Patrick and Ruth Schwenk on How to Turn to God When You Feel Afraid

Our son was still fifteen driving with a learner’s permit, when he nearly hit his first deer. We were driving home from a wedding in Ohio and just yards from the entrance to our neighborhood, appeared a deer in the middle of the road.

The deer looked as surprised as we did. Looking each other in the eyes, the deer froze in place. Thankfully, we did not. Our son swerved left, missing the deer by inches.  The phrase “deer in the headlights” has taken on all new meaning in our family! And we can certainly identify with freezing in the face of fear.

“Freezing” is not an unusual response to fear. It is quite natural, actually. After all, we live in a big world that is filled with a lot of danger. It’s no wonder we feel paralyzed by our pain and frozen in our fear.

When we face pain and suffering, we have all sorts of choices we could make. Choices to run. Hide. Choices to find comfort or relief in someone, or something else, besides Jesus. But one thing we shouldn’t do, is nothing. So how do we respond to fear? How do we turn to God and not away from Him when we are afraid?

In Psalm 56:3, the psalmist writes, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Here are a few practical steps to take the next time you find yourself staring danger in the face. Each of these steps are meant to help us not only turn to God, but also, put our trust in God.

1.  Identify the fear

Notice the psalmist says, “When I am afraid.” Not if. Fear is inevitable. Most of us face fear each day. But one thing to keep in mind is fear is rarely from God. And so, we ought to always pay attention to when we are feeling afraid and why.

Fear loves to live in the shadows. And so, one of the important first steps to take is to identify what we are specifically afraid of. Below is a common list of fears. Take a minute and write down which one you are struggling with the most. Put a name to your fear.

A List of Common Fears We All Face

Fear of Death:

Fear of the Future:

Fear of Finances:

Fear of People:

2.  Identify the lie

Once we have identified our fear, it’s critical to trace the lie underneath our fear. This is another way of turning to God when we are afraid. We are trying to get underneath or behind what is making us afraid.

What are we not believing about God’s Word?
Is there a promise I am doubting?
Is there some kind of deficit in my relationship with God the Father?
Is this a spiritual attack meant to lead me toward doubt and despair?
Am I trying to be God?

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Patrick and Ruth Schwenk