Hey! Hey! Today we are continuing December’s book chapters. I’m bringing you a chapter from my book Fierce Faith, all about overcoming the fear of the future.
On the show today, we’ll dive into Chapter 9 of my book, Fierce Faith: A Woman’s Guide to Fighting Fear, Wrestling Worry, and Overcoming Anxiety.
Listen in to hear how to stop the fear of things falling apart in the future from slowing us down. Stick around for the practical action steps. It’s a perfect message as we prepare for the new year.
Let’s dive in as I share how to overcome the fear of the future.
We have to decide to daily look for how God is providing in the present and develop gratitude. I want to be like the Apostle Paul. He said, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him, who gives me strength” Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV), but I’m not like Paul; I’m more like Peter. I’m restless, impulsive, and nervous about the future. I tend to have to talk myself off of the parvoviral ledge. But what has helped me build that sense of contentment is that I thank God for what he is doing right now.
Sometimes, focusing on the future can actually help you. Here’s what I mean: picturing your future self and making decisions today that will make your future self happy.
For example, future Alli has made me get out of bed in the morning on time; future Alli definitely makes me get myself to bed on time because I’m a night owl by nature. Future Alli saves me from shrinking back when I’m afraid because I’ll think, “What will I be glad that I did today in the future?”
Future Alli has also saved me from procrastination, stopping me. I’ve learned that if I spend just thirty minutes a day accomplishing those little boring things that I need to take care of instead of putting them off because I don’t feel like it, then I can avoid setting myself up for failure in the future. Future Alli can be me in ten minutes, ten weeks, or even ten years.
What I want you to do with that is – when you are feeling nervous, worried, and afraid, picture yourself in the future, and go, “What will I be glad that I did today?” That will often give us the little push for when feeling a little paralyzed with fear to push past it.
This will definitely help in overcoming the fear of the future.
We are always going to face new giants. And we will always have lots of work to do cleaning out the brush of our own Promised Land. The struggles will come; the enemy will strike, and more giants will step into our paths as we live out our callings. In those times, we can strengthen our faith by intentionally saving our stories and stacking up our stones of remembrance.
I recently walked a friend through a valley season of her life as she watched her marriage crumble. Though it all looked hopeless, she stayed in the fight and fought hard for her marriage to be restored, and it was, miraculously. As we talked about the pain she felt during the fight and her pain after. I told her to write down and remember with gratitude all that God had done during that season. I asked her to document as much as she could. Because the enemy never stops attacking. And one day, she would need to be strengthened by remembering His faithfulness to her during this time. Because I believe that remembering what God has done in the past for you is the secret to developing strength in today’s battles.
If you are like me and tend to turn a concern into a catastrophe, it’s important to have a strategy to overcome it. My strategy is to stop and ask what I call “right-thinking questions.” So when I feel like a situation is a catastrophe, I ask myself:
Because if something is likely to happen and there is evidence, we have two options within our control –
So, if something bad is coming down the pipe and is likely to happen, and you can’t stop it, make a plan for how you’re going to cope. You want to have a sense that you can do something in the situation. When you are catastrophizing, take a few minutes to pray, talk to a friend, and jot down your worries. Look at them with detective’s eyes and ask these questions.
God has a master plan for our lives. He has numbered our days; we have been chosen for this time in history, formed in our mother’s wombs, carefully crafted with certain gifts and talents for the life we have now and for the life that is waiting for us in the future.
The enemy comes to steal and destroy us by keeping us stuck, but we can fight back and take the land, even if it’s filled with giants. We just have to trust His plan. As we face our future, the one that God has mapped out for us, we can face it with hope. He knows who we are, He knows who He created us to be, and we aren’t going to fall apart. Because in His hands and plans, we don’t have to fear the future.
Trusting God is the ultimate way to overcome the fear of the future.
“We often don’t realize our own fear of the future is stopping us in our tracks, keeping us stuck, and wondering why we have a low-grade suspicion that we aren’t really living the life we were created to live.”
“We are so busy looking for the perfect set of circumstances to line up with what we think we must have, we completely miss out on what God had for us all along.”
“Focusing on God’s faithfulness frees us from being bound by fear.”
“Remembering what God has done in the past for you is the secret to finding strength for today’s battles.”
“As we face our future, the one God has mapped out for us, we can face it with hope. He knows who we are, he knows who he created us to be, and we aren’t going to fall apart, because in His hands, in His plan, we don’t have to fear the future.”
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