Dealing With Worry and Fear
By Mark A. Finley
Many Christians are plagued by worry. Fear projects a worst-case scenario on the screen of their minds. These twin enemies of faith—worry and fear—rob them of their joy in the Christian life. Hope dances away like a shadow, and they live in the gloomy pessimism of their fearful thoughts. Does God have an answer for worried minds and troubled hearts? He certainly does.
First, let’s admit that we all worry at times. Worry is part of life in a fallen world. We may be concerned about our health, our children, or our finances. But worry and fear become negative forces in our lives when we focus on them and are consumed by them. In this Bible study we will learn how to shift our focus to the reality of God’s love, care, and presence in our lives.
1. Contrast the experience of His disciples with Jesus’ experience during the storm on the Sea of Galilee. Why were the disciples so fearful? Why was Jesus so calm?
“And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, ‘Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?’” (Mark 4:37-40).
On what were the disciples focused? _____________________________________________
What filled Jesus’ mind? ______________________________________________________
2. What invitation are we given when overburdened with care, worry, and fear?
“Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
________________________________all your _____________________________ upon Him.
The original Greek for “casting” really means throwing our full weight upon something. These words might be translated, “Throw the full weight of all of your worries and anxieties upon Jesus. He is fully able to handle them.”
3. What is the result of casting all our cares upon Jesus, trusting that He is fully capable of handling them?
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in YAH, the Lord, there is everlasting strength” (Isa. 26:3, 4).
We receive _________________________________________________ peace.
4. We cannot necessarily control every thought that flashes through our minds. When worry rushes in, what counsel does Jesus give us?
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matt. 6:33, 34).
It’s a matter of priorities; we have to focus our minds on Jesus. He loves us. He cares for us. He longs for us to have a happy, abundant life. Tomorrow’s troubles will come, but He is fully capable of handling them. Let’s deal with the challenges we face in His strength today, and we’ll be equipped to handle whatever life brings tomorrow.
5. Where do we find strength to deal with our deepest fears?
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:18, 19).
Perfect ________________________________casts out____________________________.
Strength to deal with fear and worry is found in God’s love. Knowing He loves us, and resting in that love, delivers us from the paralyzing, tormenting effects of fear.
6. Where does fear come from? Is God the originator of fear, worry, and anxiety?
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7).
Fear and worry do not come from God. Sometimes worry is the result of circumstances in life beyond our control. Other times it may be an emotion that we ourselves have cultivated for years. Of course, Satan is behind all negative emotions seeking to rob us of life’s true joy. The power of God is sufficient to give us a “sound,” or healthy, frame of mind, free from the torment of worry.
7. How does the apostle Paul describe God’s ultimate goal for each committed Christian?
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:13).
God wants us to be filled with _________________ , _______________, and _________________.
The Bible mentions hope dozens of times. God longs for us to be filled with hope, not fear. His goal is lives of joy and peace. Why not give Him all your worries and fears by praying this simple prayer?
“Dear Lord, I confess that at times I focus on the problem more than the solution. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with worry and fear. Right now I choose to cast all my cares upon You. I believe You are fully capable of handling them. By faith I receive the peace, joy, and hope that You give me right now.
“In Jesus’ name, amen.”