Fear Can Drive You NutsEach day there are many distractions we see and hear that stimulate worry and fear. Take for example some recent headlines:”THE YOUNG AND THE JOBLESS – Unemployment Rate For Young Hits 52.2 Percent” ~ Huffington post”U.S. Job Seekers Exceed Openings by Record Ratio” ~ NYTimes”17 Are Killed in Pakistan Bombings” ~ NYTimes”California Struggles With Paroled Sex Offenders” ~ NYTimesIf you are not operating out of faith in something larger than yourself, faith in a brighter future, and faith that an intelligent action plan to make your future bright, then I don’t blame you for being fearful and experiencing that low-level sense of dread that seems to pervade the American emotional landscape these days.How Do I Cope?Part of my “fear shield” comes from my relationship with God and my fellowship at my church. Despite the negative publicity associated periodically with religious institutions a church, temple, synagogue, or other place of worship can be the perfect setting for one’s spiritual grounding. However, it must be by and large made up like minded people who are there for the same reasons you are. My feeling is that a modern church should be a church of ALL people. It doesn’t matter if it is small or large in membership but it should be open to all. If your spiritual environment is deliberately separated around culture, politics or other artificial barriers you need to consider broadening your mental and spiritual horizons.Fear Steals Your FaithFear stops the blessings of God and encourages you to walk in failure. If you are afraid to make tough decisions you are doomed to failure. Notice I didn’t say you had to be comfortable.Fear is the exact opposite of, and the enemy of real faith. If you walk in never ending state of fear you will fail more times than you succeed.Serving in your church community and tithing builds your faith. Why? Because in the “natural” or logically it makes no sense to give tithes and offerings to God through your church or religious institution. However my personal testimony has proven different to me.Think how you feel and react to stimuli when you are worried. You are operating out of fear and not of faith. Fear therefore causes you to be emotionally weak, unstable, and subject to bad judgment.What Is Fear Telling You?Fear says don’t bother to go back to school and get specialized training so you can get a better job or embark on a new career. Are you telling yourself that it is just too late to change your life, that you are too old, too broke, too tired, working too hard at your day job to go night school….. You see the list can just go on and on if you allow fear or self doubt to take root in your heart and soul.Fear says don’t say anything to someone you are in a relationship with who is engages in damaging behavior because they will leave you. Are you really helping them and helping yourself by remaining silent?Fear says you can’t own your own home anytime soon so you don’t make a plan to clean up your credit and save towards a down payment.What Does Fear Result In?Fear makes us stubborn. We resist change when we are afraid. In many cases we are resisting success at all levels of life. Logically of course, that makes no sense at all, but fear is not logical.Fear keeps you from growing. Healthy people change and are willing to accept change. Unhealthy people keep fantasizing about the “good old days” which very likely weren’t that good to begin with. They just grew better in the mists of time.Fear makes you go backward. In the Exodus the Jewish people in the wilderness wanting to go back to Egypt and face enslavement instead of moving forward and embracing their future… Fear steals your future.In other words fear steals your faith in yourself and the list can become endless and ultimately self defeating.Five Steps to Overcome FearGet the facts. Proverbs 13:16 Every prudent man acts out of knowledge, but a fool exposes his folly. Be a reader and a learner! Successful people are learners and understand how to leverage their knowledge. They also share their knowledge and eagerly seek out and accept knowledge from other sources.Plan your steps. Don’t stumble through life hoping God will do something for you. Plan your life. When God is working in your life the storms will come. But the storms are for learning and preparation for greater things with God’s blessing. Choose your commitments wisely.Declare your Goals. Speak loudly and forcefully to your dreams. Speak to those things you know you need God’s help to achieve. Speak to your future! Declare your faith! God has already worked it out.Step Out In Faith. Face fear. I did when I became a scuba diver. Until then I had a fear of deep water. Now this is something that I do that is an absolute joy and delight. I had to overcome a serious fear or phobia, but I did it!Speak to your dreams and your future will come. Remember if you are having troubles in your life it is a sign of the good to come, but only if you are doing your part through faith and proper works.Finally, faith is based on God’s word and fear is based on your feelings. Simply doing what you feel all of the time is a tried and true recipe for disaster.God says:You are more than a conqueror, (Romans)Worry over nothing and pray over everything (Paul),No weapon formed against you shall prosper (Isaiah)Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew)Which one will you follow?