Editor's Note: We are a non-religious magazine. However, we acknowledge that spirituality is an important part for some. Our Faith column is a place for anyone to discuss how faith positively affects their mental health and how to improve the conversation around mental health within faith communities.
As humans we are taught to fight for ourselves. Fight for what’s right, fight failing health, fight for justice and equality. To fight in the name of a person or place. Always fighting. Move forward and have strength.
While these are all great inspirational motivators, we’re missing the big picture.
Admiration is acknowledging when a person fights a grueling battle. Encouragement is necessary in order to survive and thrive in battle. In fact, Hebrews 10:24 says this:
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.”
Hebrews 3:13 then says this:
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“But encourage one another daily; as long as it is called “Today”, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
These verses embody Christian fellowship and as Christians living in community we are called to be obedient in giving and receiving encouragement from our brothers and sisters in Christ. However, we need to be steadfast in surrendering our fears to God.
From the outside, this is unknown to most. I look strong, ready to face battle, happy, unburned, light on my feet, an infectious smile, laughter comes easily. I am comfortable and at ease. Anxiety, stress, and weariness are curable with a cup of coffee.
On the inside, I have fear and sometimes this fear is crippling. Fear whispers my name, it sits in the corner, lurks in the dark and waits for me in my weakest moments.
In my experience, fear comes in the form of lies–lies from Satan. Lies that say “You will never be good enough for love” “You will only be good enough if….”, or “You’re not worthy.”
Can you identify with some these? Perhaps all of these? Fear has an incredible amount of power. Fear, guilt and shame keep us in a cycle. Unfortunately this cycle always demands an action and then a reaction.
What if there was a different approach?
Instead of relying solely on ourselves or the encouragement of others to help us fight this excruciating battle we turn to God with abandonment and surrender.
Exodus 14:14 says,
“The Lord will fight for you, you only need to be still.”
We hear numerous times that God has paid the price for our struggles on the cross. This verse in Exodus helps us better understand in current context His willingness to fight. It becomes more tangible and applicable to our lives.
The Father’s willingness to fight for us is unwavering, unchanging and reliant. In “Learning to Let God Love” published here on Libero Network, writer Sebastian Temlett talked about experiencing a closeness with God when he prayed to be able to let himself be accept God’s love. In the same way, we can pray that we can let God handle our fear and emotions.
First, it can be letting go of the fear of feeling of emotions. People are created intricately to feel and express emotion. We can also know that emotions interchangeable; they can be temporary.
Secondly, we can identify and accept the emotion. Accepting and owning your emotions is no easy task–it can be difficult and painful at times. Rest in knowing God does not fear our emotions; all we need to do is call upon His name.
He waits patiently for us to call His name. It is then that He is ready to fight our battles with us.
Lastly, we can responsibly and rightly express our emotions and feelings. This is this hardest part, especially when battling self-destructive behaviors. It isn’t until recently that I’ve discovered how instantly gratifying self-destructive behaviours can be a form of temptation. This type of temptation and fear is not of God.
I’m far from perfect. I struggle relentlessly at times to do the right thing. But I’m learning to give my fears and feelings over to God so He can fight for me.
Recovering from any kind of pain is exhausting but we must remember that we are promised to be upheld by His right hand and that He will never leave you or forsake us. ( Isaiah 41:10, Deuteronomy 31:6)
“The Lord will fight for you, you only need to be still.” (Exodus 14:14) Let Him fight for you today.
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