From time to time, we all have to face circumstances we fear; whether a trip to the dentist, a bad medical diagnosis and painful treatments, breaking bad news to a loved one, or simply facing a new, unfamiliar situation. As much as we would like to avoid them, sometimes our fears must be met head on.
Surrendering to fear goes against God’s Word.
Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’Isaiah 41:10
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.Joshua 1:9
Especially today, when we face previously unimaginable challenges almost every day, it is helpful to develop strategies to get through these potentially paralyzing fears.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.2 Timothy 1:7
I have learned to cope with fearful situations by thinking past them and visualizing what I will do afterwards. With my mouthful of scary dental equipment, I will imagine myself saying, “Farewell,” to the dentist, getting into my car, and driving home. I try to imagine this what’s next scenario in the greatest detail I can, adding sights, sensations, and even smells.
While I’ve found this to be a useful tool when facing things that intimidate me in my personal life, I think it works in the larger context, as well.
Looking at the dire predictions or potential catastrophes in our world as temporary conditions to live through on our journey to Heaven puts them and our fears into perspective.
Even the most unpleasant circumstance can be more easily tolerated when we see ourselves beyond it.
It helps to think about what comes next.
Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven…Matthew 5:12