof of any of this. It was all merely a horrible fantasy that grew as he meditated on his fear. You see, fear causes one to awfullize a situation and believe it is worse than it actually is. When we meditate, think on, or dwell on our fear or concern, we create a cycle where we begin to imagine potential negative outcomes. These new thoughts increase our anxiety and lead us to fear even more. This continues in a downward spiral until we are completely consumed with fear.

For every negative, fearful situation your imagination can create, there are multiple, favorable, and amazingly wonderful outcomes as well. Just as fear grows and is magnified by meditating on fearful thoughts, faith grows and is magnified as we think on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, good reports, virtuous, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). God’s Word and His promises to us are all these things. The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 10:17 that, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” You can grow your fear or your faith. The choice is yours.

In every situation, you have a choice. You can allow fear to consume you, meditate on horrible outcomes, awfullizing the situation and literally make yourself sick with grief, or you can build yourself up with faith in the Word of God. Mediate on good things, and FEAR NOT!

Philippians 4:8 NKJV Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

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