Faith or Fearful Feelings – You Choose

Our current situation in the world (the coronavirus {COVID-19} pandemic) feels like the plot of a sci-fi movie. One we could have never pictured personally living out. But none of this caught God off guard. He’s known since the beginning of time we would be right here, right now, for such a time as this.

As believers, we have a choice to make. We can have the peace that only comes from Jesus or panic in these uncertain times. We can choose faith or fearful feelings.

Emotions or Feelings?

Why did I use fearful feelings here and not just fear? Because fear is an emotion, not a feeling.

What’s the difference between emotions and feelings? Sometimes we use these words interchangeably, but they’re actually different. An emotion is a temporary intense physical sensation that happens in the body. Feelings originate in the mind in response to an emotion or thought and are influenced by our experiences, senses, current situation, and other factors.

We are born with six to eight basic emotions but potentially hundreds of feelings. An example would be tears welling up as we see a bride walking down the aisle. There’s not usually time to think about it first; it’s an automatic response. Then the feelings come afterward and are related to our relationship to the couple, previous weddings, memories, etc.

The Bible talks about God having emotions – anger, love, joy, grief. And as we are made in His image, He gave us emotions. So, where does fear fall in this? While God does not have fear because He already knows every outcome, I believe He did provide us with fear as an emotion, an innate reaction to danger. An intense physical temporary response to a situation. Examples would be if a wild animal charges, our instinct is to run – no time to think just respond. Or people exhibiting extraordinary strength when they fear for the life of a loved one. Again an intense temporary physical reaction.

While we can’t really be “stuck” in emotion as by nature they are temporary, we can be trapped in our feelings. Fear can illicit feeling anxious, worried, panicked, afraid, apprehensive, threatened, fearful, and the list goes on and on. We can also generate these feelings (well, most feelings really) based on what we are thinking and focusing on.

Choose Faith

Again, feelings originate in the mind. We can choose to ruminate on our fearful feelings, or we can choose different feelings. As children of God, we have the mind of Christ, and we can take every thought captive. We can also choose faith – confidence in what we hope for and assurance that God is working even when we can’t see it. We should be led not by our feelings but by the truth of God’s Word and His promise that He works all things for our good.

During these troubling times, many are quoting 2 Timothy 1:7(NKJV) – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love, and of a sound mind.” In Greek, the word for fear here is deilia, which means timidity, fearfulness, cowardice (which are all feelings by the way). A different translation words the verse this way, “For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” (2 Timothy 1:7 HCSB)

Interestingly, the root word for this is deilos, meaning fearful is used 3 times in the New Testament (Matthew 8:26, Mark 4:40, Revelation 21:8). All these scriptures have the implied meaning that being fearful comes from lack of faith. Based on these scriptures and their context, I believe God is saying, do not be overwhelmed by fearful feelings instead overcome them by increasing your faith.

Increase Faith

How can we increase our faith and our trust in God? Through prayer and the Word.

Pray to God anytime and anywhere. Talk to Him all the time and everywhere. Have a conversation with Him. God can handle our feelings, our worries AND our doubt. He already knows all of them so we can freely express them. As we release these burdens to Him, we will receive His comfort and peace.  

Find a scripture that deals with whatever negative feeling is plaguing our mind and repeat it throughout the day. Write it out and post it around your house. One scripture that can realign our thoughts is Philippians 4:8  “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. “

One other resource I have found extremely helpful these last few weeks is a free app called the one minute pause by John Eldridge. There are one, three, five, and ten-minute sessions encouraging you to pause, breathe, give “everyone and everything” to Jesus, and realign yourself with God. The three-minute version gives a few scriptures as well. This app has helped me to alleviate anxiety and refocus on the love and goodness of God during this unprecedented time.

This “new normal” has given us time to slow down from our busyness.Use this extra time to pray and be in the Word. Read that book you bought last year. Get in some quality time with your family. Call, facetime, or text friends and family you’ve meant to catch up with. Be a voice of hope on social media. My hope for us is we will use this as an opportunity to walk by faith and be a light in this world of uncertainty.

What’s Next?

How are you coping with our new normal? Are you overwhelmed by fearful feelings? Or are you choosing faith? How? I would love to hear from you! Please comment below or email me at angela@authenticallyaltered.com.

If you have any questions about trusting God or how to increase your faith, please email me at angela@authenticallyaltered.com. If you’d like to know more about or accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior also email me at the address above.

If you know anyone who needs encouragement during these chaotic time, please share on social media or via email. 

Share
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.