Has fear kept you awake at night? Has it hindered you from saying yes to a new opportunity? Has it caused you to make impulsive choices you later regretted? If so, you’re not alone! Fear is a big deal for many women. If left unchecked, it can prevent us from fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives. So, what’s the answer? How can we move beyond fear into freedom?
Author Grace Fox has partnered with Stonecroft Ministries to write a small group resource titled Moving from Fear to Freedom: A Woman-to-Woman Conversation. This resource addresses women’s common fears and gives biblical and practical strategies to move beyond them.
Q: Fear seems to be an ever-present theme throughout the Bible. Describe the difference between healthy and unhealthy fear.
A: Healthy fear steers us toward wise decisions and actions. It promotes self-preservation. For example, we look both ways before crossing the street for fear of getting hit by a car. In contrast, unhealthy fear hinders our ability to fully embrace life because it consumes us with negative thinking and what-ifs. The effects can literally make us sick.
Q: How does destructive fear stunt our emotional or spiritual growth?
A: Destructive fear—the fear of rejection, for instance—might keep us from admitting to someone that we’ve been physically or sexually abused. Without receiving the help we need to deal with those issues, we never experience freedom. Our struggles might seriously hamper our ability to truly love and receive love in a marital relationship. This is just one example among many of how our emotional growth is affected.
Spiritually, fear can cause us to say no to God-given dreams or assignments because we’re afraid of personal inadequacy or financial insecurity. If we never step out in faith, then we never experience God’s ability to equip and provide in amazing ways. Spiritual growth comes when we say yes to God and “do it afraid.”
Q: You suggest we need to place our focus on God and not on fear. In practical terms, how do we do this?
A: Several strategies that I’ve found helpful…
- Memorize Scripture promises and meditate on them throughout the day and as we fall asleep at night. We are transformed as our mind is renewed.
- Fill our homes with praise and worship music.
- Spend time in God’s word on a regular basis, not just when we’re in a panic. The more we do so, the more familiar we become with His promises and the better prepared we are to face frightening circumstances when they come.
- Talk to the Lord throughout the day. Invite Him into the mundane. Practice His presence. The more we get to know Him, the more we’re able to trust Him in the face of fear.
Q: Most of us feel inadequate at times. You suggest we cannot use our inadequacies as an excuse for not participating with God’s purposes. How do we get past this?
A: We get past our fear of inadequacy by admitting we have it. Then we need to retrain our thinking to focus on God’s adequacies rather than our inadequacies.
- Tell God how we feel. “Help! I don’t think I can do such-and-such.”
- Tell a trusted friend and ask her to pray for us.
- Move forward. Do it afraid and expect God to equip us.
Q: Describe this resource and how participants can receive the greatest benefit as they use it.
A: It’s a seven-week study filled with biblical teaching and personal anecdotes that can be used easily by either a small group of friends in a private home setting or a large women’s ministry. Each session begins by viewing a 25-30 minute teaching video. When the video ends, participants follow suggested Table Talk questions for about 15 minutes. Then they do the Bible study questions together. Each participant uses her own guide book so she can take notes and write answers. Facilitator’s notes are included. The study covers these topics:
- an overview of fear
- fear for our loved ones’ well-being
- fear of personal inadequacy
- fear of rejection
- fear of facing the ghosts of our past
- fear of the storms of life
- fear of the unknown future
It’s available through your local Christian book store, on Amazon, www.barnesandnoble.com, www.christianbooks.com, www.stl-distribution.com, www.winepressbooks.com, and of course, on Grace’s website, where group discounts apply. Visit Grace’s website for more information about her other books and speaking ministry.
For opportunities for a FREE copy of this DVD & Study Guide set of MOVING FROM FEAR TO FREEDOM, please follow this CSS Virtual Book Tour on Twitter (@Christianspkrs) or Facebook.)
Here’s a brief video trailer of the Moving From Fear to Freedom study guide: