Gratitude vs Fear

Gratitude vs Fear

In my recent efforts to overcome the power of fear in my life, I’ve been looking at many resources.  One of those is a book by Jentezen Franklin called, Acres of Diamonds.  In this book, he talks about being rooted in the place God has you.

What does this have to do with fear, you may wonder.  Good question.  One thing I have figured out in this quest for fearlessness is that not getting what I think I want causes me a great deal of anxiety.

Franklin’s point is that the seed of everything God has planned for you is already in your current environment.  Additionally, Philippians 2:13(NCV) states, “God is working in you to help you want to do and be able to do what pleases him.” In light of that, I can assume that if I have a burning desire to achieve a certain end and it is not outside biblical constraints, that desire comes from God.  Believing God’s will is being worked out in my life, being satisfied and making the most of my current circumstances is a way to deal with fear of the future when it says I will never have or do the things my heart is set on.

Franklin acknowledges that waiting for the thing that you want can be hard.  He compares this to standing out in the hallway and knocking, knocking, knocking –which is okay and even required according to Matthew 7:7—but it can be frustrating if we are impatient.

I was mulling over this idea in relation to a frustration in my life, when God interrupted me with a fresh thought:

” Stop focusing on the door that will not open.  Stop standing there crying, pounding, and feeling that this door must open if you are to be happy.  Turn around and look at the wide world of possibilities behind you—opportunities already inside the door of your life!  You are not standing in a hallway trying to get into the life I have for you, you are already in an expansive place surrounded by everything your heart could ever desire if you would just step away from that damned door!”

Did God say “damn?”  Maybe.  I might have added that bit. At any rate, He got my attention.  The message: Stop being afraid that door won’t ever open.  Trusting whatever is behind that door for your happiness is idolatry–and foolishness because you don’t really know what might be waiting there.

I keep coming back to Philippians 4:6-7 (NCV), Do not worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks. And God’s peace, which is so great we cannot understand it, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

As it turns out, gratitude is one of the best defenses against fear.  Instead of being worried about what the future will hold, I am trying to thank God for all the goodness in my life right now.  Remembering how He has brought me through difficult times in the past and expressing my gratitude for His constant help gives me confidence that I can trust Him with my future.  I don’t have to get everything or figure it all out for myself, but I can pray and call on the resources of the Creator when I have a need.  When I live my life this way, He gives me His Peace, which is the opposite of fear.

Where in your life could you turn frustration and fear into peace with gratitude?

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