Fear can take many forms. Fear to you could be a natural disaster or an economic collapse, something significant that will affect your life and those around you.
But fear to some can be as severe as unable to be alone or afraid of people; unable to fit in with others.
It’s very easy to imagine how fear can mould and shape lives.
What most people do to overcome their fears is to avoid the situation that causes the fear. This method can be effective but doesn’t solve the problem. In effect, all it does is make your world smaller.
When fear is limiting your life, you must face it.
At first, this can seem daunting, maybe even causing anxiety, but this is where faith comes in.
When I was younger, I was bullied at my part-time job. Then, one day on the way to work I got a mild panic attack. The next weekend I phoned in sick and told my doctor what was going on, and she wrote work-related stress on the sick note, telling me it was something I had to face. I agreed.
However, the thought that I had to face management to discuss the matter just escalated my anxiety, so I didn’t go back.
I didn’t go near the area of town where I worked as I feared meeting the people that I worked with, I didn’t want to explain to them why I left.; I felt that I was somehow responsible for the abuse. Bullying affects everyone differently.
Many other personal problems hit me around the same time, so I decided to go to see a counsellor.
As we got into conversation, he spoke about reading the Bible 2-3 times a year; he talked about it with so much passion that I started to read it myself. And the more I read, the more my faith grew within. Knowing that God is with us at all times helped me to surrender to His will.
I realised that I had let fear escalate the problem. By avoiding the part of town I used to work I was giving fear control of my life.
When I started to return to the places I used to go many of the people that I worked with didn’t even recognise me, others just said hi. Fear had built up a story that was not close to reality.
Fear makes problems more significant than they are.
Faith and fear are simply vibrations. One has positive energy the other negative.
When a lot of negative things happen, it is easy to get into a negative vibration, and it may seem like you will never get out, but when you work on your faith daily, it will give you the ability to change a negative vibration to a positive one.
Faith is simple, yet we like to make it complicated.
Now I’m not saying that it is simple to make prayer and devotion a part of your day, but if you can make it a habit, then you will see massive results.
Ask God to give you the desire and discipline to spend time with Him each day.
A simple practice that has worked well for me during busy times is to take 30-60seconds during the day. Close your eyes for 30-60seconds now. Listen to the world around you and feel the presence of God.
This practice sounds almost too simple to have an impact, but do it often, and within a short time you will see and feel the difference in your life.
I wish you a stress-free week. Take a step of faith today.
My new book, Live a Life Without Fear, is currently on free promotion on Amazon, if you could download and leave me some feedback it would be very much appreciated. Click on the image below.
Thanks for your time.
Rev J Martin
When Brother Bruno was at prayer one night, he was disturbed by the croaking of a bullfrog. He tried to ignore the croaking, but all his attempts were unsuccessful. So he shouted from his window, “Quiet! I’m trying to pray.”
And since Bruno was a saint his command was instantly obeyed. Every living creäture within earshot held its voice to create a silence that would be favourable to prayer.
But now another sound intruded on Bruno’s worship- an inner voice that said, “Maybe God is as pleased with the croaking of that frog as with your prayers.”
“Nonsense,” was Bruno’s response “how could God like that sound?” But the voice refused to give up: “Why then do you think God invented that sound?”
The voice unsettled Bruno, so he decided to do some research. He called out once again from his window but this time giving the order, “Sing!”
The bullfrog started croaking at once; with all the other frogs in the vicinity as a backing group. But as Bruno listened this time he discovered that, if he stopped resisting them, they enriched the silence of the night.
With that discovery, Bruno’s heart became harmonious with the universe and, for the first time in his life he understood what it meant to pray.
Praying is so much more than chanting or a series of words., no matter how profound the words may be. Praying is about paying attention to the world we’re living in, its about paying attention to the presence and power of creation.
The sound of the birds singing at dusk, a flowing stream, or the rustling of the trees in the wind.
Every sight and sound, whether it be a bird singing, the sound of water, or in Brother Bruno’s experience, a bullfrog, can help us to understand if we pay attention, the precious value of everything in creation.
So this week, take a moment each day to stop and listen to the world around you. Listen to all the sounds that God created, and be thankful.
And the more you listen, the more calmness and certainty will enter your life. And the more that calmness and certainty enters your life the quicker your fears and worries will fade away.
It’s not that they magically disappear, but they no longer have the same power over you.
Each of us has a spiritual journey, but on that journey fear worry and doubt are all dead ends.
Get yourself on the road of acceptance, get yourself on the road of awareness, get yourself on the road of faith. Be happier, healthier and more fulfilled.
Thanks for reading and have a good week.
“I’m not afraid of flying,” my friend said as I gave him a lift to the airport, “im just fearful of crashing.” He did look genuinely nervous about the prospect of being hurdled through the sky at 500 miles per hour in a tin tube loaded with highly explosive aviation fuel.
And he’s not alone. Many people like him are afraid of flying, but my friend was more likely to die while he was getting ready for the airport.
Some people won’t get on a plane even though there’s only a 1 in an 11 million chance of something happening on that flight, which works out to be the same odds as falling and hitting your head while standing on one leg getting the other leg into your trousers. And people feel perfectly safe while getting dressed in the morning.
How often do you see someone dressed in his or her underwear in the queue for passport control? Rarely..lol
While on holiday my friend wanted to go scuba diving, I reluctantly agreed to go with him, even though I don’t like getting into the sea. So when it turned out that we couldn’t go out that day I was so relieved.
There is only a small chance of seeing a shark never mind being attack by one. Those are the cold hard facts, but we’re rarely led by the cold hard facts but by our emotional response to them.
Fear drives us in the wrong direction; it leads us to places where we can become intolerant, paranoid and self-absorbed.
For example, let say that someone hears that there is a high number of conmen tricking people out of money on their doorstep. The next time the doorbell rings fear can take a grip.
The stranger is viewed as a threat, and the door remains closed. If fear is allowed to continue to rule then soon enough neighbours and casual acquaintances are treated with a certain amount of coldness and observation.
Fear is corrosive, self-destructive and ultimately no way to live our lives. The Bible says that perfect love drives out fear, and religion shouldn’t be a source of fear and anxiety, but unfortunately, it sometimes is.
Instead, religion should foster acceptance and tolerance within people. In other words, it should be led by love, not driven by fear.
We all should be inspired by love to look favourably towards the future and not always over our shoulder at the past, and maybe then our fear of crashing would be replaced by a love of flying.
Enjoy your weekend.
Rev J Martin
Due to a very eventful four to six weeks I have not been doing my usual updates. I had some family problems that needed my care and attention. All is much better now, its so easy to get caught up in negativity. Time to move on.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
We all know deep down the areas that we must change, maybe you are quick to anger, resulting in broken friendships and relationships, or maybe you lack faith and sit back thinking things will remain the same.
Whatever it maybe 2018 is the time for new growth.
Change doesn’t have to be something that flips your life upside down. Small changes work best. For example you want to lose weight, which seems to be an example we can all relate to…lol
Most people give up after a few days. Why?
Because they do to much to soon. Start small. Walk around the garden or walk the children to school. Walk to the corner shop or to a neighbors instead of using the car. These small changes may not seem like much at first but over a couple of weeks you will notice the difference.
Or maybe you want to have more faith. Instead of thinking you must spend hours in prayer. Start by saying a few prayers, while waiting in traffic, on the train, or in line at the department store. It may seem small but moments of prayer create peace, and the more you feel peace the calmer you become.
So in stressful situation where in the past you would worry or doubt you will find that you have a peace within to help you calm that storm.
I would like to wish you, your family and friends, health, success and happiness in 2018 and beyond. Remember that small things lead to big results.
Have an amazing weekend.
Rev J Martin
When writing a book on prayer I wanted to address all people. Those that pray often and those that want to but don’t seem to have the time, due to work, social, or family commitments.
Prayer is an area that is very important to me, but there was a point in my life that I looked at it like a chore. Mainly because after a busy day the last thing that I wanted to do was pray.
I was worried, I doubted my abilities, and was stressed from the day.
As I have become more mature my view on prayer has changed. Prayer has many different forms, all of which are powerful but we must never lose the sight of the fact that we are in constant communication with God.
Recently, I was talking to a young lady who was only out of University and was finding it hard to get work; she wanted to be a journalist, but when I told her about an opportunity that had just become available for a national newspaper, she replied, “I can’t-do that. That would be too much for me.”
As the conversation continued, I offered her another option for her to consider, to which she remarked, “That’s impossible. No journalist has taken that route.”
I started noticing a pattern throughout our conversation: Her perspectives about everything — her career and choices— were coming from scarcity. She felt her options were always limited and there would never be enough.
“So what do you want to do? What do you believe is possible?” I finally asked.
She had great difficulty responding. This young lady had been focusing so long on what she didn’t want; she wasn’t able to work out what she did want. Her faith in herself was faltering. And everything she was experiencing was taking her further off course.
If you let thoughts like, I cant, I will never, I’m not good enough float through your mind; these simple prayers can shape the rest of your life. You stop growing, you stop stretching and only go for what you think you are capable off.
This young lady had let these negative thoughts get a foothold, she started to believe that she wasn’t good enough. What was possible for her got smaller and smaller until the point her faith in her abilities almost vanished.
We all can relate to this girl in some way, we don’t go for the new job because we don’t feel good enough. We don’t do that night class because we think were to old and everyone will make fun of us, so we don’t fulfill our dreams because we settle for second best.
Second best is not what we where sent here to achieve. God wants the best for us. We need to stop talking negative, we need to stop letting fear direct our lives, we need centre our mind on faith.
In my new book, You Can Transform Your Life, I will share my personal view of prayer to help you get the most out of your life, so that you can fulfill your dreams.
Book on free promotion until Sunday on Amazon. Click image below. Feedback would be very welcome. Thanks.