My friend, may I ask you a question? When we are not in control, is that the time we are often gripped by fear because we feel that the outcome of our fears will always be the worst scenario? Initial fear leads to pessimism. When you fear the worst will happen, will your own thoughts may help to bring it about?

My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.

What brings fear to your heart? For most of us that would evoke a variety of answers. However, one thing is for certain, over time our fears tend to change. For example, researchers at John's Hopkins University reported that 30 years ago, the greatest fears of grade school children were: 1) Animals, 2) Being in a dark room, 3) High places, 4) Strangers, 5) Loud noises. Today, kids are afraid of the following: 1) Divorce, 2) Nuclear war, 3) Cancer, 4) Pollution, 5) Being mugged. (Back to the Bible Today, Summer, 1990,p.5.) And, perhaps, in another 30years this list of fears may once again change completely over again. It seems that the world never runs out of new and “better” things to be afraid of. Perhaps if this survey were taken today the threat of germ and chemical warfare or the fear of terrorism would push their way onto the list.

What causes fear? Every fear has a definite object. It is usually something that we perceive over which we have little or no control. Fear is not worry. People worry about something uncertain or unknown. However, worry can often give way to fear. Fear has a dual nature. On the one hand, fear compels us to withdraw, seek safety and bide our time. On the other hand, fear can also draw us out, make us bold and cause us to take action. In our Christian freedom, God has deemed it possible for us to react either way. We can choose to be afraid to face our fears or, we can choose to face them. It is our choice. And, that choice is often product of whether or not we feel we control the situation or that God controls it.

When we are not in control, we are often gripped by fear because we feel that the outcome of our fears will always be the worst scenario. Initial fear leads to pessimism. When you fear the worst will happen, your own thoughts may help to bring it about. Someone once wrote, “Fear is the wrong use of imagination. It is anticipating the worst, not the best that can happen.” Max Lucado writes, “Fear, his modus operandi is to manipulate you with the mysterious, to taunt you with the unknown. Fear of death, fear of failure, fear of God, fear of tomorrow–his arsenal is vast. His goal? To create cowardly, joyless souls. He does- n’t want you to make the journey to the mountain. He figures if he can rattle you enough, you will take your eyes off the peaks and settle for a dull existence in the flatlands.” (Edyth Draper, Draper’s Book of Quotations.)

Are you content to live with your fears, tolerate their impositions and abide in their shadows? As you journey through life will you be content to dwell in the valley always looking up at the mountains? If not, why not take stock of your fears today and grip them instead of them gripping you. Today would be a good day for each of us to sit down, take paper and pencil, and make a list of things that we are fearful of. On the left hand side of the paper make a column labeled “I am gripped by these fears!” In the middle of the page label a column entitled “The Last Time I Controlled This Fear.” Finally, on the far right hand side of the page create a final column, a column simple labeled, “Can God Handle it?” You have the choice to write down “Yes” or “No.” But, remember, a “No” answer begs the question, “If God can’t handle it, who can?”

We pray: Heavenly Father, life is full of many things that cause us fear. So often we feel that we are losing control and just don’t know what to do. Help us to lay our fears at the foot of the cross, unburden our hearts so that we may have the strength to overcome our fears as we grow in the love of your Son, Jesus Christ. In His name we pray. Amen!

Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.

If you have a special prayer request, please send your request to "This Passing Day!"

<thispassingday@gmail.com> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.

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