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Need a Dose of Peace?

Probably the strongest emotional motivator is fear (guilt runs a close second). The list of things people fear is endless: snakes, public speaking, job loss, losing a mate, death, etc. When decisions are made out of fear, the result is bondage—to someone or something.

Missing Out

So many times in the counseling office, I see people motivated by their fear of not being loved. Consequently, their fear motivates them to give themselves inappropriately to other people. For example, some women have given their bodies to get the love they fear they'll never have. Unfortunately, they don't really get love but wind up in bondage to that person.


Circumstances around us can give us cause to fear. The stock market is a good example of that. I must admit, like many, I succumbed to this fear. From July-Oct. 1998, when the stock market was so erratic, I was afraid the market would collapse and I would lose everything. The decisions I then made were based on my fear. Looking back, I know I made some financial decisions for the wrong reasons.

Around the Corner

Fear of future "unknowns" is quite evident in the current Y2K dilemma. As I've listened to some "experts" talk about the problem, I've heard an undercurrent of fear laced throughout their words. We can't fully predict what will happen when Jan. 1, 2000 rolls around. But imagining the myriad of possibilities is causing many people to take some rather extreme measures, such as moving to the mountains, stockpiling food and buying generators. Now, I'm not saying we shouldn't take some precautions. But I guarantee that many people will make decisions based upon their fear rather than on wisdom regarding the Y2K situation.

The Great Beyond

The fear of death is an extremely powerful and immobilizing fear. Recently, Eldeen and I lost a very close friend to cancer. As Angel was battling the disease and coming to grips with her mortality, I saw her experience a tremendous amount of fear and anxiety.

Death is the ultimate unknown we face. Sure, we can read scriptures on what heaven is like. But there is no one we can talk to who has seen the other side of this life. When our heart stops beating and we leave our earth suit, what awaits us next is a complete unknown.

A few days before she died, Angel experienced a new peace. Eldeen was at her side in the last moments. Angel's breathing had been labored for awhile when suddenly she opened her eyes as if viewing an awesome sight. Angel then took her last breath and slipped away peacefully. When Eldeen called to give me the news, there was a sadness to her voice, but there was also an excitement—the very same tone she had when she told me about seeing her own grandchildren being born. In both cases, Eldeen had witnessed a new birth—one into this world and the other into the eternal realm with our Lord.

Perspective Setting

Regarding fear, we are given several admonitions in scripture.

Phil. 4:6&7 - "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Let's break this verse down. It doesn't say that we won't be anxious or fearful in this fallen, imperfect world. But when we are, we are to take our anxious thoughts to God, giving Him the burden of our fear. We are to ask Him for guidance, direction and wisdom as we give Him control of our lives and of the fearful situation. Then we are to thank Him that there is an answer—He will provide us peace.

Recently, a woman came to see me who was so fearful because her husband was finally divorcing her after a 5-year separation. She had been hanging on to him out of her insecurity. Her fear got to be so great that one night she prayed like never before. After just a few hours of sleep, she awoke with complete peace. She told me she finally let go of her fear and gave God control of her life, allowing Him to meet her needs.

Isaiah 41:10 - "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."

As Christians, we are never alone. In every situation we face, God is right there with us. He promises to give us what we need, when we need it. He is our rock of refuge and strength. The story is told of a reporter asking the great evangelist D.L. Moody if he had the grace to die. In reply, Moody stated, "Ask me when I'm dying." God will provide what we need—grace, peace, strength, wisdom, etc.—when we need it. All we need to do is ask.

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