Has fear kept you awake at night? Has it hindered you from saying yes to a new opportunity? Has it caused you to make impulsive choices you later regretted? If so, you’re not alone!
Fear is a big deal for many women. If left unchecked, it can prevent us from fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives. So, what’s the answer? How can we move beyond fear into freedom?
Grace Fox, Canadian author of four books including Moving from Fear to Freedom: A Woman’s Guide to Peace in Every Situation, shares the answers in her newly released DVD and Bible study guide titled Moving from Fear to Freedom: A Woman-to-Woman Conversation.
Q: Fear seems to be an ever-present theme throughout the Bible. Describe the difference between healthy and unhealthy fear.
A: Healthy fear steers us toward wise decisions and actions. It promotes self-preservation. For example, we look both ways before crossing the street for fear of getting hit by a car. In contrast, unhealthy fear hinders our ability to fully embrace life because it consumes us with negative thinking and what-ifs. The effects can literally make us sick.
Q: How does destructive fear stunt our emotional or spiritual growth?
A: Destructive fear—the fear of rejection, for instance—might keep us from admitting to someone that we’ve been physically or sexually abused. Without receiving the help we need to deal with those issues, we never experience freedom. Our struggles might seriously hamper our ability to truly love and receive love in a marital relationship. This is just one example among many of how our emotional growth is affected.
Spiritually, fear can cause us to say no to God-given dreams or assignments because we’re afraid of personal inadequacy or financial insecurity. If we never step out in faith, then we never experience God’s ability to equip and provide in amazing ways. Spiritual growth comes when we say yes to God and “do it afraid.”
Q: You suggest we need to place our focus on God and not on fear. In practical terms, how do we do this?
A: Several strategies that I’ve found helpful…
- Write Scripture promises on 3×5 cards and post them where we see them often. Readers can download a free list of such Scriptures and several relevant articles from my website: http://www.gracefox.com/resources/#downloadables
- Memorize Scripture promises and meditate on them throughout the day and as we fall asleep at night. We are transformed as our mind is renewed.
- Fill our homes with praise and worship music.
- Spend time in God’s word on a regular basis, not just when we’re in a panic. The more we do so, the more familiar we become with His promises and the better prepared we are to face frightening circumstances when they come.
- Talk to the Lord throughout the day. Invite Him into the mundane. Practice His presence. The more we get to know Him, the more we’re able to trust Him in the face of fear.
Q: Most of us feel inadequate at times. You suggest we cannot use our inadequacies as an excuse for not participating with God’s purposes. How do we get past this?
A: We get past our fear of inadequacy by admitting we have it. Then we need to retrain our thinking to focus on God’s adequacies rather than our inadequacies.
- Tell God how we feel. “Help! I don’t think I can do such-and-such!”
- Tell a trusted friend and ask her to pray for us.
- Move forward. Do it afraid and expect God to equip us.
Q: Describe this resource and how participants can receive the greatest benefit from it.
A: It’s a seven-week study filled with biblical teaching and personal anecdotes. Each session begins by viewing a 25-30 minute teaching video. When the video ends, participants follow suggested Table Talk questions for about 15 minutes. Then they do the Bible study questions together. Each participant uses her own guide book so she can take notes and write answers. Facilitator’s notes are included. The study covers these topics:
- an overview of fear
- fear for our loved ones’ well-being
- fear of personal inadequacy
- fear of rejection
- fear of facing the ghosts of our past
- fear of the storms of life
- fear of an unknown future
This study is designed to be user-friendly. Several friends can use it in a private home setting as easily as a large women’s ministry can use it.
Q: Where can I buy this study?
A: Christian bookstores, www.amazon.com, www.christianbooks.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, www.winepressbooks.com, and my website: http://www.gracefox.com/books/moving-from-fear-to-freedom-a-woman-to-woman-conversation-guide/
I offer group and ministry discounts.
Grace Fox lives in Abbotsford, BC and is the national co-director of International Messengers Canada, a mission agency that promotes creative short-term and career service opportunities in Eastern Europe. Follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gracefox.author. Visit her website for more information about her other books and speaking ministry. www.gracefox.com