“Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved” (Psalm 62:1)
Stress has been linked to strokes, heart failure, and other diseases. Stress can become overwhelming when you make too many life changes simultaneously.
One major contibutor to stress is worry and the anxiety that comes with it. Worry comes from the fear of uncertainty. The Psalmist gives his solution for keeping stress in balance.
Because of his relationship with God, he refuses to allow anything to stress him out. He avoids sickness and disease that stem from stress by trust. Trusting God because throughout his life God has proven to be trustworthy, as a deliverer from trouble.
Clinicians promote the value of spirituality in healing. They attest to the fact that spiritual people heal faster and live more balanced lives. Like the Psalmist, they too trust in God. They too refuse to worry and fret about the cares of life; God is their salvation, their deliverer.
I invite you to trust God today. God satisfies!
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In school, we played a card game called “knuckles”. I don’t know if you ever played it, but the object was whoever lost the hand would have their knuckles struck with entire deck of cards. The object was to try to get the person who lost to flinch when you went to hit his knuckles. If he flinched, the edge of the cards would cut his knuckles but if he didn’t flinch, he would just absorb the blow. If the boy flinched, we would call him scared. And from that point on, we would torment him until he learned not to flinch under the threat of danger.
I remember as a soldier standing in line to receive my immunizations. Each moment I got closer to the medic who held that needle which would penetrate my skin, my heart rate increased, my skin sweated profusely, and the only thing the medic told me when I was next was don’t you flinch. He said, if you flinch the needle may scar your arm and give you a wound for which you will need treatment. I stood there afraid, but I didn’t flinch.
Flinching is shirking back in the face of danger, suddenly, you move off your position, you take down your guard, and you yield to the okie doke. Flinching occurs when you’re unsure of your calling, your purpose, and your ability to do what you set out to do. If someone or some circumstance lurched at you, would you flinch? Or would you stand still and remain confident of your ability to be successful.
Flinching occurs when your fear is greater than your resolve. But when you know that you know that what you are standing for is justice and righteousness you must not flinch. Friends may not understand you or your mission. They may even believe that doing you harm will do God service, but you must not flinch. Flinching shows a lack of confidence in your stated calling and a lack of courage to persist until you succeed. If you flinch in front of your enemies, they will bully you and cause you to back down.
In the movie “What’s love got to do with it,” Tina sits in her dressing room, about to start a new life. Ike enters out of nowhere, shows up brandishing a revolver, and sits it on her dresser. He asks “what you going to do now Annie Mae?” She just sits in the mirror, she didn’t flinch, neither did she panic. You could see the look in her eyes that regardless what Ike did, she was determined to maintain her resolve. She told Ike people were in the audience waiting to see her perform. She told him he could do what he wanted with his gun, even shoot her, but she was moving forward. She had made up her mind to begin a new life and his threat of bodily harm would not stop her. She got up from her desk, walked past Ike and went on to do a wonderful performance of “What’s love got to do with it.” Tina Turner stood her ground and when threatened she did not flinch. Her resolve was stronger than her fear and she won the victory.
You should do no less; don’t you flinch! It’s your season; it’s your time!
“Surely you must realize what I and the other kings of Assyria before me have done to all the people of the earth! Were any of the gods of those nations able to rescue their people from my power? Which of their gods was able to rescue its people from the destructive power of my predecessors? What makes you think your God can rescue you from me? Then King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz cried out in prayer to God in heaven. And the lord sent an angel who destroyed the Assyrian army with all its commanders and officers. So Sennacherib was forced to return home in disgrace to his own land. And when he entered the temple of his god, some of his own sons killed him there with a sword.” ~ 2 Chronicles 32:13-14, 20-21, NLT
Voices of sure defeat took up residence in my head; their bold taunts reverberated through my ears. My faith was being tested severely. The forces against me were more powerful than the resources I had at my disposal. For a moment I became afraid.
Then I heard another voice remind me: “What time I am afraid, I will trust in the Lord.” I called on the Lord only to discover that what I was powerless to handle God was more than able to resolve.
Don’t believe the voices that threaten your safety and security; we serve a mighty God. Our God will hear and our God will deliver.
“God is love.. . .There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear.”
I’ve discovered the secret to vanquishing fear. Love; mature, unconditional, love. I’ve found it. I told you i used to be afraid of dying as an unknown entity. Well, not anymore. I’ve found unconditional, unbiased, love. Now I can live in the country on an isolated road. As long as love is present with me; I’m filled with joy. I’m like a kid in a candy store because love has found me. I’m at peace because God has given me peace!
The love of God surrounds me whereever I am. Because of this I can’t die unknown. In fact my life is eternal because I was eternally created in God. I’m changing now; I’m growing now. But I no longer fear not having people at my funeral or dying alone. In fact I feel no fear; I feel life. Love does conquer fear; love does motivate us to excellence because of who we are. Love is everything!
“For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” ~ (2 Tim 1:7, HCSB)
For as early as I can remember, I have always had this nagging fear of dying and no one knows me. Thus, I have not wanted a house in the country 2-3 miles from my neighbors. I have not wanted a job locked away in solitude to enjoy my work alone. I have wanted to do spectacular noticeable things to ensure someone would know I had lived.
In 2006, of all the things I could have done, I bought a house in the country. It was a 3 bedroom 2 bath home on a country road in Greenville, Georgia. For a time I was happy, but alas it is a place I realize I may never live in again. My fears beckoned me to leave, to return to a place crowded with people. I guess you could say, I am a city fellow now. But I know its not because I like people, its because I fear being unknown, of being insignificant, of dying and no one attend my funeral.
I was beckoned away from the country by a call to serve in Louisiana by a long-time friend. The service I would render would increase my knowledge among an even wider audience. I left without hesitation although I was already known by many people, one never can tell who will forget one. So off I went to discover another place, I had left over 20 years before. Because of these fears, I have and continue to be motivated to excel. And this impetus keeps me moving forward ensuring others will deem me worthy to be remembered.
I agree that God has not given us “the spirit of fearfulness” but I also agree that fear is a natural part of the human experience. Fear motivates us to action. Fear is an activator of our fight or flight reflex. Since, God has gifted us with “love, power, and sound judgment” to fight our innate fears and win, I overcome my fear with faith – the courage to do it afraid. I choose to fight my fears by excellence and trying to make a difference in other peoples’ lives. I choose to exist as a leader, a person who advocates for others, and a person who ensures he is noticed in the world. People have commended me on my efforts and told me they have been helped throughout my journey. Yet, their applause was not what I wanted; it was their friendship. I most of all want to be remembered because to be remembered is mmortality to me.
There I was, looking downward, my feet barely clinging to the edge of the cliff. Earlier that morning my platoon sergeant had announced that our squad would lead the commando repelling exercise. Before I knew it, I had volunteered to go first, although I hadn’t the slightest idea what commando repelling was. After all the demonstrations, getting geared up, it was time. And there I stood looking face first into the space leading to the bottom of the cliff.
My knees buckled, my confidence eroded, and my heart beat rapidly. For a split second, I decided to turn around, to wait and go next. But before I could act on that impulse, I heard my platoon sergeant below. “Don’t you dare change your mind,” he shouted.
Startled, I grabbed the rope, and ran down the side of the cliff. I made it; the adrenaline rush was huge. My self-confidence level soared. Those soldiers for whom I was squad leader applauded my success and in succession followed my lead. This exercise cemented my role as their leader; they trusted me.
When faced with doing the unfamiliar or uncomfortable, lead. You’re ready for the challenge. “Don’t You Dare Change Your Mind, ” he said. He knew what was at stake and I now so do I.