Destroying the Cycle of Fear in Your Life

5 Mins read

Fear is a powerful thing. If you are facing something that you are afraid of, it’s easy to become consumed by that fear. This consuming power changes the way you think. In turn, this change in the way you think impacts the way that you speak. Now that the way that you’re speaking and thinking has changed, the way that you behave also changes. Fearful thoughts that turn into thoughts and actions quickly produce more fearful thoughts, leading to a vicious cycle.

However, you don’t have to live in the fear cycle. The Bible assures us that God has not given us the spirit of fear, but instead, He has given us a Spirit of love, power and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Armed with that knowledge, we can look deeper into Scripture to gain a better understanding of how to destroy the cycle of fear in our lives. God’s plan for us is not for us to live in a constant state of terror. Instead, He wants us to live in the freedom associated with His peace and joy.

Facing Your Greatest Fear
Take a moment and be honest with yourself about what your greatest fear is. Is it the fear of losing your job? Maybe you’re terrified about not living up to your potential and spending your life stuck in what you consider a dead-end career. Perhaps your fear doesn’t involve work, but instead, you’re worried about never finding that “special someone” to spend your life with. For some, fear goes beyond jobs and relationships and involves a troubling diagnosis from a physician. Whatever your greatest fear in life is, acknowledge it within yourself.

Once you’ve recognized your greatest fear, take a moment to think about how it’s impacting your thoughts, words and behaviors. Are you considered “cutthroat” at work because you’re willing to make yourself seem valuable at the expense of others? Do you allow your fear of being alone drive you into unhealthy relationships in the name of finding validation? If health issues are at the heart of your biggest fear, perhaps you’ve isolated yourself to ease the pain associated with having to say goodbye to friends and family members.

Now that you’ve acknowledged your biggest fear and identified the way that it sparks the fear cycle in your life, start the process of letting it go. Let’s take a look at Scripture.

Exodus 14:3 (ESV)
The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.

Moses spoke these words to the Israelites when they were cornered by Pharaoh’s army at the Red Sea. Israel’s greatest fear was dying in the wilderness. Moses’ greatest fear was failing in his mission as God’s chosen leader for His people. All of them were afraid, and the situation at hand wasn’t doing anything to help matters. With an army coming up behind them and a dead end made out of water in front of them, Moses took a bold step: he stopped talking, and he told Israel to do the same.

The first step to breaking the fear cycle in your life is to stop spending all of your time hyper-focused on the issue at hand. Instead, shift your focus to the faithfulness of God. Rest in His promise that He will fight for you, you have only to be silent.

God rolled the Red Sea back so His people could go through on dry land. He’ll do the same for you.

Relinquishing Control of Your Heart
John 14:27 (ESV)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

When we discuss the heart, we’re not really talking about the organ that is responsible for providing blood to the rest of your body. Instead, the heart refers to the innermost part of each person. When discuss the cycle of fear, the way that it changes your thoughts and actions are directly tied to your heart.

Jesus recognized that fear would have the power to cause heart problems. Yes, fear can cause problems with your physical heart, but it can also wreak havoc on the innermost part of who you are. As humans, we have a natural tendency to veer toward self-reliance. We like to think that we can figure out the solutions to our own problems. The modern gospel of self-reliance flies in the face of God’s design for us.

One of the most powerful ways to break the cycle of fear is to relinquish control of your heart. Jesus promises His children His type of peace. His peace isn’t like peace that the world offers. Instead, His peace outweighs all of our fears and doesn’t ebb and flow like worldly peace does. If you’re paralyzed by fear, give control of your heart to Him. Accept His peace.

The Decision is Yours
Joshua 1:9 (ESV)

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

God will not force you to break the cycle of fear in your life. Instead, He simply provides you with the tools necessary to break it. However, the ultimate choice about whether or not to let fear rule our lives is up to us.

Joshua was God’s handpicked leader to replace Moses. At the close of the book of Deuteronomy, Moses died. Israel still hadn’t made it into the Promised Land, which meant they needed a new leader. Can you imagine the fear associated with replacing Moses?! Joshua had never had God speak to him in a burning bush like Moses had. Joshua hadn’t held his staff over the Red Sea and seen it roll back so God’s people could walk through. However, Joshua had been faithful in the face of fearful circumstances.

Joshua was afraid. However, God spoke to Joshua and admonished him to do a few things:
• Be strong
• Be courageous
• Do not be frightened
• Do not be dismayed

There were two things God wanted Joshua to do and two things He wanted him to avoid. Joshua needed to choose strength and courage while refusing to be frightened and dismayed. The choice was his.

How could Joshua reject the feelings of fear and focus on the promises of God? Because he knew that the Lord was with him wherever he went. We can rest in the same promises. We do not have to be frightened and dismayed. Instead, we can be strong and courageous because the same God who was with Joshua is with us!

It is not sinful to have moments where you’re afraid. Fear is a natural human emotion that God wired into all of us before we were born. However, we do not have to give fear the power in our lives. Fear does not have to dictate your thought patterns, your words and your behaviors. Instead, allow the Holy Spirit to minister to you in the face of your fears.

God’s plans for you are greater than anything that has caused you to experience fear. Embrace the truth of His Word and break the destructive cycle of fear in your life.

A Closing Prayer:
God, You are fully aware of how afraid I am of the situation in front of me. I see no way out, and it’s becoming increasingly easy to let these feelings of fear control every other area of my life. Help me to become more focused on You than I am on what’s going on in my life. I know that You are with me just like you were with Moses and Joshua. I give you control of my heart, and I accept the peace that You offer me. When feelings of fear and doubt creep in, I need the Holy Spirit to minister to me to stir up my faith and recalibrate my focus on You and Your promises. I ask all of these things in Christ’s name, Amen.

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