Fear Nothing: Book Study – Chapter 9

02 March, 2015

Fear causes us to do so many things that we wouldn’t otherwise do. When we experience fear we run from the circumstances that cause it, we run and hide from God, we fall into depression, we lose hope, and we struggle to trust. In the midst of fear we look for security. We want to trust God but face the question “Can we trust Him now in the midst of this difficulty?”

When we face difficulties in life, lets be honest, we want them to go away. When the doctor says the word ‘cancer’ we want that to go away. When something bad happens to our children we want that to go away. We have a hard time trusting God because the security we are looking for is a disappearance. We want him to be a magician and make it all just disappear. So when it becomes evident that we will have to walk through a painful time we often look to something else that will make it ‘go away’. Jesus’ answer to our fear is not a magic trick but His love.

Agony in the Garden. Christ in Gethsemane by Heinrich Ferdinand Hofmann

Agony in the Garden. Christ in Gethsemane by Heinrich Ferdinand Hofmann

We’ve talked about how the love of the Father, Son, and Spirit frees us to live fully, and love boldly, but He also sets us free to face our fears. That’s because His love is the security we long for. It is His love that we can cling to when life is painful and uncertain. Fear drives a wedge between us and God that makes us question his trustworthiness, Love pushes that wedge out and provides security.

Study Questions

1. When we face situations that cause fear, we can choose to run to God or to something or someone else. Fear causes us to distrust God, yet he is the one who has the power to create security in our hearts when we face life’s greatest challenges. Are you facing a difficult situation that causes fear? To what or whom will you run?

2. Seeing others experience God’s security in the midst of fear can help us when we face our own fear. Can you recall watching someone remain strong in his or her faith in the midst of tragic moments? Describe that memory.

3. Rick describes “driving out fear” as difficult work because it doesn’t just leave overnight and it fights back as we try to drive it out. Rick discovered freedom from fear when he realized it wasn’t his work to drive it out. Whose work is it? What about this inspires you?

Previous Chapters

1. http://rickmckinley.net/the-cry-for-freedom

2. http://rickmckinley.net/live-fully

3. http://rickmckinley.net/god-is-love

4. http://rickmckinley.net/being-the-beloved-book-study-chapter-4

5. http://rickmckinley.net/a-grateful-rebel

6. http://rickmckinley.net/a-generous-life-book-study-chapter-6

7. http://rickmckinley.net/love-boldly-book-study-chapter-7

8. http://rickmckinley.net/the-boldness-of-justice-book-study-chapter-8

7 Responses to “Fear Nothing: Book Study – Chapter 9”

  1. Ruben J. Alvarado

    #1–When I’ve faced a situation that has caused fear, I immediately turn to God. I seek solace in his Word .. I find it in the Bible and in books that speak of God’s Grace and Love. I turn to my wife for she knows my heart well. I would turn to my parents if they were alive. Instead I turn to my siblings, my children, family and friends. I can relate to wanting the fearful situation to just disappear and waiting for God’s magic to appear, instantly. I recently was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer. I did all the above, but this fearful situation did not disappear instantly. I prayed for a miraculous healing, but it did not happen for me. For me, it was a slow process sustained by the Word and Love of God, family and friends. This taught me patience. I did not let the devil cause me to panic. I fought him by using God’s words and promises. As I mentioned earlier, I relied on books that spoke to me of God’s love and mercy. My sweet wife gave me a book called Christ the Healer, her sister a book called the Purpose Driven Life and my son gave me a book that spoke of freedom to live fully, love boldly, and fear nothing, The Answer to Our Cry. These books were a God send for they provided me with positive and encouraging thoughts about the love of Our Father, His Son, and His Holy Spirit. When I ran to the Lord, he gave me a peace that passes all understanding and fearful situations. His peace helped me with my Gethsemane (my biopsy), my Calvary (the prostate surgery) and my Resurrection( the recent prognosis of cancer free). I felt his calm assurance in these fearful situations. The fear was there, but hot hindering God’s love and mercy. One day at a time I relied on Him to get me through. Prayers of individual family members, our parish priest, members of the choir, masses offered for my healing, get well cards and concerned phone calls also subdued my fear. I found out that in fearful situations not to turn away from God. I did not question why or place blame on Him. I do remember asking for his forgiveness and feeling that peace that helped me bear this burden. So from this fearful journey, I’ve learned that I do not run from God, but I run to God. Thank you Lord for being with me and sustaining me with your most wonderful peace.

    Reply
    • Rick McKinley

      Thanks for sharing your story Ruben. It sounds like God has taught you that you can trust him in the most difficult of times. Your story reminds us all that our God is good, and loving, and trustworthy. In fearful times we need these reminders, for running to anything but Him will never do. Nothing else could bring you that freedom and peace.

      Reply
  2. Ruben J. Alvarado

    When I’ve faced a situation that has caused fear I immediately turn to God. I seek solace in his word. I seek it in the Bible and books that speak of God’s love and grace. I turn to my wife. When my parents were alive, I would turn to them but in their place, I’ve turned to my siblings, my children, my family, and friends.

    Reply
  3. Heidi Dahlin

    2. Probably the bravest people I know are in Refuge. I love the stories that are told by people who faced their fears and overcame them with God’s help. They are courageous enough to be vulnerable in front of others and share their stories, knowing that they will not be judged and will be accepted with love. It happens every time and after listening to story after story, year after year, with the same outcome, it encourages me to trust God as well. I’d like to think I am brave, too. Rather than taking away my fears, I feel that God has shown me how to live with fear and uncertainty and not be overcome by it. Brene Brown states that I can be brave and afraid at the same time. I like the idea that courage is something I can practice and it’s okay if I’m not perfect yet.

    Reply
    • Rick McKinley

      Heidi, the words you chose are great – Brave and courageous. It truly is brave to trust God in the midst of fear. I can tell from your post that you aren’t talking about some show of bravado meant to impress everyone looking. It isn’t bravery that we muster up by our own strength. Instead it’s is the courage to trust that God is who he says he is in the midst of fear that tells us he is not. It is the bravery to let God’s love fight off the fear that wants to grip you. Thank you for your post.

      Reply
  4. Erica

    1.I used to be an optimist. When the house burnt down it was easy for me to feel like God was going to take care of me. In fact, I was surprised at the relief and weight off my shoulders watching everything burn. Strangers provided clothes, food, and shelter that first night which only confirmed that God had it handled. When I was told I needed a biopsy for lymphoma I had a good cry, and then that optimism kicked in. THIS was why God didn’t make me a missionary. It all made sense. I would spend my last months witnessing to other cancer patients. My life had meaning and purpose. A month or so later, no cancer. Another reason to praise God. I felt like my faith was really solid.

    Looking back I realize that those trials weren’t in areas I highly value. Despite clutter, I value minimalism. When I was young and single heaven was a place I was excited to go. It was only when God allowed my mind to be compromised and my little boy put in danger my world crumpled and I turned on Him. How could I trust someone who could attack the most valuable things I have?

    I have to be in a situation where I am triggered by my fear weekly. Many times I go down the trial and I know that no matter what happens to my son or I, God will redeem it. But the day to day pick up your cross living can entrench on my hope. I don’t feel safe. I don’t feel free. But it’s not forever and God walks with me through it. My husband is tall and built, it’s not on accident. He helps me feel safe. Sometimes I pray, sometimes I escape into netflicks. I watch people who had or have hard lives, who overcame great suffering and it brings me comfort and perspective.

    2. I have a friend who is in the same situation as I am with her little girl. She makes the most of the moments she has with her daughter. She started her own business to help raise money and her daughter is part of a horse therapy program. She creates a scrapbook with the darkest parts and the happiest moments of each month. The bigger picture is the amazing memories when you put it all together. Her photography is beautiful. She’s always telling me that we have something good coming around the corner and God is here. Just recently she was hit by an oncoming car. Even though she’s unable to work now, God has provided for her financially and she’s thankful she was driving alone so her children were safe. Her faith inspires me because we’re in the same situation. Sometimes people try to give comfort, but when it’s your child it feels like salt in the wound. I don’t want God to redeem the trauma I want him to erase it and nothing else is good enough because it’s my child. But her words feel trustworthy coming out of the same wound. And we would have never met if our situations had never happened.

    Reply
    • Rick McKinley

      Erica, It is great that you have a friend to walk with and who reminds you what it means to trust God through this time. It is so much harder to trust God, and to not fear, when it comes to our children. We have our own thoughts on how his love and provision should look for them, and when that doesn’t happen we struggle and we waiver. It helps to have a friend like yours that speaks truth “from the same wound” and helps you bring your concerns, doubts, and fears before God. Thank you for sharing.

      Reply

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