A bit long but the message is worth the few extra minutes. ...
Choose faith over Fear.
None of us is immune to fear.
A while back, I was facing a potentially bad situation. It had gone on for months and months.
Every morning, the dread and fear hit me first thing: "This will not work out. It will cause a lot of heartache. You might as well plan for defeat."
Fear will try to dominate your thoughts.
If you allow it, fear will keep you awake at night.
Fear will steal your joy, steal your enthusiasm.
Those fears followed me around like a dark cloud.
But one day I heard God say something—not out loud.
It was just an impression deep within.
He said: "Joel, if you worry about this and you keep mulling over all the reasons why it will not work out, then because of your worry, you will allow that to come to pass. But if you will trust Me and use that same energy to believe instead of worry, then I will turn it around and cause it to work out to your advantage."
When I heard that, I found a new perspective.
I realized that worry, fear, and wrong thinking are not simply bad habits.
They allow the negative to come to pass.
I made a decision from that moment on: I would not worry about the bad situation anymore.
When I was tempted to get discouraged, I used the temptation as a reminder to thank God that He was in control and to thank Him that He was fighting my battles for me.
Several months later that situation resolved in my favor, and it turned out better than I could have imagined.
It was as if God put an exclamation point on it, saying, "See, Joel. If you'll just believe, if you'll just trust Me, I'll not only bring you out, I'll bring you out better off than you were before."
Focus on your faith; let God deal with your fear.
We have so many opportunities to be fearful in these times.
People are concerned about the economy, worried about their health, fearful for their children.
But God says to you what He said to me: "Don't use your energy to worry. Use your energy to believe."
Do you know that it takes the same amount of energy to believe as it does to worry?
It's just as easy to say, "God is supplying all of my needs," as it is to say, "I will never make it."
It takes the same amount of effort to say, "I will live a long healthy life,"as it does to say, "I don't think I'll ever get well."
When someone expresses fear about being laid off, I understand the concern.
Your fears may be valid, too, but you can't go around meditating on them, expecting the worst, expecting to have a bad year.
When you dwell on your fears, you use your faith in reverse.
Instead of constantly worrying, simply say, "God, my life is in Your hands. I know You're guiding and directing my steps and I'm not expecting defeat. I'm not expecting failure. I'm expecting to have a blessed year. I'm expecting to go over and not under."
You might ask, "What if I do that and it doesn't happen?"
What if you do it and it does happen?
Even if you were to get laid off, you don't have to get discouraged or think, I knew it wouldn't work for me.
Instead, stay in faith.
Know that when one door closes, God will open up another.
If you keep the right attitude, He'll give you a better job, with better benefits, making better money!
Your fears are almost always greater than the reality.
Fear feels big.
It is intimidating.
It will tell you: "You will never be healthy.""
That child will never change."
"Your finances will fall apart."
You need to face that fear and say, "You sound impressive. You look tough. But I know the truth. There's nothing really to you. You may talk a good talk, but I know your bite is not near as big as your bark.
You may look permanent, but I know you're only temporary.
Things in my life may be a little dark and cloudy right now. It looks like they will never change.
But I have inside information.
I know the sun is still shining and it's just a matter of time before this fog dissipates and the sky will be as clear and beautiful as it's always been."
Your fears become more powerful when you dwell on them.
You give them power by playing out every worst-case scenario as if you were watching a scary movie.
Negative thoughts turn into negative images.
Even small fears can become terrifying when you blow them out of proportion.
Take that small pain in your side. It's nothing.
You just had too much to eat.
But negative thoughts will come creeping: That's cancer. My mother had it. My grandmother had it. Now it's my time.
If you let those discouraging thoughts play out over and over again, before long you'll see yourself in the hospital.
You'll see yourself not able to take care of your children.
You'll see yourself at your own funeral.
No, you should cast down those nagging thoughts.
Don't let negative pictures play on the movie screen of your mind.
You are the director and the audience.
You are in charge.
Take the remote control.
Change the channel.
If you let your imagination run wild, let it run wild in a POSITIVE direction.
Always choose Faith over Fear!"
"It's Your Time"
- J. Osteen
.......ILMO D. Lopp