Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Phil. 4:6-9

I am a Tommy Nelson Mommy blogger and I was recently sent the new book by Max Lucado, “I’m not a Scaredy-Cat” to review. The tagline for this book is, “A Prayer for When You Wish You Were Brave“. I immediately fell in love with it because, if you know my testimony, I lived many years paralyzed by fear. I am passionate about ensuring my children don’t live in fear for years like I did as a child and young adult.

 

The girls loved both of these books! Brave Girls book coming soon.

My kids loved this book, but as I read it, my heart sank thinking of all the adults who still struggle with being paralyzed by fear. How can we teach our kids to be brave if we don’t know how to be brave ourselves?

The verse I quoted at the beginning of this post from Philippians 4:6-9 was the premise for the message of this book. Max Lucado condensed it into the following, easy to understand version for kids:

God, you are good.

God, you are near.

God, you are here.

And, God, you love me.

As I prepared to write this post, I felt God tell me to take these points written for children and address the fear in the parents’ lives. Let’s take a look at how using these 4 simple principles can break the spirit of fear in our lives:

God, you are good.

Do you really believe that God is good? I’m not talking about sitting in church hearing someone shout “God is good all the time! And all the time God is good!”. While that’s fine to say I don’t think it has any meaning until we truly believe it in our hearts. If, and when, we believe in our hearts that God is good, no matter the circumstances, then we can fully trust him in times of need. When fear rises, we can simply say “I know God is good and if he is good then he will take care of whatever is coming my way.”  Take some quiet time today to reflect on what you really think about God. If you question whether he is good, take time to talk to him about why. Ask him if you have believed a lie about who he is.

God, you are near. 

As a child, I used to envision God many of miles away, up in heaven, sitting on his huge, unapproachable throne. Unfortunately, I think that is how many adults still view him. But here is the truth about him in Psalm 34:7:

For the angel of the LORD is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him.

When I read this visual image it completely debunked the lie I believed for years that God was disengaged and distant. If we fear him, and him alone, he surrounds us and acts like a guard who defends us against all of our enemies. This verse helps me sleep like a baby. Write it in every room of your house until it is engraved in your heart.

God, you are here. 

Not only is God near, but he is here. God knew we would face trouble and fears and has prepared us with over 300 verses on “fear not” to overcome being paralyzed by fear. Joshua 1:9 reminds us of this:

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.

If God is for us, who can be against us?

God, you love me!

This truth is the most important one for us to know and receive. God loved us so much that he sent his only son to die for our sins. If he went to such great lengths to save us, he will also defend us and be our shield on a daily basis.

We, however, do play a part in overcoming our fears. When God created us he gave us free will. This free will means we get to choose whether we believe these words are true. We then get to choose if we will apply these words to our lives on a daily basis. We can either choose to do life and face fear in our own strength (which never ends well). Or we can partner with God and stop being paralyzed by fear.

For years, I had a quote from John Wayne on my bathroom mirror that said:

Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.

I know this quote isn’t from the Bible, but, when I would read it, it reminded me that it is okay to do things with a little fear lurking in the shadows. Because when we move forward, fear shrinks and faith rises. The more we face our fears and move forward the less power it holds in our life.

How do you overcome your own fears and teach your children to do the same?

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