“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV).
When Joyce Meyer was a child, she was sexually abused by her father. Despite this, she was able to move past that painful moment in her life and went on to minister to broken people all over the world. Through her ministry, she now helps others know they are not defined by past hurts and that their worth can be found in God.
As human beings, no matter whom we are or where we are in life, fear is something we have all had to experience. Unfortunately, when we endure abuse in our lives, it becomes easier to allow past fears to resurface. At first, recognizing these fears still haunt us may be hard to deal with, especially if we thought we had mastered them.
The good news is we don’t have to live in bondage (Ephesians 3:12). We have a choice to set our minds right and become free. We don’t have to relive painful moments or worry about what our future may be. When we hand our problems over to God, we can rest in His assurance that He can mend the brokenness in our hearts. Once our wounds are healed, we can then move forward to claim new lives and use our past hurts for good.
So here’s how you can fight your fears, the right way:
Take Deep Breaths
In the moment you realize you are dealing with a new bout of fear, the first thing you need to do is simply breathe. Deep breathing is a great way to reduce anxiety by activating the body’s relaxation responses. The next time you sense yourself feeling anxious, try taking a deep breath straight from your diaphragm. Do this slowly, over and over, until you begin to feel like you are calming down. Refuse to let anxiety consume you. As you inhale and exhale, try to clear your mind of all negativity and instead dwell on things that make you happy (Philippians 4:8).
Control Your Thoughts
We can choose what we think about, how long we sit and daydream and what flows through our minds. When negative thoughts or fears flood in, we have the power to turn them off. Don’t allow fearful thoughts to keep replaying in your mind. While we cannot change the past, what we choose to dwell on now can and will affect our future. No matter how tempting, get out of wallowing in a victim mentality. You are not unworthy; rather, you are a child of the King. The very fact that you have overcome past physical or mental abuse proves there is great strength lying within you. Let this give you the courage to face future battles. You are a warrior and victory is yours!
Meditate on God’s Word
There is no better moment to speak God’s Word into your life than when you are in those dark moments stalked by fear. When we become assured in the power of the Holy Word, we no longer have to be bound by fear, worry or any other stronghold. Speak the words of truth that are found in the Bible over your life. When you do this, the enemy can no longer stand in your midst and keep attacking you (James 4:7). This is what happens when you are convicted of God’s promises for you.
“Say to those who are fearful-hearted, ‘Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you’” (Isaiah 35:4 NKJV).
Written by: Kelsey Apley